Monday, April 1, 2013

Tips for Using Twitter

With over 500 million total users and 200 million active users, Twitter is definitely on the rise. However, many struggle with this thought, "Is Twitter just another 'Facebook' site and do I really need another social media site in my life?" When I started my journey with Twitter it was strictly to see what was all the hoopla. Now four years later, Twitter has evolved into a great personal learning network (PLN). Twitter is where I go for ideas, answers, and help as related to my job. Not only do I follow people in the same line of work as myself, I now share ideas with those that follow me. If you are looking at exploring Twitter, then here are a few tips I would say that have helped me when using Twitter.

Tips for Using Twitter:
Create, Don’t Just Consume
The best way to get the most out of Twitter is to use it. Using Twitter is a two part process. The first part is as a consumer, where you follow people, read their tweets, and learn from them. This is how I started with Twitter. It's a good place to start if you are new to Twitter. However, many people stop there, which is easy to understand since that is the easy part. But the real magic happens when you share, too. Think of it this way: if you were having a conversation with someone and you weren’t responding, the conversation wouldn’t go very far, would it? The second part is to share!

Connect and Network
When you’re just getting started on Twitter, a resource for educational hashtags or guides to great accounts to follow are excellent resources to point you in the right direction. Follow some of the people you find interesting, exchange ideas and conversations with others using the #hashtag conversations you’re involved in, and when appropriate, take it to the next step: connect with them – either via other social media, email, or at a conference you’re both attending. I found it to be very refreshing how professionals can be so helpful. Don't be afraid to connect with others!

Share Your Resources
If you always find interesting things on Twitter, don’t forget to share your awesome resources, too. Along the lines of the ‘get what you give’ idea, the more you feed into the community, the more it will grow and become useful to you. It's helpful to use hashtags when sharing resources. Ideally, two hashtags are plenty. Here's another link for educational hashtags.

Keep At It
Just like going to the gym once every two weeks isn’t going to keep you in peak physical condition, participating in Twitter #hashtag chats and interacting only occasionally isn’t going to make your Twitter community very robust. You don’t have to be a chronic Tweeter to stay regularly involved – but it is important to check in, reply, and participate to keep the conversation going. Here's a great resource for educational chats on Twitter. (separated by day and time) Click here for resource.

Source for these tips is from Katie Lepi on Edudemic and additional information provided by Kristie Johnson (Twitter - kjohnsontech).

New to Twitter?
If you are new to Twitter, here is a great Twitter Cheat Sheet infographic provided by Jeff Dunn on Edudemic. Click here to read more.

Favorite Twitter App:
Hootsuite - free
Android and iOS app available
Top 3 features:
☆ Manage multiple social media accounts
☆ Schedule updates for future sending
☆ Save a draft to update later

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