Patrick Iber has a very good essay on how academics can use Twitter effectively
for Inside Higher Ed
. Patrick provides some some helpful information for academics who are unfamiliar with Twitter or who don't see the value in it, should reconsider.
Twitter is an odd platform for academics, to be sure. But if soapbox preaching trained its speakers in the techniques that could effectively gather an audience, Twitter can do the same. For now, it is the best way to speak, and try to find, an interested public. It is the place to give away your ideas until, perhaps, someone offers to pay you for them.
You may learn about academic opportunities there. You may learn about things you should read or people you should know. You may get good career advice or emotional support in difficult times. You may find ways to write for blogs. You may find ways to write for magazines. You may find ways to have your work translated.
You may just enjoy it. It is not in itself an academic pursuit, but it has made me a better scholar and a better writer -- 140 characters (plus images, GIFs, quotes and emoji) at a time.
Basically, just be a very good person. Fortunately, I am in a very good department and my colleagues down the hall with whom I interact most frequently are also stand up people. However, being a good colleague is not something that comes naturally to some academics. For them, Twitter will most likely be a terrible experience. Stay away.