10 Twitter Essentials Every Beginner Needs to Know
You just wrapped up watching the Super Bowl commercials when your uncle asks, “What’s this ‘pound’ Safe Guard stuff all about?” Uh-oh, he’s asking about Twitter.
This is followed by some quick Q&A, and then the dreaded, “Can you teach me?”
That’s when you pull out this article and print it for him. All in one place, at a glance, the 10 essentials a new person needs to grasp to start using Twitter.
#1 – The rule on your Twitter avatar. The generic “egg” icon just tells the world you haven’t made the time to get something reasonable up there, or that you have something to hide. Don’t have the egg. Ever. Upload an image and don’t change it unless you really, really have to. Users become familiar with your image, so don’t change it on ‘em.
#2 - You have 125 characters, not 140. Convince yourself of that, and make that your target. Save room–others need space when replying
#3 – @ in Twitter = “to” in email. That’s how it works.
#4 – If you think it’s interesting, Tweet it. If you’re not sure, ask yourself “Will others care?” You don’t want to wear this shirt.
#5 – The “follow” formalities. In the Twitter world, in addition to shooting off good content, the best way to get people to follow you is to follow them first. There are lots of tools out there to help you do this methodically.
#6 – Hashtags. Use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase. Here’s how I do it.
— Andre F Bourque ♕ (@SocialMktgFella) February 12, 2013
You can follow topics by selecting the hashtag link. For $200K you can buy and top-rank one for the day.
The practice of re-Tweeting is essential to Twitter relationship building and courtship.
#7 – There are two ways to do it.
- First, the quick and easy, less personal method. But don’t overdo it. You are a voice, not a mimic.
- Next, the RT – Retweet. The “more work involved,” yet personal way to re-tweet. The tweet starts with RT, followed by a @mention and ending with the original message.
Good stuff, dude RT@socialmktgfellaThis is an example of how to make a good point & still save a few characters for others 2 RT, comment..
— RoxyCertified (@RoxyCertified) February 4, 2013
#8 – MT ( or sometimes mRT) – Modified Tweet. These letters are used to repost a Tweet that has been altered in some way. If you change anything about the original Tweet, use the MT/mRT. That’s enough of acronyms to start with. A comprehensive list can be found here.
What about these asterisks?
#9 – Don’t be fooled, the “*ad” means the user has been compensated to send the message.
#10 – Sometimes you’ll see * followed by some letters. Often times these signify the initials of the person responding from an organizational account, as in the example below. Good upsell, BTW *SPG.