So one thing people ask me a lot is: "How do I use Twitter?" What they're really trying to find out is "How to use Twitter to stay in the know and promote themselves on the Internet." This is a great question. A few months ago I asked myself the same question and ended up reading countless blogs and a few books on the subject of self promotion. Thus I've decided to expound on my current strategy for Tackling Twitter in this post. So keep reading...
With the "what" covered, let's discuss the "why". Why should you as a developer care about your presence on Twitter? In a word: networking. To expand on that, I'd say that Twitter is the best way to meet people who are interested in and actively involved in the tech community. I personally have established virtual relationships with hundreds of people in the Android community. This has enabled me to get answers to my development questions, receive encouragement to tackle new coding challenges, as well as expand my career. It's also a way that I can give back to the community by doing the same for others.
So maybe you want to see some more tangible benefits. Here's a listing of several opportunities I've directly had through interactions on Twitter:
- Invited to connect with O'Reilly for a video course deal
- Invited to speak at conferences
- Invited to speak at meetups
- Invited to do podcast interviews
- Invited to write a guest blog post
So one of the major things that you need to understand about Twitter is its use of hashtags. Hashtags are essentially just a way to label tweets. With all of the content that is produced on Twitter every second it would be impossible to find what you're interested in without them.
You can use hashtags in various ways:
- To search for additional tweets
- Find new accounts to follow
- Participate in Twitter chats
- Follow along with live events
Creating a Twitter list is very simple (see gif below). You have the option to make your list public or private. If your list is public then others can see your list and follow it if they desire, also when you add people they will be notified that you have added them. However, if you create a private list then it's just for you.
I like to use private lists for when there's a specific group of people that I want to follow what they tweet closely. So maybe you really want to speak at a conference, why not create a private list of the conference organizers. Then you can begin your campaign to become "known" to them and increase your chances of having an opportunity to speak.
|Adding Someone to Your List|
Crafting Your Tweets
Another thing people often lament to me is that they don't know what to tweet about. There are so many great things to tweet about! If you do anything related to your industry, like attend conferences, read articles or create your own content, you can find something tweet-worthy.