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5 Reasons You Need to Be on Twitter

Updated on March 30, 2015

Should I Join Twitter?

So you're still not on Twitter? You're probably thinking that not everyone is a Twitter user, so why should you be? There are 288 million monthly active users on Twitter. That's not everyone, but it's a lot of people. 80% of these users are on their mobile devices, even though Twitter can be used on computers. These millions of users send about 500 million tweets per day. Not all of these millions of messages are worth your time to read, but some of them may be worth a few seconds to retweet or favorite.

Twitter is now used for news, activism, and growing businesses. So if you're still on the fence about Twitter, think about whether your business, personal life, or interests could benefit. After you do decide to join Twitter, don't think you can just sit there. You need to stay active! In fact, if you don't tweet anything for six months, Twitter may permanently delete your account.

Use Twitter on Many Devices

Source

Share Updates with Friends

You probably already know that when you follow someone on Twitter, that person's tweets appear in your timeline. This means that if you follow your friends you can keep up to date on whatever they think is worth sharing on Twitter. You can also follow your favorite actors and politicians, favoriting or retweeting whichever tweets you like. The tweets you repost will automatically show up in your followers' timelines, so they'll know what is important enough to you to share.

Why Tweet?

Are you planning to run a half marathon? Did you just have a kid? Are you going on a trip to Europe? These are all great reasons to join Twitter! Post updates so your friends and followers will easily stay updated on your progress. Athletes of all skill level share updates about their running times, weight loss, and upcoming races. This is a good way to gain confidence, get encouragement, and stay on track. If you love posting photos of your kids, try using Twitter as another outlet for this. You can send photos of your children playing outside in the sun via Twitter to news stations that ask for weather photos, or win tickets from a Twitter contest to take your kids to their favorite sports team's game. Twitter is a great place to share your travel photos with the world. Depending on the verbiage you use, millions of people might view the picture of you on top of that mountain!

Search #Travel

Do I Need Another Social Medium?

"But I already have Facebook..."

Sure, Facebook is a great place to share stories, photos, and updates with your friends. But have you ever felt bogged down by the 50 picture photo albums or lengthy posts that clog your Newsfeed? You won't have that with Twitter! Twitter limits users to 140 characters, including links and photos, so you won't be overwhelmed by long stories or extensive photo albums. Just scroll through your Home Timeline for short updates and occasional photos and links.

"I just want the pictures"

If you feel satisfied with Instagram, I understand. But you may want to reconsider. Search #travel or #cats on Twitter and you're bound to find as many beautiful photos as you would on Instagram. Yes, Instagram supports hashtags—words or a series of words preceded by the # sign—but hashtags were created organically by Twitter to categorize messages. Just try a search on Twitter, then scroll below the messages for photo or video results.

Keep them all!

You can actually integrate Twitter with Facebook and Instagram, so you don't have to give up any of your social media. Make sure your accounts are all connected, and you can post a photo on Instagram and it will automatically be shared on Twitter. This way you can still take advantage of your favorite photo filters from Instagram. You can even set up Facebook to post your update to Twitter for you so you don't have to do it twice!

In short, the answer is yes, you do need another form of social media. If you don't like social media, you probably don't have Facebook and Instagram, so don't take this as advice to download them all! But if you already have Facebook and Instagram, and if you Yelp and participate on LinkedIn, then yes, you should also add Twitter.

Find causes you care about

Find and share petitions from Change.org
Find and share petitions from Change.org

Are You an Activist?

Have you ever signed a petition forwarded by a friend? If you come across an injustice, do you tend to tell people about it? If you've answered yes, then you're already somewhat of an activist. Twitter can make this easier. Even if you've never taken action, you can easily become a virtual activist on social media. Yes, you can do this on Facebook, but to share petitions and stories with more than just your friends you need Twitter. Twitter allows you to use hashtags and tweet at other users to get your message out there. The best part is that you can include a link, so if your message is longer than 140 characters you can direct readers to read the remainder of your petition, story, or news.

Why Do You Tweet?

What is your number one reason for using Twitter?

See results

Should I Use Twitter for Business?

Absolutely. In fact, Twitter has a whole section devoted to businesses. You can find tips for creating a good business profile, choosing who to follow, and what to tweet. These are helpful suggestions, so take them seriously. You want potential customers to take your business seriously, which means using the proper profile photo and creating an appropriate bio.

Like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, Twitter also offers the option to buy ads. If your business or organization is new and you want to grow your followers, think about purchasing ads. You can target these ads to certain regions, types of users, or kind of device used. Tweet updates about your company or post photos of new products to interest customers. Integrate your Twitter account with Facebook and LinkedIn to increase traffic to all your pages, as well as increase your likes and followers. You can also engage customers with questions or contests. Consider tweeting a trivia question and then promising the winner a coupon or discount code.

