Senior’s Twitter Guide: Part 1 | Why Seniors Should Use Twitter

April 14, 2010

Impowerage on TwitterOn our website sidebar you may have noticed that Impowerage is on Twitter. While many are skeptical that seniors are using Twitter, we know that there are seniors on Twitter. We even follow Ivy Bean, a 104-year-old woman who tweets from England. But for those of you who are still wondering what Twitter is, we’ve created a guide to Twitter specifically for older users.

What is Twitter?

A popular definition is that Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows people to type in short messages or status updates called tweets that can be read by people following users.

It is similar to Facebook status updates but Twitter messages are available to anyone on the internet unless you protect your tweets. With Facebook you have to wait until a person accepts your request to be friends but on Twitter you can follow anyone you find interesting.

Impowerage on Twitter

So why is a senior’s magazine on Twitter? We use Twitter for a number of things. We want to be able to see what today’s seniors are interested in. We share our latest articles but also share other articles that would be of interest to our readers. By following seniors, other magazines and people interested in senior issues we keep up-to-date with current trends and interesting articles.

Why Seniors Should Use Twitter

Your Own Personal Newsfeed

You have a variety of interests that a single newspaper or magazine can’t cover. With Twitter you create your own personal newsfeed. You can get information on local events, celebrities, politicians and other hobbies or interests.

Much like you read a newspaper by scanning the headlines, on Twitter you can see short headlines describing an article and you can decide if you want to click on the link to read the rest of the story.

News is published on Twitter as it happens and if something big happens you’ll likely find out when someone you follow tweets about it. In fact, Twitter became more widely known after a user tweeted a link to a picture of the US Airways plane in the Hudson River.

Twitter News Example

Have a Voice

Unlike traditional media where it is a one-way medium, you can be involved in Twitter. You can re-broadcast the information you find valuable. You can comment on issues and share your own views.

You can quickly and directly contact local politicians, celebrities and other people you don’t know. You don’t have to find out their address and compose a lengthy message, you can instantly let them know your opinion. These are people you will probably never meet in real life but now you can get daily updates on their lives and their interests.

Public figures tend to have thousands if not millions of followers and they may not respond but they generally do read their messages because a 140 character tweet is easier to read quickly than a lengthy e-mail.

You can also use Twitter to quickly inform friends about your daily life. You can tweet about things that aren’t important enough for an e-mail but something you would mention to your friends if you bumped into them. You can also keep track of what they are up to.  You may also connect with other people with similar interests and strike-up an online friendship.

Promote Yourself, Business or Blog

If you’ve written a book or have a business to promote, Twitter is a great way to get your message out. It also helps you network virtually with people in your industry. You can keep up-to-date with the latest industry trends and even establish relationships with people.

Bloggers use Twitter to let their followers know every time a new blog is published. They can get instant feedback on their articles and find new people who are interested in their blog.

Twitter Hashtag Example

Get Answers to Your Questions

Once you have followers you can send out questions. You can ask for recommendations for local restaurants, technical questions or anything else on your mind. People on Twitter are very helpful and willing to help out.

Senior’s Twitter Guide Part 2 & 3

Now that you know why you should twitter you need to learn how to use it. Read Part 2 of the Twitter Guide for Seniors about the basics of using Twitter. Part 3 of our series will help you find interesting people to follow.

If you have any questions you want covered in the next part of the series, I’d be happy to answer them. Leave a comment below with your questions. If you are already on Twitter please leave a comment with your twitter name.

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