[Post updated 07/09/19]
I’ve been using Twitter since 2009 (with this account, @iamKirstenT). I was encouraged to create an account during a student-alumni conference for my MSc in Technology Enhanced Learning, Innovation and Change. We used it as a backchannel for the conference, to share our ideas and feedback on sessions.
Since then, my use has grown – massively. I have multiple Twitter accounts to support different (and focused) interests. I find that helpful in terms of making clear my reason for being on Twitter, so those who choose to follow me, know what to expect.
Twitter turned 10 years old in 2016. If you haven’t seen their milestone birthday video, watch it. It celebrates how the platform has been used through the good, the bad and the fun times. It also highlights just how powerful a tool it can be, when we give it a real purpose and put it to good use.
Reasons to love Twitter
Use Twitter to…
1. Connect with likeminded people
Conferences and events that I attend usually have a hashtag which can be used to find other people who are also going to be attending the same event (and tweeting about it, with the hashtag).
2. Increase my visibility
Twitter is brilliant for making new connections with people I would probably never have the opportunity to discover in person.
3. Serve my community
If you love helping others, Twitter can enable you to help people on a global scale.
It is one of my primary informal learning spaces; I love participating in Twitter chats which not only support my learning but also enable me to discover new connections that share the same interests; so I also increase my visibility and expand my network. One of my favourite weekly chats was hosted by Buffer (that chat has now been retired).
In time of need (emergencies, natural disasters etc.), Twitter is a fantastic platform to share important information and bring people together.
Feedback on events and experiences. If I’ve had a great experience with a product or service that is aligned with my Twitter account, I’ll let that individual or business know – it’s good to show some love on social media, when it’s deserved! 🙂
7. Get support
Most people do not like airing dirty laundry in public (always keep your digital footprint in mind), but sometimes we can get the quickest response to a problem on social media. A lot of big businesses have dedicated support accounts on Twitter, which demonstrate their dedication to serving their customers but also enable them to help when needed and sometimes calling isn’t an option.
8. Crowdsource and research
I’ve previously used Twitter to crowdsource research participants for my dissertation and research trends, pain points, wants and needs via social listening.
These are just a few key reasons why I love Twitter
9. Start a global movement for social good
One of the best examples in recent times is #FridaysForFuture (Twitter feed) founded by 16yr old climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Twitter is a great platform to support communications around collaborative projects.
- We can create Twitter Lists to organise people collaborating on a project. Those lists then make it easy to filter and see tweets from team members.
- Hashtags can also be used by team members when sharing useful resources and updates.
- Direct Messages can be used for both 1-2-1 and group conversations.
- Twitter Chats can be used to facilitate real-time informal learning.
- Moments provide a means of curating tweets and help keep important tweets visible e.g. project accomplishments.
Do you use Twitter?
If you use it, what do you love about it? Let me know in the comments, below.