I’ve been using Twitter for about a year now. At first I didn’t understand it at all. What are all these symbols, I wondered, and all the strange messages that were half of a conversation.
As I read up on Twitter I found out about hashtags and @ replies. I discovered that you could send direct messages to your followers. It became clearer, but I still didn’t see the value.
I started following major Twitter users like Mari Smith and Chris Brogan. Their tweets sometimes made sense, but all too often were out of context… I couldn’t tell what was going on.
Then one day, I found a couple of helpful tutorials by Michael Hyatt and Nicole Nicolay on taking Twitter to the next level. Following Nicole’s advice, I installed Hootsuite on my computer and learned how to send out tweets at scheduled times during the day. This allowed me to send tweets while at work, where Twitter is blocked.
Over time I replaced my old cell phone with a new Droid and installed Twidroid. Now I could see my tweets during the day, and was able to tweet back at lunch. Twitter was making more sense now, and then Twitter came out with Twitter lists, which really helped me sort out the noise. Using Hootsuite, I setup different columns for each list and Twitter now was becoming a communication tool.
I discovered that Hootsuite would allow me to see the entire conversation when people would reply to each other. This gave me much greater context. The only problem was I still didn’t see the real value to businesses, bloggers, or average users.
It just seemed like a public chat or online moving quotation stream. There had to be more, I surmised. I ordered a book from Gary Vaynerchuk called Crush It, and found some interesting tidbits on Social Media. It was becoming clearer now.
And that’s when it happened.
Just by accident, I clicked a stray button in Hootsuite and it all came together.
The whole picture poured out before me.
I suddenly knew why businesses and bloggers use Twitter.
This little button held the key!
When I clicked the stats button I could see how many people had responded to my tweets. I could see which keywords were popular. I could see users that had re-tweeted my links.
I suddenly realized that Twitter had sent hundreds of people to articles of interest on my blog. I suddenly realized the incredible power of #Hashtags.
One little errant click and I suddenly understood…
Twitter is a great way to connect my blog posts to users who are interested in them. Powerpoint users can find my Powerpoint posts. Twitter users can find articles that help them and so on.
If you are a Twitter user, install Hootsuite and be sure to use #hashtags in your tweets.
Question: What cool tool have you found for Twitter?