Stop Using Twitter…for Fun


As you already know, Twitter is one of the hottest websites out there. At first, I didn’t think it was useful, but I was wrong.

In this post, I will tell you how you should use Twitter to grow your personal brand and business.

Follow relevant people

Twitter isn’t too useful unless you are following other users. You could go the route of following everyone out there, or you could follow people who interest you.

I have tried both routes, and I can tell you first-hand that following thousands of users is very difficult because you won’t be able to keep up with all the tweets.

That’s why I recommend you only follow people sharing their knowledge.

Create interesting conversations

After you follow a few people, you’ll notice that some of those people will naturally follow you back. But if you really want to gain followers, you need to start twittering.

You could tweet about your day, people you are hanging out with it, or any random thing that comes to your mind. The problem with doing this is you will gain followers who won’t care about your tweets.

Instead, I recommend sharing your knowledge on Twitter.

For example, I tweet about business-related topics that get people thinking:

We don’t have a monopoly. We have market share. There’s a difference. – Steve Ballmer

Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.

Tweets like the ones above are great because they cause other users to retweet my tweets and join in on the conversation. The best part about creating a conversation is that it allows you to get to know other users and lets them to get to know you.

Join the conversation

Not only should you be creating interesting conversations, but you should also be joining other people’s conversations. If people are talking about something you are familiar with, don’t be shy to give your input.

When joining conversations, you don’t have to agree with other people. There is nothing wrong with debating others on Twitter. Controversy is a great way to gain some followers as long as you don’t abuse it by doing it only for attention.

Leverage your followers

Once you have built a loyal following on Twitter, you need to start leveraging it.

You can do this by tweeting about your blog, company, or anything else you are involved in. What you’ll notice is that your followers will start retweeting your tweets, which will help drive more traffic to your business and maybe even increase your sales.

To make Twitter more effective, use the following applications:

  • Twitter Feed – every time you write a blog post, Twitter Feed will push it out to all your followers.
  • Tweetmeme – by adding a Twitter button to your website, you will make it easy for anyone visiting it to spread the word about your website on Twitter.
  • Twitthis – if you use Twitthis when tweeting, you’ll naturally start getting more followers through their “suggested users” feature.

Acquire customers

You could use Twitter for fun, but why not make money while using it? Through its search feature, you can find out if people are talking about:

  1. your company (hopefully people are saying good things)
  2. your competition (hopefully people are saying bad things)
  3. your industry (track generic terms related to your industry)

Tracking these three things will help you create a conversation with your current customer base and potential customers. Although this may seem like a hard thing to believe, a lot of companies use Twitter as their main source of customer acquisition.

For example, if someone tweeted about a bad experience they had with your competitor, you could message them, telling them about your company.

Build relationships

If you do all the things I talked about above, you are already building relationships with people.

The one thing you are not doing, however, is you are not building relationships with the major influencers.

Here is how to do that:

  1. Look for popular users on Twitter interested in the same things you are interested in, and start messaging them. Not everyone will respond, but like most things in life, it is a numbers game.
  2. There should be other members on Twitter that live near you. Search for local users, and get to know them.
  3. Many Twitter users also blog, so get to know them. This can open doors, and they might even write about your business.


Although Twitter can be used for personal entertainment, I recommend using it for business purposes, similar to the ones I mentioned above.

Stay away from doing stupid things on Twitter because it will create a public record anyone can see. The last thing you want is for your boss, potential employers, or business colleagues to find something on Twitter that makes you look bad.

Instead, you want them to see impressive tweets that make you look good.

P.S. Do you want help increasing your twitter following? Click here.


  1. “You could tweet about your day…”
    “Instead, I recommend sharing your knowledge on Twitter…”

    I definitely agree, especially for business-oriented accounts. Some businesses I’ve followed in the past seemed to flood my timeline with drivel. If your tweets are interesting or add some other sort of value, people will subscribe.

