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5 Misunderstood Great Benefits Of Twitter

Oct 25, 2011 6 min readSocial Media Marketing

Imagine you were alive hundreds of years ago, and wanted to meet the world’s greatest thinkers and hear their thoughts.

If you were independently wealthy, you could devote your life to traveling the world and finding those wise men and women, talking to them and listening to them.

But it would’ve taken you your whole lifetime.

Today, thanks to Twitter, you can find the thoughts of many of the world’s greatest thinkers in art, business, politics, technology – almost any area of human achievement, all at your fingertips. You can see things they’re thinking and saying that never end up in books, nor are they seen or heard anywhere else.

Imagine what it is doing for our brain development to be exposed to the best thoughts of the greatest achievers of today and throughout history!

This is probably the #1 greatest thing about Twitter that too few people take advantage of. But there are four other things I think people misunderstand too…

1. Twitter Lets You Do In A Day What Would Take A Lifetime

From valuable observations and amazing short gems of wisdom to thought-provoking quotes and brilliant wit and insight, Twitter exposes you to a range of thought and wisdom that has never before been possible in history.

And you can see the best of what the greatest people throughout history said, thanks to folks sharing and repeating their words on Twitter today.

If you care to seek out the poets and geniuses, the experts and great writers, all that great thought helps and encourages you to produce your own brilliance.

Could Twitter, used well, help more people become great thinkers themselves? I think so.

After all, as the phrase goes, all great thinkers “stood on the shoulders of giants”—those that came before them. Having a tool like Twitter that can connect you to the greats is an unsurpassed opportunity.

2. Twitter Gives EVERYONE And Anyone A Support Network

Anyone, anywhere in the world, who takes the time to connect with the right people on Twitter can build an amazing network. If you have mobile phone service or an internet connection, it doesn’t matter if the nearest town is 1000 miles away, you can connect with thousands of other people.

Sure, for many of us in populated areas, this isn’t as big a deal. But for some people it is a life-changing opportunity…that they wouldn’t have without Twitter.

It’s not like other social networks, where real world connections are the basis for your online connection. On Twitter, anyone can connect with anyone for any reason. This is important. If it weren’t for Twitter, the world wouldn’t have this option.

And even if you have just built a small network on Twitter, if you say something fun, funny, interesting or valuable enough to be repeated and retweeted, what you’ve shared can spread to the whole world. By sharing the right topic at the right time, you can reach millions!

Many people become frustrated when they first join Twitter because they can’t find enough of the right kind of people to connect with. Don’t worry, they’re out there.

You need to find people one at a time and take an interest in them. Read their blog, read their tweets, and retweet the interesting things they say. Take the time to find out what they’re interested in, if there are causes they support, if they’re an expert in some area and like to share information about what they know.

If you follow steps like these you can build an amazing network that can help you with almost anything in your life. Anyone can become amazingly popular and well-connected on Twitter.

Sometimes people complain to me that they’re finding it hard to make many connections with real people on Twitter. Remember, you need to find people who are already tweeting and chatting with other people who are not celebrities.

Pay them the compliment of learning about them before connecting. Read what they write, retweet them, look for any questions they may have, and you’ll build a great network!

3. Twitter Lets You See What The WHOLE World Is Thinking & Doing

One of the coolest things anyone can do with Twitter is find out what people are thinking and doing at any moment.

While politicians want to find out what voters are thinking, and businesspeople want to find out what their customers and competitors are saying, the rest of us can do our own instant polls on whatever topics are interesting to us.

Anyone who’s ever watched the tweets flow by during a big event like the Academy Awards, knows exactly how fascinating this can be.

But don’t limit yourself! Particularly, remember that when you search for people talking about a particular topic, you are finding people that you may want to follow, that you may want to connect with.

Because there are many accounts on Twitter that do NOT interact with others, do searches on things that interest you and look for the people who really DO talk and interact. Check their profiles. These could be great people to connect with.

Remember, finding people interested in the same topics that you are who like to interact on Twitter is a key to building a great network.

4. Twitter Gives You An Outlet Like No Other

Self-expression is a basic human need. You can fulfill that need through work, through creating something, or through communication. Sometimes we just need to get something off our chest to feel better!

Twitter can be the perfect outlet for those times. And sometimes the things you say can connect you to other people who are interested in the same topic. So don’t be afraid to say what you’re thinking. Let Twitter be your therapist…sometimes.

Of course, some people take it to extremes. But if using Twitter as your personal diary is therapeutic for you, go for it! Just don’t expect to get a lot of connections with people from Twitter if you overdo it. Tweeting about the stages you go through to make a sandwich, unless you’re a great writer or really funny, is more likely to keep people away than draw them to you.

But Tweet what you’re thinking sometimes. It just might be the beginning of connecting you to people who can help you, or appreciate your point of view. When did just muttering under your breath ever do that for you?

There are dozens of companies that read through all public tweets to try to figure out, in one way or another, what the world is thinking. What this means for your tweets though, is that sometimes, even if you don’t have a lot of followers, your voice is being heard.

There are companies that try to predict the stock market by summarizing what everyone is saying in their tweets. Amazing, isn’t it? This means that your tweet is being counted as a “vote” of sorts.

So even if you don’t realize it, someone, somewhere is listening to your tweets.

5. Why You Should Start Your Own Anonymous Twitter Account For Fun

Twitter can be an amazingly fun place. From standup comics to hash tag games, from celebrity meltdowns to funny pics and videos, you can spend all your time just going through the funny stuff on Twitter.

But what I’ve seen over and over again in my years on Twitter is how people become funnier themselves…if they’re willing to risk it. Twitter can help develop your sense of humor!

Several people who have started fictional character accounts have mentioned how easy it was to write interesting and funny things once they took on a different persona.

I highly recommend starting an anonymous Twitter account for your most unusual observations. Don’t limit yourself to just talking to inanimate objects or non-humans (Dear Cat, Please read the guidelines for how keep your food in your bowl when eating. Sincerely, your human.)

No one has to know. Almost everyone I know who has tried it has eventually had a day or two that it really meant something to them, and they came up with great observations that they were happy to have saved.

So just do it.

Back to you

What do you think are some of the most misunderstood benefits of Twitter? What do you think of these five points? Leave a comment in the box below—we’d love to hear from you!

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