To continue on my previous post on how to survive 8727km from the Silicon Valley, here are a couple of practical tips on how to get the most out of Twitter.
Search for relevant keywords
Twitter’s Advanced Search is great tool for finding interesting people and topics serendipitously. Define the keywords you are interested in, run the search and subscribe to the RSS feed. My search terms are “Jussi Laakkonen”, “social games”, “casual games”, “funware” and “virtual goods”. See who tweet about the topics you are interested in and what the discussion is.
Trawl thru the following lists
This tip comes from @mitch_olson of Small Worlds, who trawled thru my following list to find new people to follow. If you find an interesting person to follow, check out who they follow to find more interesting folks.
Add yourself to WeFollow
Simply tweet “@wefollow #yourtag #yourtag #yourtag” to classify yourself to make yourself more foundable. First, checkout the most popular tags on WeFollow. To find more interesting people to follow check the WeFollow lists on the tags you classify yourself with.
Re-tweet and see who re-tweet you
Re-tweeting is about sharing something valuable. You are doing a service to the person who you are retweeting as well as to the people who follow you. See who re-tweet you for more interesting people.
See who they are conversing with
Often you follow a particular person, and they are chatting away with @ replies with somebody you are not yet following . See who that other is, perhaps she will be worth a follow.
Establish a tweeting style & reinforce it at your profile
I personally use Twitter for business and tend not to share personal stuff or tweet funny jokes. Your followers will expect consistentency, so when they check your profile, they’ll decide at an instant if they want to follow you or not. Your latest ten tweets and secondarily your 160 char description play a huge role on who follow you.
Check before you follow
The corollary to the above is to check the profile before you follow someone. I’m picky about who I follow people to avoid cluttering my stream (if only Tweetdeck had a longer backlog of tweets ;-)).
Hashtags make some sense out of Twitter, especially during conferences like SXSW. Tweetdeck nicely supports hashtags by integrating to the Twitter Search. It’s a godsend for tracking topics especially when I’m 7-10 timezones away and top discussions take place in the middle of the night (for me).
Read Guy’s advice
Guy Kawasaki has further advice on How to use twitter as twool.
If you have more advice for geographically-challenged Twitter users, please share it in the comments!