Follow Foster on TwitterWhat did you do on May 9, 2009? I don’t remember much about that day but it was the day when I first created a Twitter account. On that day, I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Twitter was the hot new social media platform and it was time I got started.

The Tao of Twitter by Mark SchaeferFor at least the first three years, I had no idea how to truly use Twitter. I sent out a few tweets and followed accounts of interest to me. Overall though, not much happened. Then I read the Tao of Twitter and the lightbulb came on.

I wrote more about that in January 2013 in Use The Tao of Twitter to Fully Grasp the Power of Tweeting. While the book is several years old, the information it contains will certainly help you get up to speed if you don’t feel you are using Twitter effectively.

A few months later I wrote Five Tips For Getting Started on Twitter and those tips are still very applicable today. I’ll add a couple more tips to that list below.

Tip #6: How do you prefer your tweets? If you don’t look often, you may want to see the most relevant tweets rather than simply having them listed in the order they were tweeted. Twitter certainly thinks this is what you want and it has been the default setting for a few years. If you’d prefer to see them in order of when they were tweeted, go to your Account Settings and make sure “Show the best Tweets first” is unchecked.

Tip #7: Trying to truly keep up with Twitter on the main Twitter Web site or app is very difficult. A much better option is to use the Tweetdeck tool. I have written about it in the past when it was a standalone program. Now it is just a distinct URL and is officially part of Twitter. Go to and set it up to meet your needs.

Putting Twitter Into Action

Big brands figured out creative ways to use Twitter to promote themselves in a humorous way. I wrote Twitter Can Be a Weird, Wonderful Place and described some weird JC Penney tweets during the Super Bowl. Not long afterwards, the Academy Awards had their own social media moment that I wrote about in Your Big Social Moment Could Happen Anytime, Are You Ready?

A few months later I wrote My Social and Content Marketing Strategy on Twitter about my use of a tool named SocialOomph. I’m still using it today and have hundreds of tweets in my buckets that go out automatically. There have been some recent changes at SocialOomph and I am deciding if I will continue to use it or if I’ll adjust my strategy in a different direction.

The Dark Side of Twitter

Are there bots on Twitter? Yes, though it seems like there are fewer now than a year or two ago. Many of those accounts are discovered faster and removed. Is there a lot of negative rhetoric? Yes, that exists as well. The opposite is also true as there is a lot of positive. It is simply a matter of following those who prefer helping over attacking. Of course there is also a lot of political stuff to be found. You can choose to follow those accounts or to avoid them.

Going Forward

While it took me a few years to get going on Twitter, it has become a very important tool to me. I follow a lot of sources of news about the tech industry. That’s one way I find headlines to include in the Tech News blogs each week. I share a lot of content that I’ve created, but I also share useful information that others have created. Yes, I interact with other Twitter users though that is one area where I’m sure I can improve and I’ve been trying to do that.

If you are not already following me on Twitter, I would appreciate it if you can give me a follow. Of course some of you will need to get started on Twitter so you can follow me. Dedicate some time to Twitter and follow you own interests and you’ll find it a very useful community.

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