Twitter is a microblogging service that has about 225 million users who send about 65 million tweets a day. Twitter can also be used as a search engine to see what people are saying at that very moment about any given topic.
Twitter’s usage typically spikes during major events such as the Olympics, presidential elections, and large sporting events. All public tweets are archived in the Library of Congress. According to a study done in 2011, Twitter awareness is at 92 percent while actual usage is only at 8 percent. It’s safe to say both numbers have increased since then. The difference is still astounding! There are many reasons to get on Twitter.
1. Stay up to date with people you know
You can follow your friends, family, old college buddies and business acquaintances.
2. Meet new people
You can make friends on Twitter. They do not typically end up as IRL (in real life) friends unless you go to a Twitter meetup (or “tweetup”). However, they can still become part of your weekly communication.
3. Follow celebrities
Twitter gets you one step closer to your favorite movie stars, singers and political figures. If you are particularly creative and have good timing you may even score a RT (retweet) or a mention by your favorite celebrity. @LadyGaga has the most followers on twitter at 30,333,582.
4. Follow sports stars
Not only can you follow your favorite professional sports league and teams, you can follow individual players. The up and coming Vikings tight end, Kyle Rudolph, can be followed on Twitter @KyleRudolph82.
5. Support and stay connected with organizations you’re passionate about
Whatever you are passionate about you can follow and interact with on Twitter. Some notable charities on Twitter include @TOMSshoes, @CharityWater, @50Strong50Wise and @pcorpsconnect.
6. Get news instantaneously
Twitter is updated much faster than newspapers and faster than blogs. People discussed the hot topics from the presidential debates in real time with spoof accounts like the @FiredBigBird. Many people found out about Whitney Houston’s and Michael Jackson’s death via Twitter.
7. Share news
Twitter allows anyone to produce content and to share news. Journalists use Twitter as a source to connect with people who are in the geographical area where the news story is happening.
8. Build your personal (or company) brand
Twitter allows you to build your brand. Each tweet and uploaded photo contributes to your brand and connects you to a network of people. It exposes your ideas to new people and exposes you to new ideas.
9. Share your expertise
Get involved with discussions or join Tweet Chats on topics you’re knowledgeable about. For example, if you are an expert in all things Pinterest join #PinChat on Wednesdays at 9 PM EST. If that’s not your thing, check out this list of Twitter Chats.
10. Learn about something new
All conversations and Twitter Chats that you participate in don’t have to be in your area of expertise. Use Twitter to learn about new things. Not an SEO expert? Not a problem — plenty of people on Twitter are!
11. Enjoy the challenge
You only get 140 characters to say what you want to say. It can be a challenge to shrink down thoughts and to make concepts fit into a tweet. Embrace this challenge. Save longer thoughts and concepts for your blog.
12. Connect at conferences
More and more conferences are using Twitter and a specific hashtag to promote the conference. Many presenters provide their Twitter handles at the beginning and end of their presentations. Get involved and make new connections by tweeting!
Twitter is a great resource that allows you to follow people you know, people you don’t know and businesses. It grants you the ability to be a content creator in 140 characters. Twitter lets you follow the news and report the news.
Are you on Twitter? If so, what is the biggest benefit to being on Twitter? If you haven’t made a Twitter account yet, what is holding you back?
Featured image courtesy of MDGovpics licensed via Creative Commons.