You want to make a splash on Twitter, but where to start? Click the pen icon and get to writing. Remember, you only have 140 characters to get your point across, so make it snappy. (Characters include punctuation, spaces, links and hashtags).
It’s easier to learn your way around Twitter before beginning to tweet, so follow my lead as we walk through a few of the basics.
- At Symbol @: This symbol allows you to tweet at someone. This symbol allows you to reply to or communicate directly with someone. This tweet will appear in their mentions and let others know someone is talking about them. A tweet that contains @Leisha_Jenkins is a tweet at me and will show up on my homepage if I follow the person tweeting at me, if not, it will appear in my mentions.
- Hashtag #: A hashtag is the symbol # before a word or phrase. This word or phrase turns into a link that directs you to all conversations with the same hashtag. Hashtags can be things you like, events happening or a topic in the headlines that people are talking about. In this example the hashtag #TwitterTips links to content about Twitter and how to use it to the fullest potential.
- Links: By adding a link, your followers can directly access what you are sharing right from the tweet. Links are included in your 140 character limit. To help stay within 140 characters, you can shrink links so that they are shorter, but still take your followers to the content you post. Here are a few websites you can use to shrink links: tinyurl.com, is.gd, ow.ly, and bit.ly. In this example, this link is an Adweek story about Twitter best practices.
- Retweet: Retweeting is a great way to interact with followers or people you want to connect with. When you click the retweet symbol (the circular arrows), you can post the content that they have already tweeted. When you retweet, that person receives a notification and the tweet is published on your account with a RT (retweet) to the original author.
- Favorite: Favoriting (the little star) lets other people know that you like their content. When you favorite a tweet, the person can see that you like it. All tweets that you favorite are collected on your page under favorite tweets. You can also see how many people have favorited your tweets.
Not all of these components should be used in every tweet you write. Remember, you aren’t tweeting to get as many followers and retweets as possible. You want people to see your brand as a resource for good content and as an active conversationalist. Use these functions when appropriate and have some fun!
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