Twitter: Why it Should Matter to You

By: Shama Hyder

If you haven’t already heard of Twitter, you are probably hiding out in a cave! Twitter is the social media site which allows you only 140 characters at a time to convey your thoughts. Think of it like a huge ongoing chat room. Doesn’t sound too appealing you say? Keep reading!

1) Why Twitter?– Twitter is like having your own personal search engine. Once you build up enough followers, you can use Twitter to:

•   quickly mastermind with others
•    find resources and make friends
•    share links to interesting articles (your own and others)
•    learn what’s hot and relevant in your industry
•    people watch online! (think e-cafe)
•    drive traffic to your site (20% of After The Launch’s traffic comes from Twitter)

2) Get started!
– Go to and setup an account. This takes less than a minute. Then add me as a friend by clicking "Follow Me." I will follow you back. This way you will have your first Twitter follower. You can follow whoever you like, but also have the option of keeping your own updates private. Meaning: you get to approve who follows your "tweets" (or messages). Then, watch and learn. See who is saying what and contribute your own two-bit when relevant.

3) Manage your Time
– It’s easy to get carried away with Twitter, but that’s not the best use of your time. When starting out, give it 15 minutes twice a day. Log on, see what’s happening, and have your say. Eventually, you will be able to find your own rhythm for tweeting. At first it can seem like noise, but over time (a few weeks), you will be able to start making connections and finding value.

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  • Alice

    Thanks Shama for enlightening me on Twitter – I have been living in a cave.

  • Pip

    I totally don’t get it. Twitter asks one question: What am I doing? Why would I want to know my friends are painting the bathroom? Why would I want to tell them how I’m wasting my time all day long? What am I missing?

  • Shama

    Hi Alice,

    Get on it! = ) I look forward to connecting with you there.

    Hi Pip,

    It’s true. There are people on Twitter who are doing exactly as you say-bombarding people with too much information. But then there are people who are using Twitter to really make connections.

    Here is what I have used Twitter for since I have been on-

    1) To give out jobs.
    2) Received interview opportunities from bloggers
    3) Gotten prospective clients
    4) Increased traffic to this blog
    5) Made friends!

    Twitter, like most things in life, is what you make of it. You can spend all day updating people on the mundane happenings of life, or you can use it as a strategic tool to share insights, get feedback, and find opportunities.

  • Tracy a.k.a. clikchick

    Thanks for following me Shama. I’m new to Twitter and it has been a great place to speak my thoughts (no matter how small), make business connections for my photography business, and connect with new and old friends.

  • Pamela O’Hara

    Nice article, Shama. Another twitter use is to find relevant conversations on topics that interest you. Following @BeckyMcCray’s advice I found your blog and enjoyed back reading your posts on small business marketing.

  • Mark – Productivity501

    I am approaching Twitter cautiously. Right now I’m kind of just observing from a distance. I like some of the ideas behind it, but I’m concerned it can become a huge time sink. I’m also concerned about some of the privacy implications.

  • Ron@TheWisdomJournal

    Hey Shama – follow me on Twitter. I’m —wisdomjournal– on there.

    It really isn’t a huge time sink, it could be, but I’ve found it better for just keeping in touch and keeping up with people. For that matter, ANYthing could become a time sink.

  • Shama

    Welcome Pamela! = )

    Mark: Let me know how you like it.

    Ron-I will see you there! = )