Pros & Cons of Twitter for Business and Personal Use [50 Free Tools + Resources]
Unlike Facebook where you just follow friends and family you already know Twitter gets used to follow mostly strangers you are interested in.
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Indeed I’ve been using Twitter for personal and business purposes since 2008 and it is a powerful link sharing, social networking and crowdsourcing tool for me. These are just the most obvious benefits of using Twitter.
Twitter Pros and Cons Overview
Not interested in the free tools and resources? Just want a quick overview of the Twitter pros and cons for personal and business use? Here they are:
|there is a lot of traffic generation potential||traffic generation works mostly for mainstream opinions|
|meeting like-minded individuals globally is easy||getting into trouble with trolls and bots is easy|
|messages are short and thus not as labor-intensive||Twitter can be a time-suck despite the shortness of updates|
|you can get the latest news quickly||you can get inundated with depressing bad news|
|it’s easy to follow different types of people via lists||you can get overwhelmed by the sheer number of updates|
|Twitter does not require real names||Fake accounts are a problem despite crackdowns|
|Twitter gives your business free publicity||People rarely buy directly on or from Twitter|
|No political ads are allowed on Twitter||Donald Trump and other provocateurs spread division|
|Twitter is great for free speech and self-expression||You can get easily persecuted for your Twitter updates|
Twitter wasn’t my favorite tool from the start. It took me some time to get it or even to understand why I need Twitter and what the pitfalls are.
For those still undecided here are the pros, cons and Twitter tools to make the experience of tweeting much more convenient as well as productive.
Indeed Twitter is a lot like Facebook although it’s a different concept.
Both sites do not necessarily result in significant direct traffic or other benefits you can measure easily unless you are very popular.
I wanted to share my thoughts on Twitter to help you decide whether it makes sense or not.
Additionally I collected Twitter related tools and resources to enable you to answer the question: to tweet or not to tweet?
Also once you decided you actually want to use it despite the potential cons, you will find plenty of ideas how to use it below:
Reasons to Use Twitter
As you might suspect there are plenty of reasons to use Twitter. It often depends on who you are and what you do for a living. Anybody in
will probably use it all the time. Many other business users probably also will but here already there are different opinions.
Some brands consider Twitter to be secondary because other social networking tools are much larger both by sheer user numbers and actual engagement.
Yet Facebook and Instagram – both owned by controversial billionaire Mark Zuckerberg – are walled gardens that hide their content from Google. YouTube is also huge but not a social network at all.
In contrast Twitter updates called tweets show up in Google search results more frequently ever since they reached a deal to display tweets that matter. What does that mean?
Google will sometimes show your tweets on top of search results for your name or business name.
Google does not index all Twitter updates, only those that have been linked to or shared by others in most cases unless your account is very powerful in general.
Twitter is treated like any other website when it comes to indexing and ranking so that linked to pages get an additional boost on Google.
I’ve compiled links providing both actual personal stories of positive Twitter usage and some articles that cover benefits that are objectively there.
With Twitter Communities allowing you to create user groups or smaller semi-private audiences and Super Follows that let you charge for (additional) tweets or perks added in 2021 Twitter seems to be further improving.
- Elon Musk buys 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him the largest shareholder
- Twitter has come up with its answer to subreddits and Facebook groups
- Twitter announces paid Super Follows to let you charge for tweets
- With Twitter deal, Google searches show tweets
- An Example of Twitter’s Real-Life ROI
- How To Make $500,000 A Year On Twitter
- Twitter Will Now Let You Shoot & Upload Video
- Twitter Sues the Government for Violating Its First Amendment Rights
- The Trump bump: Twitter is getting a second look from brands
- More Than Just Marketing – How I Use Twitter
- How to Use Twitter to Your Advantage as a Journalist
- Twitter Saves Man From Egyptian Justice
Reasons NOT to Use Twitter
Twitter is indeed controversial to some extent even after many years of existence. That may be the reason why it never went mainstream like Facebook.
Here are some personal stories and also die hard facts that may discourage you from actually engaging on Twitter. Make sure to find out what the downsides are.
You need to know these things before you actually plunge in and take a deep dive on Twitter. I don’t want you to waste your time and money in case you aren’t really convinced.
In short Twitter has lots of issues. Some of them worse than others and none of them has been devastating yet but they add up. There is a lot of
spreading on the platform. Bots and automated accounts are creating a lot of
Censorship is an ongoing issue that even made billionaire Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX critize the site and buy enough Twitter shares to make him the largest shareholder and de facto owner.
You can even get banned immediately for a petty offense like a joke despite having more than 150k followers.
Personally I had to limit my engagement on Twitter in recent years because the sheer onslaught of negativity, outrage, bad news and propaganda exhausted me.
Below are some of the issues and examples covered in detail on third party sites:
- Aave founder Stani Kulechov’s Twitter account suspended, probably for a joke
- The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting
- Is Twitter About to Make a Huge Mistake?
- Forrester Says Marketers Are Wasting Resources on Facebook, Twitter
- Alwaleed bin Talal: from Saudi prince to king of Twitter?
