How To Talk Twitter: A Beginner Business Glossary With The Most Used Tweeting Phrases

twitterIf you are a beginner to the whole social media marketing strategy, you will undoubtedly look into getting your business to Twitter. Many business people however will hit a rather off-putting language barrier in the beginning, simply because the communication code definitely starts out confusing. Every social network, from industry organizations to small businesses or groups of fans, has its own specialized terms. You should not discourage and understand that speaking Twitter is not difficult, as long as you nail down some of its basic keywords and phrases.

  1. Following

Following someone on Twitter means you are subscribing to their tweets as a follower or friend. This means all their updates will appear in your timeline. This goes the same when you follow someone. Also, you will be able to exchange direct messages with that person. Your follower/following statistics are also listed on your home page. Following does not have to be reciprocal; someone can follow you without you following them back, and viceversa.  

  1. Mention

This means that once you have signed up and chosen a Twitter username, you can mention an account in your Tweets by preceding it with the @ symbol. For example: “Glad our product satisfies you @jadenwilliams!” To post a mention on Twitter, you are supposed to type your message normally, but replace any names you include with @username. The Twitter system will recognize and highlight the username that way.

  1. Tweets

This is basically when you speak to your followers by putting down news, links or other information; these can also be seen by people who aren’t your followers and even by people who don’t have a Twitter account.  Keep in mind there is no built in spell check and no deleting.  All Tweets must be 140 characters or less. Once you’ve signed up, just type your first tweet in the update box, and then click the “Tweet” button to post the message to your profile. Another way to post updates is from your cell phone. 

  1. Retweets (RTs)

At some point you may be coming across a tweet that you would like to share with your followers. The RT feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet. You can do this by typing the letters RT, then space, then @username, then copying the tweet in its entirety including the odd looking link at the end. In the world of Twitter, this is considered a compliment. The good think you can also add your opinion on that, should the space allow it. 

  1. Messages

This is for when you want to speak to only one person.  A message was previously known as a DM (direct message) and is actually different from mentions or replies. You cannot send a direct message to a user who is not following you. To send a private message to a follower, all you need to do is click the Messages button on the top menu bar of your page. In the pop-up box, type the name or username of the person you wish to send to. Personal messages are never seen as being rude. 

  1. Reply

A reply is any update posted by clicking the “Reply” button on another tweet. Your reply will always begin with @username where you need to insert the username of the person you are replying to.  To post a reply on Twitter you need to hover your mouse over the tweet you want to reply to and click the “reply” icon. This is the friendliest form of tweeting. 

  1. Hashtags

A hashtag is the # symbol followed by a word (ex: #sports). People use the symbol before relevant keywords in their tweet to categorize them. If you click on a hashtagged word in any message, you will get all the other tweets belonging in that category. You can add a hashtag anywhere in your tweet message. You can access the category and check on the chatter by searching for the hashtag using Twitter search box located in the right column of your twitter home page. 

Now that you have the basics of how to “talk Twitter”, remember one thing: your business Twitter account should talk like a person representing your company or brand. Use the first-person, invent a personality. Or just put up members of the team when tweeting for the company. The overall approach must be open and friendly, so your followers don’t feel like you want to trick them into buying, and you are more interested in sharing interesting facts and info with them.

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