Guest Post: How Students Can Use Twitter Like A Boss

This is a guest post by my good friend Leo Widrich. You can read more about him in his author bio below the post, and you can also watch my interview with him here.

To me, college was the very first time I could connect with people based on interests only. It was no longer the accidental connections with people in the same classroom or neighborhood.

Here is where Twitter helped me a great deal. The interest-based approach, different to Facebook’s friends focus made it a lot easier for me to learn about what it is I want to do.

Here are 5 Tips I hope to help you get the most of Twitter, whilst enjoying your time in college.

Make “Getting” Twitter Easy

It took me about 4 months to get fully hooked on Twitter. Quite some time just to get started with a social network right? One thing that really helped me the most to get into the habit of using it regularly was to share news on there.

The app that made it easiest for me to do so is Buffer. Whenever I was reading an article that I liked, I would “Buffer” it. This means the app would post it to Twitter at times my followers were likely to be online. After I Buffered 5 or 6 Tweets I accidentally checked in on Twitter itself and found that a few people replied and commented. This was a great way to see the value and get started with Twitter fully.

I think that was also one of the main reasons for me to get involved working on the app.

Find People that Make it Worth Hanging Out with on Twitter

Of course Twitter itself doesn’t do anything for you. It is the great people you can meet through the platform that make me recommend it to anyone I talk too. When you are starting out, there are a few great places to find people to follow based on your interests.

A site that I used heavily to find like-minded people is called WeFollow. It gives you a great overview which people are influential based on various topics you might like. Similar sites include TweetDeck’s directory or Twellow.


Don’t Hesitate to Start Talking

Twitter is an incredibly open and open-minded platform. The people I have met there are usually way smarter than those I meet elsewhere. One of the things I learned quickly is that to use it effectively, starting to chat away without hesitating helps a lot.

If there is someone you enjoy following, simply hit reply and tell them that. Take a piece from someone’s bio you can relate to or retweet one of their Tweets with a comment to kick off a conversation. The more I did these things, the more fun I was having.

Especially whilst in college it helped me to lead meaningful conversations about the things that interest me. It led to a greater focus to figure out if this or that topic really is the one I want to learn more about.


Try a Few of the Great Twitter Tools

If you just start hanging out on Twitter, I think sticking with for some time is a great starting point. What I soon realized is that Twitter’s amazing eco-system of apps built on top of it is well worth exploring. They add the spice to Twitter.

My personal favorite for a client is TweetDeck. A tool I greatly enjoy to simply read Tweets is called as it orders the Tweets by most mentioned. It makes it very easy to see what is most talked about. I also greatly enjoyed hooking up Tweriod, an app that tells me the best times to tweet together with my Buffer account.

Have Fun and Build Your Network

Above all things it is key to enjoy the time you are spending on Twitter. The greatest part of following the things that interest you is that you are building your network simultaneously – most likely without even realizing it.

If you start meeting more and more people with the same interests via Twitter, it will give you a huge boost when you want to launch one of your own projects online, for example. You can do this all naturally by growing your account and when you need it you can leverage it for your ideas. Here is a great example of how we used this for our startup.

Starting out on Twitter while in college was great and is great fun for me. Now that I actively try to collaborate with others in this space it makes my life a lot easier.

What are your experiences with Twitter? Is it worth it to get fully involved while still in college?

Leo is a student at the Warwick Business School in Coventry, UK. He is a co-founder of Buffer, a Twitter app that lets you build up a "buffer" of scheduled tweets. You can connect with him on Twitter!

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  1. Twitter is the best social sites ! its just used for traffic and famous of your sites..what do you think about digg and stumble lol):

  2. @thomasfrank09 I’m really into personal branding, as well, and I’ve done some sessions on it. I would love to have you as a guest speaker on a personal branding webinar! Let’s get it set up!

  3. @laya_malka there are so many topics I’m interested in – basically thing that fall under the college success niche. I’m especially interested in personal branding for students.

  4. @thomasfrank09 Well, I am going to start planning some webinars with guest speakers. Would you want to do one? What would you like to speak about?

  5. I’ve been doing some presentations on social media for college students and new grads. @thomasfrank09

  6. I love this! I have been presenting about this a lot lately.

  7. @annedreshfield one of my biggest goals with this site is to teach students the importance of building a personal brand, and being on Twitter is no small part of that. Still, I have friends who are very resistant to it as well; it’s hard to get them to see the point. They still think it’s just for tweeting about what you’re eating for lunch. Hopefully we can get them to see the real potential in it.

  8. @annedreshfield Hi Anne,

    Thanks for your comment, glad you liked the post.

    Awesome, great job on converting them and amazing to see you are getting fully involved on getting your school hooked on social media! That’s something I tried hard too, but turns out to be a very tedious process.

    Hehe, tell me about it. I am sure you are going to be successful with all the effort you are putting in! 🙂

  9. @Justicewordlaw starbucksdave That’s great to hear, let me check out starbucksdave ‘s post, I am sure I can learn lots from it!

    Me too, I am a big TweetDeck fan. Fantastic, hope you get a chance to check out Buffer, would love to hear your thoughts on it.

    @thomasfrank09 thanks a ton for the props here, so glad it continues to be useful for you. It definitely is amazing to have people like you on board that support us in that way! 🙂

  10. @TyrellMara tyrellmara Hi Tyrell,

    Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting here!

    That’s really interesting to hear that it took you a while too, I think this must be a common thing then.

    Awesome, glad you like the points and amazing you like Buffer!

    So true, I think universities are using new media and especially Twitter not enough.

    Sure thing, will head over to your post and take a look! 🙂

  11. Leo, awesome post! I also started using Twitter in University and while it took me a little while to get the hang of it (as it does most), I fell in love with engaging and having conversation with great new connections that I could not make elsewhere.

    You make some great points and I love your emphasis on personal engagement. I have also really enjoyed your guys’ development of Buffer, it is a great tool!

    Finally, I believe that there is a huge opportunity for University students to learn and leverage the power of Twitter while they are in school to help establish connections in the next step of life, before that time even comes.

    I wrote a very similar post on my blog a while back and would love for you to check it out!

    Thanks again for your great post!




  12. @Justicewordlaw I’ve been using Buffer for quite a while now, and I love it! To me it’s the perfect scheduling app – I don’t have to set the time for every tweet like I’d have to with Tweetdeck.

    That said, I do use Tweetdeck a lot, and it’s an amazing product as well.

  13. Really good post that you suggested. Yesterday starbucksdave wrote a great post on how Starbucks changed the way he uses Twitter I have been using Tweetdeck a lot with finding new people within different niches to connect with. That has been one of the best apps I have found. Buffer is an app I have been seeing around lately that I am going to have to check out and see how it works out.

  14. Awesome post, Leo. I’ve converted several of my college friends to Twitter, and I’m keeping a close eye on my school’s attention to social media — I really want them to build up a stronger presence, particularly on Twitter. One of my best friends is one of those Twitter-hating people who just says “but I don’t know what it’s FOR!/What is the POINT?!” non-stop. Working on her to reduce the hate. It’s slow going, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be successful eventually. 😉

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