    Speaking of twitter, I just whipped up a tool that emails you when the Twitter name you want is available:

    • FloridaPersonalInjurylawyer :

      Right dude! “You could tweet about your day…”
      “Instead, I recommend sharing your knowledge on Twitter…”. Don’t be a salesperson or sound like a spammer because you will be treated as such. Actually don’t sell at all. My experience with Twitter has been to share information and post links of educational materials and images related to my profession. Every time I have a new blog post or project to share it gets mentioned. Within a short while I’ll get responses not only on Twitter but also comments on my blog. This is an interaction so I also try to comment to people who have something to share. I find that when you show an interest in certain people, they will pay more attention to you too and often spread the word about you.

      • Definitely don’t become a spamming hard sell person, instead provide value to your readers. It takes time to build a solid twitter account, so be patient.

        • Love Graphics :

          I agree, there will come a time when legitimate twitter users are rare, I sincerely hope all the twitter spamming stops. Like Neil said, you need to provide quality content and you will succeed.

      • New Jersey Injury Lawyers :

        Interaction! A lot of my friends completely missed the Twitter boat when it docked. They think that if you tweet about random events throughout your day, someone halfway across the world will start a conversation with you through their tweet. Wrong. Twitter is a social media tool, and as such, it should be used accordingly. If you go out and start a tweet conversation with someone else (or using hashtags to get your tweet “publicized”), you’ll have a grand list of followers to which you can effectively promote your brand/product.

        • Right, well kind of sort of. Just be sure to write about good quality info..whether it be advice or sharing articles.

    • Thanks for sharing the link, I’ll take a look at it.

    • above all else twitter is for building relationships with people that can connect with you on a personal or corporate level.

      It’s a tool that is more intimate then facebook, and I think most people lose sight of this.

      • Twitter is definitely an amazing tool to create relationships. If I were you, I would take advantage of it while you still can. Due to the increase in spam, it becomes harder and harder to get a hold of the right people.

  2. Good post man! I’ve recently started using Twitter too. It’s really an awesome tool for marketing and website promotion, if you know how to use it.

    • FloridaPersonalInjurylawyer :

      There’s both a social/play and a social/communicate aspect to Twitter that makes it productive as a promotional tool for pointing to interesting things you’ve found on the web as well as a tool for building credibility and influence. On their own, such updates can be uninteresting. However, followed over time, you can gain insight into people you may end up hiring, getting hired by, working for, partnering with or simply socializing with.

    • This method probably seems to be the easiest way to get started, but companies need to be aware that using Twitter like this could actually hinder their image in the Twitter community. A whole bunch of self-serving, self-promotional tweets can actually damage their reputation – Twitter folks like a personal touch.

      • CanadaImmigration :

        You need to worry more about quality over quantity even though Twitter seems like it is all about the number game. You want to focus on people who actually care about what you have to say. Twitter is a social networking site, but a lot of people only use it to pray that they can get more traffic to their site.

      • Right, it’s important to use it the way. However, for some companies, like Dell, it’s perfect. It depends…

    • Yes, it’s fantastic, but just don’t become a spammer 😉

  3. Anthony Proulx :

    Great post, I definitely believe in using twitter for the tool that it is and not a plaything, there’s so many things to waste your time on the net don’t let twitter be another one.

  4. Online College :

    Great post Niel! I started using twitter but it became annoying and very distracting. I need to find I better way to work with Twitter because it can help a lot but I am just not into it quite yet like everyone else!

  5. Stuart Foster :

    Twitter has gotten me in the door and in the ear of more powerful people in marketing then I can possibly imagine. I doubt anyone would have heard of me (granted most don’t anyway) had I not started using twitter last year.

    As a personal/business development tool it has been fantastic…and unparalleled in terms of effectiveness.

    • ArticleMarketing :

      Twitter is such an enormously useful marketing tool, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That isn’t true anymore. Re-Tweeting is the sincerest form of flattery

    • Its a fantastic place for networking, just prevent any type of spamming or garbage nonsense talk. Use it professionally.

  6. Neil does exist? 😉

  7. cash loans uk :

    Good to see a new post after a long time. And well.. agree with most of it 🙂 . However, there are a few people who over promote on twitter.. leaves a real bad taste about their business.