Grow Your Organization

Get Your News on Twitter

Many people now turn to Twitter for news updates. Imagine that instead of checking CNN, MSNBC, and a few of your local stations, you could go to one place and see news stories from them all! This is what Twitter offers you. Simply scroll through your Home Timeline or search for a specific news outlet and get up to the minute news.

Twitter is a great place to follow multiple weather accounts. You'll get the latest updates and you can easily compare the different outlets. Using Twitter for weather and news also means that you don't have to wait for your local station to come on TV at noon or 4 pm. In between these TV broadcasts your local news stations are tweeting updates about weather, police action, and traffic. If breaking news hits you'll find it on Twitter.

How Would You Rate Twitter?

5 stars for Twitter

Other Considerations

Twitter makes suggestions for who to follow based on certain factors, including your email or phone contacts and patterns from your following history. If you’ve uploaded your contacts to Twitter, you'll probably get a suggestion to connect with those contacts who already have Twitter accounts. You may also receive suggestions based on your location—either the city where you live or the city you are visiting.

Twitter is a good place to express your personal opinion. But be sure not to write anything offensive. As you gain followers, you'll see which tweets they favorite or retweet. If you're not getting followers and you want to increase your numbers, add hashtags to your tweets so when someone searches for the hashtag you use, he or she sees your tweet.

If you are willing to join Twitter but you just don't know where to start, follow your favorite celebrities and retweet some of their funny, witty, or touching tweets. When you're ready to start tweeting, you'll know!

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    • Penny Miranda profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Miranda 

      3 years ago from Portland, OR

      B. Leekley, it sounds like you used Twitter the way I use Facebook. I appreciate hashtags because you can search one and see what people are saying about it—what's in the news is usually "trending" on Twitter. However, there's no list anywhere so you really just have to guess.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I have had a Twitter account for years but have never found much of any use for it aside from sharing hubs I especially like and sharing progressive social issue petitions that I come upon. Otherwise I very rarely tweet. No one I know uses Twitter. The hashtags system confuses me. Is there a master alphabetical index to hashtags with cross-references from subject to hashtag and from hashtag to subject? Twitter generally is not worth my bother to log onto it. I just go on and off within a few seconds to share some link. If I knew anyone personally who uses Twitter, that would be different. I can imagine myself having tweet "conversations".

    • Penny Miranda profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Miranda 

      3 years ago from Portland, OR

      I know what you mean, Shelley! At first I was actually not convinced, but now I'm clearly a supporter :)

    • ShelleyHeath profile image

      Shelley Heath 

      3 years ago from Birmingham

      I tried to avoid Twitter for a good number of years, despite blogging about it's usefulness for businesses. When I finally did get onto to however I'd wondered why I hadn't years previously. Definitely a platform that gets addictive quickly!

    • Penny Miranda profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Miranda 

      3 years ago from Portland, OR

      Thanks @heidithorne. I don't use Facebook for business, and I'm still deciding about Google+...not my favorite!

      @poetryman6969 Thanks!

      I occasionally find myself spending more time than I expect to on Twitter, but I do find most of the stories taking my time to be helpful or worth sharing!

      @younghopes I had some trouble figuring out how to make scheduling work, but at least with Klout I've been successful. Have you tried it?

    • younghopes profile image

      Shadaan Alam 

      3 years ago from India

      Somehow inspite of putting in a lot of time and effort, i have not been able to use twitter to my success. When i am personally active and tweeting then i can see response but if i am using any service for scheduling tweets etc, then nothing much happens.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 years ago

      Twitter can be, like all social media, a great time waster. However, I have been able to connect with some like minded folks so I like it for that reason.

      I have yet to crack the business barrier on Twitter so I guess I got to keep trying until I get that one.

      Voted up.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Twitter has been an amazing tool for my business and has brought business to me. In fact, I've pretty much abandoned Facebook, G+ and never got on board with Instagram. As Twitter's capabilities (in-stream photo sharing particularly) continue to expand, it is truly THE only social network I need. Thanks for sharing the Twitter love. Voted up, useful and sharing!

    • Penny Miranda profile imageAUTHOR

      Penny Miranda 

      3 years ago from Portland, OR

      I agree! I figure if you have a business you need to be on every platform, but it can be overwhelming!

    • catspyjamas profile image

      catspyjamas 

      3 years ago

      It's my favourite social media platform. Everybody says you need to be on facebook for your business, and they are right. However, I prefer the way twitter is set up. It is so easy to answer replies. whilst on fb you have to go directly to the person's page to answer. I also like checking what is trending.

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