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How to actually use Twitter effectively

Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways

Often I come across those articles that tell me how I should use Twitter effectively in order to gain and retain followers and how to better engage the community. There are also the people that tell me what I should and shouldn’t be tweeting. To be honest it’s a load of bollocks.

I use Twitter for three main reasons:

  • Follow other webbies: With the exception of a few celebrities and people I know offline I follow other web people in order to find out information and see what’s happening in the community I work in.
  • Promote myself: I tend to tweet about the work I do and the blog posts I write primarily in the hope those that follow me find it interesting and helpful.
  • As an outlet: I no longer use Facebook that much so I will use Twitter as an outlet. I either tweet about what I’m doing or rant or even pass on information I think is useful or fun that doesn’t apply to either of the above uses.

The large percentage of my tweets I write are from the last point above. I don’t go as far as regaling followers with my toilet activities but I do use it to talk about any old shit. The articles I mentioned at the top of this post will tell you by doing this I’m using Twitter wrongly somehow. The fact is I don’t care what people say, I will use the service in the way that I feel I want to use it. If people don’t like the way I use it then they can just not follow me.

Too often we’re told how we should act or use online services. People create their own code of conduct and expect other people to live by it. Or in the instance of Twitter they expect everyone to be using it as a business promotion tool instead of just another way in which to make friends and communicate with them.

In my opinion so long as I’m not hurting or offending anyone else I’ll do what the hell I like on Twitter.