    • Yea, I know what you mean. Some people do over promote it, but it is done in good taste as twitter can become the wave of the future so to speak

  8. Worthy Posts :

    I think the term “Microblogging” really gives people a good tip on how to use Twitter effectively. You apply the same principles you did for regular blogging and you’ll do fine. Provide good content, build relationships and don’t shamelessly self-promote. Also don’t seek useless metrics like number of followers.

    • FloridaPersonalInjurylawyer :

      Posterous’s initial popularity may be good for the company’s investors, but how many blogging services does the world need anyway? “The problem is that people are launching a whole new service based on one feature,” says Sean Bonner, who co-publishes Metroblogging, a large network of local blogs. “The reason Twitter is useful is because all your friends are there. If it was just you, it would be as useful as a piece of paper you write notes to yourself on.”

    • ArticleMarketing :

      For niche bloggers tracking terms associated with your blog is a good way to find other bloggers in your niche and also draw their attention to your blog. If you use twitter to talk about what you are writing about and what you are following as opposed to what you had for breakfast you can develop important relationships from it

    • Exactly, self-promotion brings you into the spam area quickly. Unless you are someone who has already made a name for yourself, focus on quality content.

  9. You have to agree that most people are INACTIVE on twitter…it is still emerging….

  10. FloridaPersonalInjurylawyer :

    There has absolutely been a rapid increase in spam on Twitter lately.

    It was a problem beforehand. But, then some celebrities brought more attention to Twitter and, all of a sudden, the rest of the world is catching onto Twitter. And where the people are, marketers follow.

    Is it a bad thing? What should be done about it?

  11. Ricky Peterson :

    Twitter is really becoming HUGE day by day. Many a times i think that search engines will loose their importance because of Social Media Marketing booming these days. Twitter is really cool tool to drive traffic on your blog or website. At this point around 18% of my blog traffic is coming from Twitter, which is way too surprising for me.

  12. mark harrison :

    I think people who use it for business are missing the point. If all you do is rant on incessantly about your biz then people will get very bored very quickly. There is definately a balance to be struck.

  13. Great post – answered a lot of my questions about Twitter and best way to use it. I have joined the Twitter revolution and am using it to Twitter my blog updates but was unsure what the next step is.

    I’ll be following you on Twitter!

  14. FloridaPersonalInjurylawyer :

    Every tweeter is a community manager themselves. And it’s time we build our own community. But how do we do that? Even the more experienced tweeters sometimes wonder how they can follow the right people Neil?

  15. Derek Johnson :

    Neil, great blog post. At our company we track everything said on twitter about our company name, employees, competitors and industry. This has been one of the biggest sources of user feedback, sales leads and has provided the company the opportunity to become the “expert” in our industry.

  16. If all you do is rant on incessantly about your biz then people will get very bored very quickly.

  17. Most people tweet about anything. What they are doing like having coffee and all, good for personal tweets not for business.

    • Its fine, just depends on what you intent is on tweeter. Celebs for example do exactly that, and people listen!

  18. twitter is a great tool, it such a big help to blogger like us. Be innovative… it brings you more money if you give a brain on it.

    • ArticleMarketing :

      Twitter is a great tool to be used along side Linkedin. Of course, Facebook has a place in the mix as well.

  19. excellent this one. in fact the route number 2 is the best. this is the route that repeatedly tells me to unfollow the folks who just tweet about “my girl friend just got a MAC Mascara from shoppers stop in Andheri (me a mumbaiya) and she is trying it now. blah blah…and then twitpic. 10 followers added. 20 followed buy the hype. voila…and u r big on the radar. i find it so hard to find users who do the same stuff that i do. like energy. havent met any 1 who wants to talk abt supercritical power plants in India and how smartgrid will take on the future. and if i tweet abt such subjects ppl unfollow me. that not a problem. in fact it only makes me see another layer of twitter – birds of feather should flock together. add tweets there. awesome article though.

  20. encuentraTuJob :

    Twitter is a great microblogging website app there are too many ad ons and app to try and well there is a lot of feeatures that make it interesting. Follow to many users works fine but there is a limit only 1000 followers by day. The most important thing I think is to make a brand around the Twitter creating quality content and updating frequently.