- How Saudi Arabia Infiltrated Twitter
- Twitter Is Unethical For Business Use
- Twitter and Journalism: Reclaiming the Hunt
- The first casualty of Twitter is nuance
- Twitter Away Your Life With Social Networking
- Twitter is a Complete Waste of Time!
- Ed Sheeran says he’s stopped using Twitter after receiving loads of hatred
- Is Twitter Making Us More Productive?
- Twitter “Silenced” Dissenting Voices During Anti-Government Protests In Egypt
- Trump supporter’s hedge fund buys Twitter shares ‘to oust CEO Jack Dorsey’
Twitter clients are tools that allow you to access Twitter by other means than the Twitter.com website itself.
Here are some of the most popular Twitter tools that could be used as “clients”. Some of them are broader platforms allowing you to access multiple social media sites.
I’ve used most of them myself and still use one of them – TweetDeck – regularly.
Twitter.com is a bit hard to use as you get easily overwhelmed with updates. The new Twitter layout is also quite controversial.
The first three clients are ideal for business use and marketing campaigns. Make sure not to over-automate though!
Hootsuite and Buffer also work with many other social media sites, not just Twitter.
- Tweetdeck: The Twitter owned web based Twitter client for pros
- Hootsuite: Social Media dashboard for teams using Twitter
- Buffer – “a smarter way to share on social media”
- Tweetium premium app for both Windows
- Echofon: Twitter client for Android and various Apple devices
- Twitter’s own mobile apps for Android and iPhone
Free Twitter Scanners
One of the great things about Twitter almost from day one was the plethora of third party tools enhancing the user experience of the service.
Many tools have disappeared over the years. Twitter has made it hard for tool makers to stay afloat. Yet some of them remain stable and useful.
The tools you find in this list have been around for many years and have a working business model behind them.
They allow you to scan your tweets for manifold reasons.
You can scan your content or your followers to find out more about yourself and others you interact with.
It’s highly recommended. Otherwise Twitter might be a bit overwhelming.
- The Tweeted Times: A newspaper-like Twitter interface that collects links from your Twitter friends – Take a look at mine
- ManageFlitter – An advanced Twitter account management tool, allows you to mute selfish people etc. Sadly ManageFlitter no longer offers a free option by 2021.
- TweetReach by Union Metrics shows the actual impact on Twitter by displaying statistics for a given hashtag, account or keyword.
- TwitterAudit is a simple yet very useful tool that determines whether the Twitter followers of a given account are real or fake. This also helps to find out whether it is a bot or not itself.
Twitter Howto’s, Tutorials and Resources
When you finally decide to use Twitter for business and get serious about it you’ll notice that it is harder that it might appear at first.
It’s not just about sharing links or short updates and forgetting about them. You won’t have an audience just by tweeting, especially when you solely broadcast instead of engaging.
You need to treat Twitter like a blog and build an audience first.
When you use Twitter for business you will also realize that you can’t simply sell to your followers or that automation of updates won’t suffice.
Make sure to invest some time and effort into your Twitter account. Don’t just get frustrated after a few days or weeks. It might take a while before it works for you.
Twitter use for business is actually pretty hard. That’s why I also offer social media management services for Twitter where I
- build an audience.
on behalf of clients. It’s not unlike ghost writing but I don’t hide the fact that I’m a social media professional and usually add my name (e.g. “Tad”) to updates so they aren’t just bot-like anonymous messages.
- How to Use Twitter for Business: A Practical Guide
- Grow Your Business | Twitter for Business
- The 58 SEO Authorities on Twitter You Need to Follow
- How to Start a Twitter Account for Your Business
- How To Use Twitter: A Beginners Guide
- 20 Essential Twitter Rules You’ve Probably Never Heard
- Understanding Twitter Engagement
- The Golden Rule of Twitter Marketing
- The Complete Guide to Twitter for Your Content Strategy
- Why You Clicked on That Tweet: The Psychology of Twitter Engagement
- How to Run a Twitter Influencer Campaign
- How To Grow Your Personal Brand On Twitter
- How to Retweet the Right Way (With a Comment) on Twitter
- Here’s How to Create Lists on Twitter
- How to Increase The Click-Through Rate On Your Tweets
- 13 Twitter Following Growth Hacks for Small Businesses
How Do You Use Twitter?
Now of course the main reason why I use Twitter is to inform you of my eating habits!
No, just kidding, rather to indoctrinate you with my SEO 2.0 propaganda. It does only make sense when I have enough people to preach to.
OK, follow me now in case you are really serious about the SEO 2.0 cult!
- How do you use Twitter?
- Do you use a client?
- If yes, which one?
- What are you using Twitter for?
- What do you tweet about actually?
- What are you doing?
- What is your user name?
In case it makes sense I’ll
- follow you
- @reply to you
- retweet you!
Did I miss some valuable links? Add them in the comments, this list will be updated in future. Want more? Try 101 tweets on how to use Twitter.
- Originally published: April 30th, 2008.
- Last updated: April 25th, 2022.
Still not convinced you can use Twitter for business purposes but you’d like to? Stuck with a personal account and struggling to keep it alive?
I can take care of your Twitter account for you! I’m a professional social media manager and have been using Twitter successfully since 2008.
* (CC BY-ND 2.0)