Ever since it was launched in 2006, Twitter has grown to become one of the biggest social media platforms for businesses, organizations, and individuals alike. While it has indeed become ubiquitous, some still ask, “What is Twitter used for?” Read on to understand what Twitter is used for and how to harness its power.
What is Twitter used for by most people?
Most people know Twitter as “the website that lets you send out short online updates.” Twitter is a full-fledged social media platform that lets people connect with one another, and is defined by its real-time nature. You can send out messages about events as they happen with immediate feedback.
Twitter offers two tools for making such connections: @mentions and hashtags. @Mentions allows you to directly tag specific users in your tweets. It gets their attention and lets them better see your messages amongst the other tweets in their feeds. You can tag anyone, even celebrities. Just try to be nice about it:
Hashtags are used to start, and participate in, group conversations on the platform. By clicking on the hashtag in a tweet, you can see other tweets that use it. This helps in keeping track of conversations. To join a conversation, use a hashtag like “#sdcc” for the San Diego Comic Con in your tweets:
— Adam Savage (@donttrythis) July 20, 2017
These two tools also play an important role in Twitter’s more familiar purposes – that of sharing information. By using them, people are able to share information with anyone who is interested. These two features that helped establish Twitter as a major platform for breaking news and discussing current events.
Why do people tweet?
People want to connect with one another for a variety of reasons. You might want to reach out to an old friend and catch up on things. Or, you might simply want to attract the attention of a celebrity you are a fan of. Twitter lets users do all of these in real-time – even when both parties are in different countries.
— Edison E. Tiempo (@EdisonTiempo) July 30, 2017
To create content
Although 140 characters might seem too little to clearly express yourself, tweeters have come up with a variety of ways to turn their tweets into unique content formats. Aside from sending out updates and reports on current events, Twitter is further used to share insights on the world.
Aside from purely informative content, Twitter has also become a favorite place for online entertainment. Popular writers like Paulo Coelho now use it as a new medium for their prose.
"Brave' is the only thing that I ask myself to be
Brave to write, to love, to face criticism, to live according my own rules
— Paulo Coelho (@paulocoelho) August 8, 2017
There is also abundant Twitter humor, which always presents us with shareable content.
I can't turn back time, but it appears CPR is actually administered through the mouth.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 31, 2017
To consume content
Twitter has also changed the way people consume content – both online and offline. Many people now turn to Twitter as a source of not only the latest news, but anything else they might find interesting as well.
Twitter is part of how content discovery is moving to social media and away from search engines. The advantage of sharing this content on Twitter is that you can quickly express your reactions to the content.
— Steven Wilson (@StevenWilsonHQ) July 30, 2017
To use and control applications
Twitter has now become an important tool for the growth in the distribution of mobile applications. People use the platform to share information about, and download links to, the applications they want to recommend to their friends.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) April 16, 2015
More importantly, app makers have integrated Twitter into their products’ functionalities. This means users can share content from within the app directly to Twitter for a social experience.
My pushing army in Titans! With the battle ram pic.twitter.com/dkLGvuJRW7
— Oh Games (@OhGames_YT) August 7, 2017
These four reasons often interact with each other in a variety of ways, depending on the specific goals of a Twitter user. By knowing which of these reasons their goals fall under, businesses can create better marketing campaigns to capture their desired audience’s attention.
How to use Twitter for engagement
Combining your understanding of what Twitter is used for with the knowledge of why people tweet, is the key to taking advantage of the platform. The largest conversations are centered around popular hashtags. The site’s Trending Topics section can become an indispensable tool.
You can use this list to find conversations that you can join in, and tweet about, using a related hashtag.
To be successful you need to stand out from the other participants in the conversation. It can be difficult to be noticed. This is where having an important or useful piece of information comes into play. Share it in the thread and bring it to the top of the conversation using Devumi’s Retweets Service. Once there, you can go on to become a major player in the discussion.
— Devumi (@devumi) July 17, 2017
Being part of hashtag conversations can eventually pave the way for personal engagement with your desired audience. By tagging users, you can get their attention and deliver content they would be interested in. From there, you can carry on conversations that eventually lead to conversions.
What is Twitter used for? Now you know – use it to your advantage
My goal was to answer the question “What is Twitter used for?” You have seen that Twitter is one of the most versatile social media platforms and that it is used by people for many purposes. This also makes it a must-have for businesses and organizations wanting to reach out to such people. If you are not yet on board, it’s time to sign up and see what Twitter is used for personally, and see how it can help you.