It seems people from all walks of life uses Twitter! From my researching (Yay Google!), there isn’t a specific group of people drawn to tweeting. I found twitter accounts for soccer moms, stay at home dads, artists, musicians, students, or Great Aunt Evelyn!
How people are using Twitter is just as varied as who is using it. Some people are using it as a form of microblogging, a method of journaling and sharing your life in bite-sized pieces. Others might use it to contact companies directly, live tweet exciting events, share knowledge, get shady and spill the tea, share art, share their opinion, or just to share what they ate for lunch!
I believe the people are using Twitter in this method for many different reasons, some examples might be to vent at a company for receiving horrible customer service, following trending news events, or voice their opinions on important political topics. I feel these all fall under the concept of engaging other people in meaningful conversation.
From my research I have discovered most major businesses, and many smaller ones, is actively using Twitter. Many of these larger companies now have dedicated social media specialists or departments. In smaller companies the social media accounts will be maintained by the owner, or a rotation of different employees. It is also very common now for traditional media companies like news channels and newspapers to be active on Twitter.
Businesses have been using Twitter in many ways; some of the most common has been building their brand awareness, direct customer support, monitoring competition, and marketing. They have been doing this through tools within Twitter like hashtags, direct messages, live tweeting, and promoted advertisements. The traditional media companies have also been using Twitter as a means of posting breaking or important news.
Though each method of using Twitter could lead to many WHYS, I believe the most important is customer engagement. Every time a business uses Twitter it is to engage their customers in some form, and the tools mentioned above only support this ability. An example of this can be seen in the use of hashtags. These searchable tags allow companies to expand the number of people viewing their content outside of their current followers, draw attention to your brand or event, and identify innovative marketing paths through daily trends.
Just as with the personal and professional arenas Twitter is uses by a varied group for education. You can find it used by colleges, districts, schools, teachers, and students.
People in education have been using Twitter to share classroom logistics, collaboration, connect students (or educators!) to experts, engage parents, share research, and build or join professional learning networks.
I feel that some of the most important reasons Twitter is being used in education settings is developing communities, breaking down barriers, generating engagement, and building connections to larger professional networks to increase professional development.