A Beginner's Guide To Twitter

print-7792594
print-7792594

If you have a business Twitter account, but you barely use it and rarely use it right. If you're just not quite down with the "language" of Twitter...This post is for you. In sum: Twitter is a social media network that is a constant stream of news and information, that allows you to connect and communicate with people who have similar interests. Each "tweet" is comprised of 140 characters (i.e. 1 character= "a" or "1" or "#", etc.) for you to tweet whatever information you feel compelled to share. You can follow other Twitter accounts about anything and everything you're interested in. You can communicate with other accounts by replying to their tweet or tagging their Twitter account (you tag someone like this, "@socialapemktg hey there!"). You can message other accounts for private messaging, most commonly referred to as "DM" or Direct Messaging.

A few things to remember:

1. When you reply to someone's tweet, only people following that person's account and your account will see the reply. If you would like your reply to be seen by everyone that follows you, add a period to the front of the Twitter name. For example...

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.41.04 AM
Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.41.04 AM

2. Tweets can have up to 140 characters * however* your Twitter handle, aka your Twitter name, is included in the 140 characters when someone retweets you. Because there are 14 characters in '@socialapemktg', it would be best to keep tweets under 120 characters. So hopefully you didn't choose @supercalifragilisticexpialidocious as your Twitter handle.

3. Retweets can be done a couple of ways. You can simply click the retweet button (we've circled it for you), which will take the entire tweet and post it onto your Twitter profile. Or you can "quote-tweet", which will allow you to add content to the tweet when sharing it with others. We've provided an example of a retweet and a quote-tweet for you:

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.58.01 AM
Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 11.58.01 AM
Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 12.02.07 PM
Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 12.02.07 PM

 4. Twitter will automatically shorten a URL link so you don't have to worry about a URL taking up all of your 140 character limit. Links starting with "http://" will take a maximum of 22 characters, leaving you with 118. Links starting with "https://" will take 23 characters, leaving you with 117. Photo attachments will take 23 characters, as well. Here's an example of a tweet with a link and photo attachment.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.42.04 AM
Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.42.04 AM

5. Hashtags (#MaryPoppins) were invented with the purpose to search and categorize content on Twitter; they are also used to build a community or to reach a point. I'd recommend not using more than 2 hashtags. Here's an example of us using the hashtag #GIFWarsCLT to participate in a fun, local GIF competition.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.41.41 AM
Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.41.41 AM

6. You can favorite tweets by clicking the star icon below a tweet. This is good for showing some love to followers and for keeping up with tweets that you'd like to revisit (maybe a photo or an article). You can see your 'favorited' tweets on your Twitter profile page, under Favorites.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 12.50.31 PM
Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 12.50.31 PM

Have any other questions about Twitter? Ask away!

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!