4 Ways To Get Value From Social Media

Last week I had a great chat with a very smart group of people on the ethics of using technology to capture people’s emotions. It was a very accomplished group of people I had never met; except for Sunil.

Just before we went live, I had a chat with Tom Koulopoulus, founder of Delphi Group; he asked me how I met Sunil. Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve met the most interesting people through Twitter; that’s how I met Sunil.

Tom and I agree that most people see Twitter as a big time waste and don’t get any value from it. I think their expectations get in the way, thinking Twitter is like Facebook; it’s not. I’ve written about this before; Twitter is what you make of it.

For me, the main reasons people don’t get value from Twitter, or social media in general, are:

  • You expect a Facebook clone;
  • You don’t know what you’re looking for and what you want to do;
  • You create your own echo chamber;
  • You don’t add value.

With that said, whether you want to increase the quality of your network, generate leads for your business, put yourself on the map, be someone people will want to know, here’s how you can get value from Twitter:

Treat Twitter different from Facebook

Twitter is different than Facebook in many ways. Yes, it has social network features such as a feed, the ability to share things such as photos, videos, links and thoughts; the difference is you can customize your feed by segmenting topics, hashtags and people you follow.

Facebook is for the friends you already have, Twitter is for the friends you want to have.

Know what you’re looking for and what you want to do

You got to have a goal, and that goal isn’t about being another account that just pushes mindless content out to the network. Be interesting and be interested in what other people are posting and commenting on is a great to get started.

Break away from your network

Where all think alike nobody thinks very much. It’s time to break from orbit if you find yourself not thinking a lot, or agreeing with everyone in your network. Humans have a tendency to hang out with people who think alike, the problem is it limits perspective. Twitter, if done right, amplifies ones perspective.

The key is being proactive about it. I’m part of many groups, and have left many others because the conversations and perspectives become repetivite. Don’t be that person that repeats the same thing over and over again, you’re not adding any value.

Add value to get value

I’ve been on Twitter since their 2nd year, and have seen it evolve from a small town where everyone knows each other to one where serendipity happens. Any platform that doesn’t charge a fee to its users and grows runs into the same problem: excessive promotion from marketers.

Excessive promotion is a part of Twitter. Most of this promotion doesn’t add any value; it’s repetitive and worthless. You don’t want to be that persons that self-promotes and just pushes out content and messages, you want to be someone who’s adding to the conversation rather than just making noise to get attention.

Believe me, getting attention is easy; maintaining it in an authentic way is another story.


Bottom line: Surround yourself with people who inspire and challenge you to be better. You can find these people on Twitter. But more importantly, be that person for others.