7 other uses for Twitter if ‘social’ isn’t your thing

imageJack Dorsey, creator of Twitter doesn’t think that Twitter is ‘social’

Well if he does, he missed it from his speech at the conference in Munich yesterday.  The three words he used were ‘public’, real-time’ and ‘simplicity’ according to Business Insider.

We definitely see social as just one part of what people do on Twitter,” Dorsey said. “We think of it as an information utility and a communications network.”

I think he might be right.

Even though ‘social’ is just one aspect of Twitter, there are many more ways that people use the site.

Trend setting: Discover trends and themes bubbling up from the stream at a local, national and global level.  When news breaks it starts out slowly and gets passed around by more and more people.  What can seem initially insignificant, can become a trend

Data gathering: people chat about their interests, watch TV and comment on news.  This brings valuable insights to the TV companies, brands and influencers.  A million people discussing the change in chocolate taste for a brand might seem boring but to the data mining analysts its gold dust.

Bookmarking: Interesting information can be saved using favourites for later review and reporting.  I use favourites to link similar posts together when I’m creating a blog post and want to see opinions of those I follow.  I also like to mine the favourites list of influencers to see what influences them

Link-sharing: Passing along information and news to friends and followers.  This could be information from your own blog – or other interesting articles, blog posts and links.  However, in a study conducted in 2010, 50% of all links were forwarded by only 20,000 users. Wow.

Selling: Time-limited offers can work well if marketed properly on Twitter. Remember that you’re dealing in a global market so order fulfilment should be taken into account before embarking on an offer. Using promoted tweets you can ensure that your tweet is at the top of the list when someone searches for a phrase or a brand name.  Paid for, promoted Tweets get your noticed.

Influencer identification: Tracking who influences news.Tech journalists, fashion bloggers, foodies, political leaders, rumour mongers brands and Educators are all influencers in their own right.  Knowing who your influencers are will help you with your strategy.

Fan following:Track celebrity activities without resorting to newspapers or other sources.  They don’t need to follow you back either.  They might just retweet your message – or respond to you.


So perhaps Twitter isn’t just ‘social’.  it’s a heck of a lot more than that

Image credit: sylvrilyn

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.



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