    Invite followers to retwett the most interesting articles and histories is also important.

  21. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach :

    After months of use, I finally have Twitter down quite well so I can now network with my friends and do business as well. It’s a very powerful tool, used right.

  22. I’m completely new to Twitter and have to admit that it’s a bit confusing for me so far. Thanks for the tips how to use it properly. I’ll try to use them and see what happens.

  23. I just heard twitter is for sale… makes me kinda of wonder if the time everyone has spent on twitter will go to waste 🙁

    Till then,


    • ArticleMarketing :

      Twitter has turned down a $500 million acquisition offer from Facebook, according to a report published early Monday morning. The supposed deal, uncovered by BoomTown’s Kara Swisher, had reached the point of “several weeks of serious talks. lets c what gona happened.

      • Thanks for the reply…. Well.. if it reaches anywhere near $1 Billion, they should definitely sell it! Even at $700 million I think it would be a fantastic deal for twitter. That’s just my take on it… But then again I don’t have the hard data available to me like they do so, yeah…. I could be totally wrong.

        Till then,


  24. ArticleMarketing :

    Twitter’s strength comes in its ability to connect you with other people and to start real conversations. It’s helped small business owners market to current customers, to engage new ones, and to create partnerships with new friends. But it can only help you to do that if you know how to find the people relevant to you. Otherwise, you spend a whole lot of time talking to yourself.
    And unfortunately, that’s what happens to most people.

    • You’ll be able to connect with people you never thought possible before, which is why it’s such an excellent tool.

  25. invisible braces :

    You are right till Some extent,following Less People Is really good idea to stay with the trend and see whats new,
    main problem with huge following is you cannot focus on tweets you like,
    and The tweets you gave for example is whats called good tweeting but some people just tweet about their own site continuously thats annoying

    • FloridaPersonalInjurylawyer :

      I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want to have a lot of followers. I’m saying that you don’t want to have a lot of the wrong followers. There is nothing to be gained by accumulating “empty” followers. Why? Because they are not listening to you! Your core followers — those you who actually listen to you and interact with you — are the real value of Twitter, and that’s why you should never, ever automate your Twitter account to increase follower count.

    • It’s a good idea to stay away from auto-follow.

  26. I completely agree with Neil that Twitter should not be used for funny things that you do daily.Instead make a useful information sharing tool.

  27. cash loans uk :

    I agree when you say most people do not know how to use twitter and mostly people tend to spam. If used effectively it is a very helpful tool and should be taken seriously by almost all webmasters.

  28. martin @ data recovery software :

    How can we start conversation?

  29. Neil i proud of you. You are really a nice blogger and rising India for the rest of the world. I fully agree with you there’s no need to fun on twitter. Its an awesome site everyone has to know its all great features..

  30. Thanks for writing this Neil, I needed to be reminded that Twitter (and all social media) there should be a balance between fun and business.

    Another part of this would be, quit using it for fun because it is a time suck and time is precious for more important things (your business, family, etc…)

  31. Why? Because they are not listening to you! Your core followers — those you who actually listen to you and interact with you — are the real value of Twitter, and that’s why you should never, ever automate your Twitter account to increase follower count.

  32. Somehow I don’t think that tweeting is that much fun. Probably that is the reason why I don’t tweet much, but I think tweeting pointlessly is useless!

  33. kmadhav@datarecovery :

    I agree when you say most people do not know how to use twitter and mostly people tend to spam. If used effectively it is a very helpful tool and should be taken seriously by almost all webmasters.

    • There are many sites available that provide you with great tools on how you should take advantage of it.

  34. You apply the same principles you did for regular blogging and you’ll do fine. Provide good content, build relationships and don’t shamelessly self-promote. Also don’t seek useless metrics like number of followers.

  35. Following is easy, yes, but posting something useful back? Hmm…maybe I need to find something more useful to say. LOL

  36. CanadaImmigration :

    Twitter search is a really great way to find out what people are saying (or have said) about a particular topic.

