Creative, Innovative Uses of Twitter

Many casual social media users use Twitter (or similar microblogging services such as Plurk or Pownce) to stay in touch with their friends, share links, or promote recently updated content on blogs or websites.

But businesses, news organizations, politicians, public awareness campaigns and non-profits are increasingly popping up in the Twitterverse as well, and some of them are using Twitter in interesting and innovative ways to connect with target audiences, or even provide enhanced user services.

Interested in how the latest weather conditions on the other side of the country might be affecting the scheduled departure time for your Jet Blue flight? Hop on over to @JetBlue’s feed for weather alerts, plus travel tips, and news on the airline’s latest security and pricing procedures. If you’re flying Southwest Airlines, visit @SouthwestAir for the same sort of info.

Looking for a deal on a refurbished laptop? @DellOutlet tweets some of their best new deals. Dell also has a Digital Media Team exclusively devoted to providing customer service and product information via social media channels, including through Twitter. If your Dell laptop cord just split in half, and you complain about it on Twitter, you just might find a response from @RichardatDELL or @JohnatDell in your feed. Of course, if you’re a Mac user, you may want to subcribe to @Apple_News instead.

National and local news organizations increasingly use Twitter to advertise new content and keep followers informed of the latest news updates. CNN and MSNBC both offer several different specialized Twitter feeds to choose from. Plugged-in news junkies can follow @CNNI for CNN International updates, or @MSNBC_politics for the latest political headlines.

Here in St. Louis, both STLToday.com (the Post-Dispatch website) and new online news source the St. Louis Beacon tweet updates, as @STLToday and @STLBeacon, respectively. Local CBS affiliate KMOV is on Twitter as @KMOV, as is Fox affiliate KTVI as @myfoxstl.

In the world of politics, If you follow @BarackObama on Twitter, he’ll follow you back so you can direct message him with policy tips or campaign strategy ideas. The person tweeting as @JohnMcCain, though, is an impostor, and not a very entertaining one; @JohnMcCain has only posted three times. However, @NRSC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is the real deal, and publishes updates regularly.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children posts missing child alerts via Twitter under @missingchildren, and also lets followers know when children who have been reported missing are found.

Individual users are also finding interesting, unique ways to repurpose Twitter. Twitter user @Maureen runs a separate account as @cookbook, where she posts entire recipes condensed into 140 characters. Several Twitter users use Twitter as as a publishing tool for short-form poetry or haiku. And @TwitterStory has created a public game of exquisite corpse.

Have you discovered a Twitter feed that enhances customer experience, provides a public service, or serves as an important source of information to followers? What is the most creative use of Twitter you have seen? Please let us know in the comment thread!

This post submitted by Guild Member Jaelithe, who also writes at The State of Discontent and MOMocrats.com.

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One Response to “Creative, Innovative Uses of Twitter”

  1. What a great post! I’m sending this to my husband so he can see I’m not wasting my time. Heh.

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