Social Media – Understanding Twitter

Social MediaSocial Media is a tool that every single business should utilize. It can take time and that is why Social Media Management is a great option, but Social Media websites are gaining more and more popularity. When Twitter was first introduced in 2006, it was quickly gaining popularity. In 2011 Twitter had over 300 million users. People from across the world use Twitter on a daily basis and it is handling over 1.6 billion search queries per day. Twitter had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007, over 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008 and In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. It is obvious that the community on Twitter is continuing to grow each day.

But, let’s face it, Twitter can be confusing and overwhelming to someone just signing up. When I first signed up for Twitter, I remember seeing posts like this:

“Today came too soon! #Caseofthemondays”

This list is going to help you help you understand all of the lingo used in the Twitter world.

# or Hashtag: It is used to mark keywords in a tweet. You can click on any hashtag in a Tweet and it will take you to a list of all of the tweets that have that same hashtag. Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

@ : This symbol tags a user. So you will use the @ in front of a person’s username and it becomes a link to their Twitter profile.

Avatar: Your profile picture. You can change it at anytime, but is what your friends/followers will see.

Connect Tab: Using the Connect tab you’re able to view who has favorited or retweeted your Tweets, who has recently followed you, and all of your @replies and @mentions.

DM or Direct Message: These are private tweets between two users. Nobody can see them but you.

Social MediaFail Whale: Sometimes Twitter is overloaded. The fail whale message will appear and it prevents you from seeing tweets or sending tweets. It usually does not last long and after refreshing, you should be back to normal.

Favorites: A great tool which allows you to mark a tweet as your ‘favorite’. It is saved into a list for you to view whenever you desire.

FF or #FF: Twitter users often suggest who others should follow on Fridays by tweeting with the hashtag #FF. The FF stands for “Follow Fridays”.

Follow: To subscribe to another user’s tweets.

Followers: These are people who have subscribed to your tweets.

GFF or Get Followers Fast: Sites that promise to get you more followers. These sites send spam from your account. Don’t use them.

Home: A list of all of the tweets from the people you are following.

Mention: Mentioning another user in your Tweet by including the @ sign followed directly by their username is called a “mention”. This is also where replies to your tweets will go.

Promoted Tweets: These are tweets that a business has paid for to be at the top of a search.

Reply: By using the @ symbol you can reply to a tweet of someone you follow.

Retweet or RT: Forwarding a tweet on to your followers.

Search: This allows you to search all public Tweets for keywords, usernames, hashtags, or subject.

Trending Topic or TT: The most mentioned topics on Twitter at the current time. This changes all the time.

Tweet: A message posted on Twitter. It must remain 140 characters or less.

URL Shortener: When posting a tweet with a URL, it gives you the option to shorten it. This is beneficial if your tweet is over the 140 character rule.


Twitter is every changing and new updates happen all the time. Although this list is long and can seem overwhelming, Twitter is extremely user friendly. Like most Social Networks, it is easy to be hooked to it. What are some things you use on Twitter on a regular basis? Is there a Social Media website that you prefer to use?


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