  37. Thanks Neil for sharing such useful tips on how to effectively use Twitter. Yes Twitter has become the website that everyone is talking about, so it makes sense to gain money from it. I will keep these tips in mind and use them as effectively as I can. Thanks again.

    • Just don’t go after using it in the sense of making money, provide good valuable info and content, and you’ll find money coming your way in no time.

      • Nice to have got that reply from you Neil. I will take your advice and provide good and useful content. I just hope I can taste some success on the Internet…

  38. CanadaImmigration :

    Twitter is playing around the idea of “sponsored definitions” (aka advertising) on its home page. For anyone interested in how Twitter is going to make money – and there are lots of us obsessed by this potential scenario – you have to wonder if “sponsored definitions” are the first step by Twitter to finally cave in and accept advertising.

  39. Great points, Neil. Twitter works best from a business/branding perspective when the focus is on the listening–to your customers, to your readers, etc. Once you know what your stakeholders are saying about you, you can begin the process of interacting with, and engaging, them.

  40. CanadaImmigration :

    Twitter: Noise, Chatter, Clutter etc etc. This powerful tool has to be used properly in order to add value. Currently it is more of a ego building tool, where people measure their worth in terms of how many followers they have. Even if you have followers are they listening ? Long and short of it, subscribe to protected groups and only subscribe to twitter groups that are meaningful to your industry.

  41. Latest Seo News :

    You are right but dear Twitter is the social platform and people use this for his needs

    • CanadaImmigration :

      What we have now with Twitter Search is a meaningful barometer of the collective consciousness, along with the ability to react to tiny shifts in that consciousness, as and when they occur.

  42. Now that twitter is so main stream, they will have to come up with a way to fight all the spam that is on there now. I have simply stopped using twitter because of this.

  43. Software Testing :

    Even I have seen people following other Twitter users blindly just to get more followers which I feel is of no use. I do agree with you Neil that we should follow relevant Twitter users only. There is no point in getting followers unless you are showing something really useful.

    • Right and the problem with following too many people you can care less about is that you both increase white noise/spam for yourself and for everyone in the twitter community.

  44. Software Testing :

    One more thing that I would like add is that even Twitter is feeling the heat with the growing amount of Spam. Every now and then, I am getting irrelevant messages from Twitter users saying “Visit my website” and other similar messages.. Its so damn irritating.

    • Yeah, they’ve been trying to regulate, so you’ve probably seen a small decline in the # of your followers lately.

  45. New Jersey Injury Lawyers :

    I don’t think anybody mentioned, the top Twitter directory. Great way to find the top Twitterers in your industry.

  46. Love Graphics :

    I agree Neil, I think twitter should be used mainly for business purposes, but I don’t mind if some people like to use it for fun purposes, just no spam please. Thanks for the article Neil.

    • It’s just important to provide useful content instead of promoting product after product. If you have thousands and thousands of people doing that with each other, the whole thing just becomes obsolete.

  47. pays to live green :

    Twitter seems like a waste of time when people post about whatever comes on their minds or what they are currently doing. What do other people gain from reading those post? Do people think that everybody else who is following them wants to know what they are doing or thinking at all times?

    It can help you if you post appropriate things for business purposes and be a great tool to help promote it.

  48. How to make $100 a day :

    I believe that twitter is a tool just like anything else, like e-mail marketing, or RSS, or other social media.

    It has certain rules that have been generally accepted and if you follow them you can generate a lot of traffic to your websites.

    It can also be helpful for generating buzz about your brand.

    For example, on one of my websites I let people get to a free back link to their site. Website owners love this because it helps them rank higher in the search engines.

    Twitter allows me to tell my followers that I am giving away free back links. And it gets traffic to my website.

    Furthermore my followers retweet the message which gets me even more traffic.

    • It is just a tool and frankly, most people have no idea of how to use it. Just be smart with it and you can easily get some amazing results.

  49. London IT Support :

    Twitter can be great for marketing I mean look at Dell – They have sold $3,000,000 worth of computers just through twitter.

