How to Use Twitter Constructively

When Twitter alighted upon the scene, it seemed pretty innocuous. Ushered in on the wings of a cute little blue birdie, this free, social networking service enabled users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters. Certainly manageable, wouldn’t you say?

On first blush, it seemed that way, but after having an account for a short while, many of us realized that it could suck us in and before too long, we were wondering how to get back those hours we lost!

What I Did Wrong

Tweeting tips for Twitter

Tweeting tips for Twitter

The first thing I did wrong was to follow more than 250 people — most of whom then followed me back. Reciprocity is important to tweeple, who often DM, “Thanks for the follow.” DM, for the uniformed, means direct message.

Before too long, I came to the realization that my twitter feed was cluttered with tweets that really didn’t interest me. Why did I need to know that Joe Blow was enjoying scrapple in a diner across town, or that Suzie Smith was watching the Smurfs?

I eventually became so buried in tweets, I felt like Tippi Hedren in the 1952 Hitchcock movie. “This is for the birds,” I thought. When I read the following tweet: “Itch, itch, yawn, poot, smile,” it pushed me over the brink, so I decided to thin the flock before I contracted some communicable disease like chirpies or something. I was getting a contact high on hash tags, for goodness sakes!

Thinning the Flock

One of the best tools that I’ve discovered for cleaning up a twitter feed is Tweepi. Tweepi will show you who has been inactive, whom you are following, who isn’t following you and how you can delete the tweeps you no longer find useful, like Mr Pooter.

The only thing I regret is that you can’t hit one button at the top and do a wholesale deletion. Apparently Twitter swooped down on them and pecked that priceless option off the table, which annoys me because somehow I ended up following a whole bunch of people I don’t know and while I’m waiting for support to fix it, my list continues to grow.

To add insult to injury, these tweeple don’t even speak my language, literally. So now my timeline is bogged down by foreign tweets as well.

Using Twitter Constructively

I like to sometimes refer to Twitter, as Fritter, because it is a good way to fritter away the time, but it doesn’t have to be.  If you’re resourceful and you have a small business, for instance, you can use this social media app to your advantage by offering followers special deals to drive more business your way.

Marketers can use Twitter to promote their SEO services by providing links to compelling content. Just google SEO to find out ways to go about using social media to your marketing advantage and keep in mind that search engines recognize public Twitter accounts only, so don’t lock down that account if you want to be noticed on Google.

If you’re an individual, Twitter can be useful if you choose carefully and tweet wisely, but if you find yourself unsuccessfully tending an unruly flock, hey, you can always fly the coop, pick a new name and start over!


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