4 Surprising Ways to Use Twitter

I initially began using Twitter after reading Leo Babauta's Twitter Experiment post a while back.  I told myself, with absolute resolve that I would only try it out for a week or two.  Now, after a hundred updates on Twitter, I've become a fan.

But not a fanatic.

Who are the Twitter fanatics?  They are those who use Twitter like it's candy, posting 10-20 updates a day.  If you subscribe to them (ahem, Robert Scoble or Guy Kawasaki), you'll quickly get tired of the flood of posts.  It's just too much.

I also find that folks who post 5-10 in a row get tuned out as people don't like to plow through their posts in order to get to the people who are more selective in their posts.  Too many Twitter posts is like stuffing your garage with items, only to have to walk over the junk in order to get to that bike that's on the other side.

The good news about Twitter is a little feature called "Do Not Follow".  Use it whenever you are getting fed up with someone's tweets.  Give yourself permission to not follow someone famous- it's really ok.  Heck, they don't know you anyway so go ahead and experience the simplification of a streamlined Twitter deck.

To my surprise, Twitter has had some really surprising uses.

SURPRISE #1: Use Twitter to cross promote your workshops and events. Jason Womack does this all the time.  He's about to go on stage for a gig and tweets a few minutes before hand.  You just can't help but be interested in what his work is accomplishing.  Even if you're not a big public speaker, Twitter can help to expand your circle of influence by sharing your schedule with folks who are either in the geographical area or simply following you on Twitter.

SURPRISE #2: Use Twitter to cross promote your blog posts. Lisa Hendey does a super job at this as she's writing all the time for everything from her own blog to bigger sites like Catholic Exchange.  Just put up a little shout-out to your article and folks will be more interested.   Very simple.

SURPRISE #3: Use Twitter to read interesting links as posted by others. Since I've become an iPhone user, I've discovered all sorts of ways to share an article with the click of a button.  Using Tiny URL is also an easy way to point people towards your link but with a shorter URL.

SURPRISE #4: Use Twitter to share music. Gene Monterastelli does this really well, posting songs via Blip. You find out what kind of tunes those you follow are into.  This of course works in the reverse way as others get to know your style of jive.

For those who are just starting out with Twitter, follow Leo's advice and try it with moderation.  See what works and have fun!