Twitter for Research?

How can you get the most recent information? Consider Twitter as a source. Here are several good reasons for you to try it.


Why Twitter can be beneficial

Journalists want to gather new information as quickly as possible. Twitter is an underestimated tool when it comes to research. Finding news and trends on Twitter can be very productive and beneficial for journalists. The relevance and usefulness of Twitter depends on which accounts you are following. By following different Twitter accounts that are important for your research, you can broaden your point of view extensively. The more appropriate accounts you are following, the more potential news you can get! But how can you find these useful accounts? There are several ways which help you in finding suitable ones:

  • Names: There are always people you know personally. Type these names into Twitter search and filter for “people”. Beware of fake accounts! Look closely: Is there a website link? And the other way around: Can you find a link on this website back to this Twitter account?
  • Who is following? So now you clarified whether it is a true account. Have a look at who is following this account. Sometimes, there are interesting profiles that could be useful for your research.
  • Twitter recommendations: Twitter offers a tool called “Whom to follow?” which is based on your Twitter activity. It gives you suggestions for interesting accounts. The longer you have an active Twitter account, the better the recommendations will be. Make use of them.


Take care of your Timeline

Those who follow the above advice will quickly have several hundreds Twitterers to follow. Your own timeline can quickly become very confusing, especially, if you follow very active Twitterers. The question is: How can I keep my Twitter account in order?

  • Make lists: For example, you’re interested in what Music journalists twitter, therefore you collect them in your list titled “Music journalists”. Clicking on this list, you can view only the tweets of music journalists.
  • Hashtags: If you only click on Hashtags with topics you are interested in, you will have an extensive source of new information available.

Through the smart use of hashtags and lists, Twitter becomes a “personalized news agency.



Tweetdeck is a Twitter software that can help you with your research. Tweetdeck works with columns that show you specific Twitter content. Here are some of the most important features:

  • List
  • Hashtag
  • Search
  • Mentions (if your own Twitter account is mentioned by another account)
  • Messages (for example, of new followers)
  • Complete timeline
  • Twitter trends
  • Activity of your Twitter network

Tweetdeck can make your research a lot easier and fun. Try it!

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