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15 Innovative Uses for Twitter (That You Probably Haven't Thought Of)

Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by aistee, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. aistee

    aistee Regular Member

    Jul 6, 2008
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    Those of us who are daily Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/kamper
    ) users already grok the power of the application and
    it's potential. But there are still a lot of Twitter critics
    out there, as well as those people who just don't understand
    how to use it.

    I recently saw this comment on a blog: "I've been tweeting
    but... from what I've seen in the last couple of weeks, it's
    either a 'look at me' or a 'look at this' arena."

    Sure Twitter is a great communication channel and as such, you
    do find a lot of self-promotion and name dropping. But there is
    so much more to Twitter. The comment got me thinking, would the
    critics feel the same if they could see more innovative ways to
    use it?

    So I decided to put together a list of some of the more unique
    and inventive uses for Twitter. Some already exist while others
    are my own ideas. Here goes:

    1) Community Help Desk - I've already used Twitter several
    times to investigate an issue I've been having with my
    computer, or a problem one of my clients has come across. Just
    yesterday I was able to pinpoint the source of a domain redirect
    issue because my followers in other countries could reach the
    site even though I was being redirected.

    2) Write a Collaborative Book - you and a bunch of your favorite
    Tweeps could write a novel, one sentence (tweet) at a time. The
    results could range from hilarious to Shakespearean. I thought
    of this while reading about the popularity of Japanese novels
    composed via mobile text messages, but it turns out that some
    attempts have been made at this already e.g. 140 Novel
    (http://twitter.com/140novel) and Good Captain
    (http://twitter.com/goodcaptain). You could do a similar thing
    with song lyrics.

    3) Live Webinars/Tutorials - you could create a new Twitter
    account with protected updates and ask invitation-only
    participants to follow you. Then you could hold a *closed*
    webinar at a pre-arranged time using Twitter for delivery
    instead of expensive webinar solutions. Twitter allows you to
    live chat, post links, photos, videos, audio files and text so
    there is no need for any plug-ins. You could even use a Twitter
    buffer like Twuffer (http://twuffer.com/) to space out the
    content of the webinar via tweets over a specific timeframe.

    4) Free Market Research - Who needs to pay expensive market
    research companies to learn stuff about your latest product?
    Just send a link, a free sample or a short survey to your
    followers and watch the feedback flow in.

    5) Online Reputation Management - Twitter is ideal for tracking
    what people are saying about you, your company or your product.
    You can use Twitter Search (http://search.twitter.com/) to enter
    keywords or hash tags. Or you can use purpose-built widgets such
    as TweetBeep (http://tweetbeep.com/) which work just like Google
    Alerts and send you regular emails containing any discussions
    involving your chosen Twitter accounts or hash tags. These work
    well for competitor tracking too.

    6) Laugh a Day / Therapy - I'm consistently amazed how many
    long-term Twitter users fail to use the favorites option to
    bookmark tweets that they like. Whenever I read a tweet that
    makes me laugh out loud, I favorite it immediately. Then,
    whenever I am feeling a bit flat, stressed or sense a bad mood
    coming on, I turn to my favorites list knowing I will be
    giggling in no time. You can also rely on your followers to
    sense when you're down and cheer you up.

    7) Competitions - Companies like Zappos (http://twitter.com/
    zappos) and Hand Bag Heaven (http://twitter.com/handbagheaven)
    have been holding competitions on Twitter for a while now. You
    basically elicit a response from your followers in exchange for
    the chance to win something. You could ask a question about one
    of your products or ask followers to find something on your site
    to win a gift certificate. But with a bit of ingenuity, you can
    be even more inventive.

    DVDQuotes (http://twitter.com/dvdquotes) posts questions
    starting with WMITF, (which stands for Which Movie Is This From?)
    and gives away random DVDs to the Twitter user with the first
    correct tweet. Actor and Comedian Stephen Fry
    (http://twitter.com/stephenfry) declared December 1 to be Oscar
    Wilde Day and asked his 30,000 plus followers to post Wildesque
    tweets using the hash tag #oscarwildeday for a chance to win
    downloads of his audio book. The competition took on a viral
    quality (http://www.stephenfry.com/blog/2008/12/06/
    oscarwildeday-in-the-twitterscape/) and earned the comedian at
    least 2,000 new followers within 48 hours.

    8) Virtual Alarm Clock - Did you know you can use Twitter to set
    appointment reminders for yourself or others? You can use tools
    such as the Retweet Timer (http://retweet.com/timer) and
    Twittercal (http://twittercal.com/) to tweet events from your
    Google Calendar as @replies to your Twitter profile at pre-set
    dates and times.

    9) Idea Sharing / Community Mind Mapping - So this amazing
    business idea comes to you in the shower and you are busting to
    make it happen. But you want to be sure that your stroke of
    brilliance is fabulous and not folly. This is where your Twitter
    followers come in. Whether you tweet publicly or DM only your
    most trusted followers to keep it under wraps, you'll get
    unbiased and practically instantaneous feedback on your big
    plans. Would you use it? Could it work? How much would you pay
    for it? What features should it have? Tapping into the combined
    brain power of your Twitter community is a great way to flesh
    out a business plan.

    10) Competitor Tracking - You can use Twitter to monitor the
    activities of your enemi... er competitors without alerting
    them. Simply create an anonymous Twitter account and start
    following them. If they bad-mouth your company, or tweet about
    a product that may threaten your market share, you'll know

    11) Bug Testing - Along the same lines as 4), you can use your
    Twitter followers as live BETA testers when you roll out a new
    product or software version. Your followers will often report
    bugs faster than paid customers because they *know* you and want
    you to succeed.

    12) Become Your Favorite Character - Ever idolize a particular
    movie star or TV character? Why not create an account for them
    and tweet in character? A few tweeps have done this already,
    with hilarious results e.g. Laura Ingalls (http://twitter.com/
    HalfPintIngalls) from Little House on the Prairie and
    wheelchair-bound Andy from Little Britain (http://twitter.com/
    andypipkin). Just make sure you don't step on the toes of the
    official sites representing the character in question.

    13) Sport / Treasure Hunt Aid - With it's 140 character limit,
    Twitter is the perfect medium to deliver clues for online and
    offline scavenger hunts and popular sports such as geocaching

    14) Live Presentation Aid - Presenting at a conference or other
    event with Internet access from your laptop? You can tweet on
    the big screen to a) make a point b) elicit a response from
    Tweeps in the audience c) conduct live research d) gain instant
    feedback on a topic or question. I've used Twitter this way in
    the past and not only is it entertaining for the audience, but
    it's also a great way to overcome stage fright.

    15) Build a Twitter Application - Despite not being monetized
    yet, Twitter's phenomenal growth has spurred the development of
    hundreds of applications (http://twitter.com/downloads) that
    make money from Twitter either via advertising or donations.
    Why not build your own application around Twitter and make your
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  2. litenup

    litenup Junior Member

    Mar 6, 2008
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    Trying to graduate from being a noob
    Pacific Northwest
    5 Innovative Uses for Twitter
    (That You Probably Haven't Thought Of)
    By Kalena Jordan (c) 2008

    original post here


    other interesting articles also
  3. tecn9e

    tecn9e Newbie

    Dec 7, 2008
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    Ive never thought of alot of those ideas. Nice article.