    • They were one of the pioneers, which is why they had such tremendous success. You need to be VERY creative to do something like that.

  50. Michele McGraw :

    Twitter was started to answer one question, “What are you doing?” If all you do is business, then keep tweeting about only business, but if you do more than business, then strike a balance.

    I don’t mind seeing “eating a chicken salad sandwich for dinner while vegging in front of the TV” because it makes a person real. If all I wanted was to hear all the great business things someone has to say, I’ll read their blog or book. I want to get the real person who eats lunch.

    I keep it real. I am the same person on Twitter as I am in person. I’m not going to bore someone with ONLY my business conversation and my knowledge in person, so I’m definitely not going to do that on Twitter. And yes, I might share what I had for lunch with my neighbor if I’m having a conversaion.

    • Usuallly, people are ONLY interested in stuff like that from celeberties. You need to have some kind of presence and following in order for that to work successfully.

  51. Danail Donchev :

    Twitter is great service but sp@m is huge problem.

    • The more people who start using twitter, obviously the more spam that will build up. just be selective with who you follow.

  52. Twitter is a good tool, but I see most people use it wrong. Good information – thanks for the info.

  53. I know there are even tools that can add followers automatically.Im not sure if its worth it

  54. I noticed that too many people started jumping on board with twitter and the amount of spam jumped up like 10 fold… It really does suck because it’s such a powerful too.

  55. I think Twitter is a great use for business, however, like Neil had said, you must be careful about what you say. Because it might bite you back later on.

  56. Before I take twitter as funny thing, but after reading lots of article on twitter on how twitter help us for our marketing, now I am taking twitter seriously,

    Now I get most of traffic from twitter, I have not much follower on twitter, but I am using some tools for increase my twitter follower.

  57. Twitter definitely helps marketing your business. Those online business not using twitter should find time and resources and engage in twittering.

  58. Textbook Rental :

    How do you feel about twitter programs like hummingbird and twitterfeed? I feel they are only part of the soulution they can attract followers but you must have something to give them. But is automation the cold business machine?

  59. i’m so lazy while using twitter hehehe 🙂

  60. very interesting post,

    i think it aplies to everything you do on the net and outside there should be always some % of time to chill out(if not you end with a nervous brakedown), but there must also be time to find meaning and pourpose , and that time is sacred , should not be touched

    • All work and no play makes jack a dull boy… definitely take time off here and there. Work hard, play hard.

  61. I have went that route too! I followed a lot of people just to have a large list. It does make it more difficult to keep track of the important information and I have been thinking about going through my list and unfollowing the ones that don’t provide useful content.

  62. No, AJ

    Neil saying something about “Using Twitter” and “Fun”
    i think Neil is right for serious tweeting and it right too for a twitter and other things…

  63. sell textbooks :

    I find that twitter has become more and more annoying. And yes people are using it for fun these days.

  64. I am getting annoyed with some poeple who seem to be addicted to twitter. We really don’t need to know what they are doing 24 hours a day.

  65. Get Traveling! :

    Twitter is powerful for bloggers and let’s you get in front of big name people.

  66. Charles Turner :

    I heard of a new website like twitter, but funnyer, its called witter ? any body heard of it ?

  67. Great post, thanks for sharing some good information, will use these points with my companies twitter.

  68. I liked up to you’ll obtain carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you would like be handing over the following. unwell no doubt come further before once more as exactly the similar just about very frequently inside case you defend this hike.

  69. twitter is a great way to interact with your customers if you own your own business, i personally prefer twitter to facebook.

  70. My experience with Twitter has been to share information and post links of educational materials and images related to my profession. Every time I have a new blog post or project to share it gets mentioned. Within a short while I’ll get responses not only on Twitter but also comments on my blog.

  71. Im on twitter and i find it really hard to use, but i do find it easier to communicate via twitter with my customers than using facebook.

  72. simply click The next website :

    I don’t drop a comment, however after reading a few of the remarks on this page Stop Using Twitter? For Fun. I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright.
    Is it only me or does it give the impression like some of these responses come across
    as if they are written by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites,
    I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list of
    all of your public sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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