Use Twitter as a Testing Ground

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Updated January 28, 2020

Often Twitter can be a powerful tool for getting a sense of what you should build, write, or do. If youโ€™re concerned about investing time, energy, and/or money into a project, using Twitter to gauge initial interest can provide you with a โ€œyesโ€ or โ€œnoโ€ on whether to move forward. For instance, if you want to write a blog post on a topic, testing a potential response by formulating a few tweets on the topic can be an indicator of how people might receive your ideas in long-form. David Perell is one great example: โ€œThe genesis of my own writing course came from Twitter.โ€

โ€‹cautionโ€‹ While your followers can provide valuable information to consider, we do not suggest making decisions based solely on what your followers and Twitter at large find interesting. Feedback you receive on the platform should only serve as data, among other data points, that ultimately allows you to make the best decision.

Conduct Experiments

Twitter gives you access to an unprecedented number of people, providing an opportunity to experiment. You can be creative and thoughtful in thinking about how you can leverage a massive user base to participate in what youโ€™re doing.

Generate Business Ideas

Itโ€™s not unusual for people to share their gripes on Twitter. You can generate business ideas based on the pain points that people often share about. People also use searchable phrases like โ€œrequest for product (RFP)โ€ and โ€œfree business ideaโ€โ€”sometimes in jest but often to generate real conversation.

You can then turn around and test these ideas on the platform, using polls or requesting feedback on something youโ€™re thinking about: โ€œWould anyone be interested inโ€ฆ?โ€

Start Interesting Conversations

Itโ€™s rare that you can stand in a room with strangers and get them to honestly answer questions about themselves or discuss a nuanced topic together. On Twitter, despite the character limit, people are often there precisely for the purpose of engaging in interesting conversation and revealing personal feelings and experiences; it can be easier for a lot of people to engage in this way online than IRL. For your professional growth, Twitter provides a lot of opportunity to get into peopleโ€™s minds at scale. There are endless ways to spark conversations on Twitter. These are popular methods with twists and variations you can explore.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Use Twitter to ask open-ended questions that allow people to be thoughtful. This can lead to interesting discussions in your mentions, often connecting other people (which gives you leverage as a connector), and serves to form an eclectic community around your tweets. People often feel more comfortable answering solicited questions than posting their own thoughts unprompted, giving you and your community a chance to hear from people who might have stayed off the radar otherwise. Kevin Simler often poses questions on a number of topics ranging from high preferences on particular product categories to unconventional lifestyle choices.

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