Twitter 101: How to Use Twitter
Of course you’ve heard of Twitter!
It’s a wonderful forum for being able to directly contact and connect with people, especially hard to reach people, like famous people or people in power.
How Twitter Works
Twitter allows you to post a 140 character message.
These are public messages – anyone can search for and read your tweets. (There is a way to send a private tweet, but we won’t need that for our purposes right now.)
Important Vocabulary for Understanding Twitter
Shortened URL: a web address that has been “shortened” to save Tweet characters.
There are a lot of places to do this, one is the free “tiny url.”
Handle: this is a user’s name on Twitter
A hashtag must be written as one word with no spaces or punctuation and can be used anywhere within the Tweet. 1-2 hashtags is considered good etiquette and keeps your message clear.
In Twitter campaigns or chats, a specific hashtag is usually used so that others can find and follow the thread. For example, during the campaign to save Medicaid when it was being threatened cuts, the hashtag #SaveMedicaid was used, and added to all participating tweets (“Don’t cut medicaid, it saves lives #SaveMedicaid”)
. RT: retweet – when you want to “forward” someone else’s Tweet, select “retweet”and it will appear in your Twitter feed; some users will add “RT” to the Tweet to indicate it has been retweeted You can also “retweet with comment” – that is when you forward someone else’s tweet and add your comment to what they are saying.
Trend: when many Tweets include the same hashtag; Twitter (and others) track top trending hashtags
An Example Tweet:
I love double chocolate fudge ice cream! #needtojogtoday Right, @meriah ?
Breakdown of the Tweet:
The user @meriah will see this in her Twitter feed.
Anyone searching for the hashtag #needtojogtoday will see this tweet come up in their search.