Twitter 101- Defining Common Terms Part 1

The wonderful world of Twitter can hit you in the face like a 6 degree wind chill on a mean winter morning (you homegrown Cali folks probably don’t know too much about that…be glad!). Saying that Twitter is overwhelming to a newcomer is an understatement. With the 140 character rules, hashtags, abbreviations, and specific lingo, it’s pretty much its own subculture.  BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t acclimate and join along for the ride. To help with your acclimation to Twitter, we came up with this Twitter Dictionary, Twictionary, if you will **wink**

Twitter Dictionary (1)

RT – Retweet

A Retweet happens to you when you’re awesome and have kick ass content that people deem share-worthy, OR when you find someone else who’s awesome and can’t help but to share their content. You can post a Retweet by clicking the button that looks like this Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 12.45.28 AM

Once you click this, you have the option of Retweeting the post as is or editing it a little before Retweeting.

Retweeting is a way to show your appreciation for another users curation (or creation) and share the love to your followers helping to expand their reach. Not to mention, it’s great to use sparingly as a filler when you want to break up posts that you are tweeting yourself. (Check out our blog on that here.) It’s always good to have a balance. Conversely, when people RT your content, it enables you to gain notice across Twitter  and expand your reach; it may even inspire others within your niche to follow you.

 #- Hashtag

You see these everywhere, but aren’t quite sure of the point. A fellow blogger has a great post detailing the what, why, and how of them if you’d like to check it out.

To use a hashtag, you type the pound/ number sign accompanied by your topic without including any spaces. For example, if you were looking to organize tweets or write a new tweet surrounding the topic of wedding cakes, for example, you would use the hashtag #weddingcakes. Refining hashtag usage is highly recommended and it is always beneficial to be as specific as possible. Hashtag optimizers such as Tagboard or Ritetag enable users to choose the right hashtags for their tweets and gain higher engagement.

Hashtags are often overcomplicated and, as a result, misused.  The main purpose of hashtags are to categorize and organize posts and create trends. For example, if you type #smtip into the search bar on Twitter, you’ll find several tips about social media practices. Several brands use these tips to monitor the response to their ads and such. Be careful, though. Hashtags can be used by anyone, meaning if you are organizing a hashtag around your brand, it can definitely be hijacked and used incorrectly. More on that later.

DM- Direct Message

Direct messages are pretty self-explanatory. They are messages that can be sent directly between users. Too often, marketers use this as a way to spam or sell and too seldom, companies neglect to use them. The proper way to use DM is to send a customized private message to a follower, not Auto DMs. I repeat, NOT Auto DMs. Stop it, people. It doesn’t make any sense really. People don’t even read them, but I digress.

@- Reply/Mention

The @ sign is the best way to mention someone in a tweet or let someone know that the tweet you are posting is targeted towards them.  When you sign up for Twitter, you are given a twitter handle which is in the format: @yourhandle and this identifies you across the platform. When you tweet to someone with an @, it shows up in their mentions to let them know that you’re talking to them.

This is a good way to communicate outside of a DM and a great way to thank those who follow you or favorite your content. It’s also a great way to get a conversation started between several users at once.

If you’d like to talk to us, simply click the Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 1.12.26 AMbutton and start off with “@purelysocialtip”. Then you can share your thoughts with us. Brace yourself, though, because we’ll write back and pick your brain!

 FF – Follow Friday

Follow Friday is a Twitter tradition where users recommend to other users who to follow. It’s often used as a hashtag, #FF or #FollowFriday accompanying the handles of the chosen ones.

 MT- Modified Tweet

Modified tweets are seldom used. They are basically paraphrased RTs… that’s literally it.

Hope this helps clear a few things up. There’s more to come, but in the meantime, tell us, what your favorite Twitter lingo is to use or if you have any questions about Twitter lingo you’d like clarified. We’d love to know it! Follow us on Twitter or here on our blog and tweet and comment away.

3 thoughts on “Twitter 101- Defining Common Terms Part 1

  1. Reblogged this on Social Media Marketing by Erin and commented:
    For all the small business just starting out, this is a great condensed Twitter tutorial by my friends at Purely Social. Check it out…

  2. Pingback: Purely Social™ | Twitter 101- Defining Common Terms Part 2

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