A freelance web designer and blogger from Ottawa, ON who spends way too much time on Twitter.

5 Alternate Ways to Use Twitter

When you ask someone who doesn’t use Twitter why they abstain, you’ll most likely hear, “There’s no point”, “I’m on enough networks already”, or my least favourite, “I don’t need to hear what anybody had for breakfast.” Sigh.

These are all obviously silly reasons but they do show something important: Twitter has a learning curve. It’s not evident right away what you’re supposed to do. In an effort to help persuade new users to using Twitter, I’ve outlined these five out-of-the-box ways to use Twitter that don’t include talking about breakfast.

1. Newsfeed

A great way to start using Twitter is to replace your RSS reader or whatever way you currently digest news. Your local news channels and newspapers will have a twitter account to keep you in the know, as well as national and international news sources. There are also people who tweet only articles and news from specific niches like web design. You can take it one step forward and use Lists to organize your sources, offering you personalized niche-specific newsfeeds.

2. Find a Job

Twitterers like to help others. That’s why if I was looking for a job here in Ottawa I’d follow @ottawatweetjobs, and if I wanted to land a freelance gig working with Wordpress I’d follow @wordpressjobs. Your area and niche will have people tweeting opportunities as well, and there’s always @monsterkaw, @simplyhired, and @microjobs as well. (For more specific accounts to follow, check out Find a Job on Twitter by Mashable.)

3. Bookmarking

After you start getting all these resources in your Twitter stream you’re going to realize you don’t have time to read it all! That’s ok, just mark it as a “favourite” and read it later. You can also favourite your own tweets, so if you see something elsewhere you’d like to find later just tweet about it and favourite it.

4. Find Deals and Coupons

Everybody likes saving money (I’d hope), and Twitter can help you do that. There are lots of accounts that only tweet sales and coupons, such as @fatwalletdeals, @slickdeals, and @coupontweet.

5. Stalk Celebrities

I don’t know what people’s obsession with celebrities is, but Twitter marks the first service where celebrities and us “common falk” mingle and converse together. Try a search for your favourite celebrity, comic, artist, musician, etc. and I’ll bet you’ll find them tweeting away. P.S: This one you might end up hearing what somebody ate for breakfast.

Now everybody might not think Twitter is for them, but I can guarantee anyone could find usefulness in using at least one of these methods. So next time somebody says Twitter’s not for them, or they’re bored of Twitter and thinking of leaving, offer up one of these solutions.

What neat ways have you been using Twitter?


  • April 1, 2010

    To be honest, I’m using twitter as an RSS reader alternative. I never was addicted to it and it seems to me that I’ll never be.

    Anyway, I didn’t know about the “Find Deals and Coupons” tip and I’d like to thank you for sharing.

  • April 1, 2010

    Nice article, i’m constantly trying to explain twitter to non-believers and here are 5 pretty good reasons for using it (not sure number 5 will sway many people though)

  • April 1, 2010

    My Twitter account is a way to stay in touch with my readers and talk to people I follow. But I agree with author of this post, Twitter do have many alternate ways to be used :) .

  • April 1, 2010

    Twitter is also great for getting tips or help on just about anything. I’ve seen it used to get restaurant recommendations, travel advice, and suggestions for sites to see in a particular area. I’ve gotten invaluable computer help within minutes of asking a question.

    I use Twitter to share what I most love to receive ~ inspiration and encouragement. It also helps me keep in touch with readers and busy friends. It’s been the most efficient and productive communication tool on the web for me.

  • April 1, 2010

    @James – You’d be surprised. Especially celebrities that aren’t plastered everywhere, but smaller ones like musicians etc.

  • April 1, 2010

    I usually use twitter to promote my website. and the topic of twitter is also a topic on my website.

  • April 1, 2010

    I am always trying to explain to people the great things you can use twitter for! These are all really good points.

    I like to follow theatre and entertainment companies and venues to hear about when their tickets go on sale.

    I also like following my football team and participating in twitter footy tipping games like marginmadness!

  • April 3, 2010

    I love the way Twitter has enabled me to connect with like-minded people all over the world. I have four Twitter lists that allow me to follow updates that are relevant to my interests. My lists are Authors, Inspirational, Photography and Micropoetry (haiku). Lists allow me to ignore most of the ‘noise’ and to enjoy my Twitter experience a whole lot more.

    Warm wishes,
    Mia Rose

  • April 5, 2010

    Though I use Twitter for business and general friendship/networking, I love finding coupons and sales on Twitter! Its pretty easy to do a search for something you’re looking for.

  • April 7, 2010

    I follow NCAA football writers, coaches, bloggers, and a handful of passionate fans. Easy way to get links to updated stories.

  • April 7, 2010
    irwin raymund

    i tweet to keep a step ahead about the going ons or as they use to call: news. no such thing as “as of press time” with twitter. the news comes to us. just follow wisely!

  • April 9, 2010

    I mainly use twitter to learn more about what’s going on in the world and to share great insights, tools and proven strategies and methodologies with my branding and business performance coaching clients.

    I also use it to follow some of my prospect clients to get to know them better.

  • April 10, 2010

    In my opinion, the basic use of Twitter are:
    - Close knit group of people (Probably this is the only purpose the founders invented Twitter for.)
    - Companies and celebrities (Tho, still not ideal.)
    - And of course to stalk influencing people.
    - RSS feed.

    Everything else is overrated and over-hyped.

    You can’t really build a meaningful relationship in Twitter (150 characters? I’d use Facebook and Blackberry Messenger instead.)
    You can’t really build a reputation in Twitter (Sooner or later some nuts will ruin your profile.)

  • April 16, 2010

    I’m loving my life -and actually LIVING it, moment by moment- rather than documenting each moment or following others who document theirs. There are wonderful life experiences in the unplugged, non-virtual world; free of marketing “gurus” and the wide-eyed supplicants.

  • April 17, 2010

    Amazing, the level of BS you all engage in, and regurgitate:
    “…to share great insights, tools and proven strategies and methodologies with my branding and business performance coaching clients. ”
    gurus, visionaries, brandology…. geez… the kewl/”cute” buzzwords and deceptions have reached levels I could never have imagined.

  • April 17, 2010

    you (the marketers/branders/strategizers) are all the snake-oil salesmen of the 21st century, passing yourselves off as cool, “enlightened” ‘n hip; but are simply wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  • April 23, 2010

    Thanks for the jobs tip.

    Do you know of any way to send entries from yahoo calendar (or google calendar) automatically to Twitter?

  • May 19, 2010
    Steve Farrant

    I have no specific preference for who i follow on Twitter, for me its just about the general response i get from their tweets, if something interests me or makes me laugh then twitter has done its job for me.

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