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5 Ways to Use Twitter if You Hate Social Media

Using Twitter doesn’t mean you have to love social media. In fact, you can hate it.

I know I’m one of the least social-networking people out there. Heck, I’ve never even had a Facebook account. But Twitter isn’t all-or-nothing. I use Twitter for reasons that benefit me. And so can you, without having to share your updates or what you’re up to, connect with people virtually, and all that other social-networking nonsense. Here are 5 ways to use Twitter if you hate social media:

1. Set up a Twitter feed for your blog.
Free services like Twitterfeed and FeedBurner will take your blog’s RSS feed and automatically post a message on your Twitter account whenever you have a new post. The message will have the title of the post and a shortened-URL link to it. Automated hands-off goodness. Why would you want to set this up? To offer a feed for those who prefer to get their latest content via Twitter instead of RSS and/or email. I’ve done this for my blog detailing my music-making and business-building adventures.

2. Use Twitter as customer support for your site/company/service.
More and more entrepreneurs and companies are doing this. It’s like a hybrid virtual ticket/FAQ system. Your users can quickly send their questions to you (the virtual ticket part). And when you answer them, other users see your reply, thus reducing repeated questions (the FAQ part).

3. Do Twitter searches to find potential leads and clients.
It’s like a pseudo-classified board. You can do keyword searches for your niche, or even search for specific questions or problems that people would have (ex. “I need X for my Y, anybody know someone?”). I’ve personally found web design clients this way.

4. Do Twitter searches to collect free testimonials.
If people are using and digging your stuff, just do a search for your product/service name (or your name if you are the service). When you see positive Twitter messages praising your stuff, you can freely snag that quote and put it on your site or wherever, making sure to put the person’s name (and a link to the Twitter message for authenticity). What’s great is you don’t have to ask permission, since what the person wrote is already public anyway, and you’re attributing and linking to it.

5. Use Twitter as a quick collaboration tool.
Communicate with clients and partners via private Direct Messages. The 140 character limit forces you to be succinct and ask actionable questions. Plus, sending a Twitter message is less of this big thing than an email, so you can fire off quick collaboration questions and updates without making a deal out of it, or taking much time and attention away from your clients and partners.

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