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Be active on Twitter

It is not easy and intuitive to understand as Facebook and LinkedIn

Gautam Ghosh 

Among Facebook, and Twitter, the three big social networks, I spend maximum time on Many people who have tried can't carry on and abandon it. It is not easy and intuitive to understand as and Both of these networks have language we can understand - friends and connections.

However has "followers" and "following" (I follow 500+ people while 15,300+ follow me) which don't make sense to many people. We are not used to non-reciprocal relationships in real life usually. But if you persist, can be an enormously useful tool for networking and learning. Here is how:

* You can interact with thought leaders: I don't mean the garden variety of thought leaders. I mean the real deal. People like Tom Peters. Yes, I've had conversations with Tom Peters on Ten years ago I would have had to pay a hefty fee to just listen to Tom Peters. Where else can you do that, eh? There's Ken Blanchard, Clayton Christensen, Robin Sharma - all active on

* You can follow experts in your industry: You know that picky guy who won't accept your connection request. Well, if he's active on you can follow his updates without waiting for his "permission" (unless he has kept his account protected - in which case he doesn't get the point of anyway). It's a great tool especially if you are exploring business partnerships.

* Participate in Tweetchats for learning: A tweetchat is a series of tweets in which many people post about a pre-decided topic that is moderated by a moderator using a hashtag - an anchor text to find tweets about a particular topic. For example, I participate in HR oriented Tweetchats like #IndiaHRchat, #HRtrends and #chrdx. There are chats about customer service, PR etc.

* Get to know what's happening around you: The real-time nature of makes is a fertile ground for breaking news. It helps that many journalists and editors are active on and you get to know things before the mainstream media does.

* Whom you follow defines what your experience is like: Don't feel shy about unfollowing people who tweet a lot or tweet stuff that is no longer interesting for you. Also stay away from people who are regularly whining and negative.

* Use lists to find people to follow: Many people have curated lists of people on For example, I have a list of 525 Indian HR professionals on and 60 social media professionals. In fact, you can find every kind of list on Use them to find relevant people to follow.

The author is Gautam Ghosh, senior HR professional. Re-printed with permission.

First Published: Mon, September 01 2014. 00:08 IST