Understanding How To Use Twitter
As you have gone round this site you will have noticed (I hope) that for each social platform I have written one article about Why you should or should not use that platform and then another about the How.
This one is obviously on the how to use Twitter assuming of course that you have decided that it will be part of your social media strategy.
And “use” has two meanings so I will cover them both.
Using means Accessing
Having set up your Twitter account how will you know what is happening on it? You can obviously login from your phone, tablet or desktop or anything that has an internet connection but which will you use to receive notifications?
You have a choice of being sent an email or you can set your mobile device (phone or tablet) to bleep whenever a tweet comes in.
Or you can discipline yourself to have no notifications and decide to login and check every hour or so.
Using means Communicating by Tweets
Because you are limited by the number of characters (140) there is a whole new vocabulary of terms you will have to learn. By now you will be used to “textspeak” and know that lol means either “lots of Love” or “laugh out loud” and the emoticon that follows can tell you which.
Such contractions always remind me of my youth when a note meant so much more if it had SWALK on the envelope. And NORWICH had a particular attraction to every adolescent male.
You need to understand the vocabulary so that you can interpret the message and not fall foul of twitter ettiquette by using the wrong symbol or contraction. So here is a short glossary for you:
- Retweet (RT): This means that the Tweet was originally posted by someone else and you are reposting it because you want to spread the word, you think it’s funny, etc.
- Hash tag (#): Typing # followed by a keyword will categorize your Tweet so that others can easily find it by performing a search. Once you start using Twitter, you’ll realize that MANY people use the hash tag in their Tweets – this can indicate a meme or trend that is quickly being spread through the Twit-o-sphere.
- @ symbol: Placing the @ symbol directly before a username shows that you are directly addressing that person (but the Tweet is still public). Clicking the arrow button when you hover over a user’s tweet will let you do this automatically.
- Direct Message (DM): Typing dm followed by a username will allow you to send them a Direct Message rather than having your Tweet appear publicly.
- Overheard (OH): OH at the beginning of the Tweet means that you overheard something funny/interesting that is not your own original idea.
- Nudge: Typing Nudge followed by a username will send the user a reminder to update and start tweeting again.
- FAV: Typing FAV followed by a username will favorite that user’s last Tweet.
- GET: GET followed by a username will retrieve the user’s last few updates.
Language of Twitter
+1 – me too (usually in agreement with something)
b4 – Before
b/c – Because
brb – be right back
BTW – By the Way
chk – Check
cld – Could
clk – Click
EM or EML – Email
#FF – Follow Friday (on Fridays people recommend others they like to follow)
Fab – Fabulous
Fave, Fav – Favorite
FB – Facebook
FTF – Face To Face. Also, F2F.
FTW – For The Win
FWD – Forward
FWIW – For What It’s Worth
Gr8 – Great
gtg – got to go
HTH – Hope That Helps, Happy to Help
IC – I see
ICYMI – In Case You Missed It
IDC – I don’t care
IDK – I don’t know
IIRC – If I remember correctly
IM – Instant Message / Internet Marketing
IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
IMO – In My Opinion
IOW – In Other Words
IRL – In Real Life
J/K – Just Kidding
JSYK – just so you know
L8 – late
L8r – later
LI – LinkedIn
LMAO – Laughing My Ass Off
LMK – Let Me Know
LOL – Laughing Out Loud
MT – Modified Tweet
mil – Million
Mistweet – A tweet that was sent in error or that one later regrets.
NSFW – Not Safe For Work
OH – Overheard
ORLY – Oh Really?!!
OMG – Oh My Gosh
peeps – People
pple or ppl – People
PRT – Partial Retweet (at the start of a tweet) or Please Retweet
#PIN – Pinterest
RT – Retweet
RTF – Read The FAQ. RTFF shows up too. RTF also stands for Rich Text File.
RTFM – Read The F-ing Manual
RTHX – Thanks For The ReTweet
RTQ – Read The Question or Retweet Question
SMH – Shaking My Head
S/O – Shout Out (to acknowledge someone, a public expression of thanks or gratitude, or call for attention to your followers)
Ur – Your
TIA – Thanks in advance
tl;dr – Too long; didn’t read
TMB – Tweet Me Back
TMI – Too Much Information
Trend– A topic “Trending” or “popular” right now on Twitter
Tweet Out – similar to Shout Out (used commonly to promote a product)
TTYS – Talk to you soon
TTYL – Talk to you later
Twaffic – Twitter traffic
Twaiting – Twittering while waiting
Twaunt – Taunting someone over Twitter
Tweekend – Spending your weekend on Twitter
Tweeps – People on Twitter
TY – Thank you
TYT – Take your time.
WTF – What The F–k
WTH – What The Hell / What the Heck
Wazzup, whatddup, sup – what’s up
wld – Would
w00t – An expression of joy or excitement
WTS – Want to sell
WTB – Want to buy
WTT – Want to trade
YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary
YW – You’re Welcome
YGTR – You Got that Right
<3 – text version of a heart
Know Your Audience
If you are a BOF (boring old fart) like me you shudder at what is being done to the english language. I detest textspeak almost as much as I hate predictive text. I spell my name martyn with a Y but my phone insists on correcting it to martin. So I have to change it…when it lets me.
So you will appear old fashioned if you do not or even worse have to ask the tweeter what it means.
If you have read the article Facebook Business Page you will have taken on board the idea of building a profile of who you are trying to communicate with. As part of that you must speak the same language that they do.
And Twitter is for your mates so there should be no hard selling as such. Use Twitter Ads for that but use your tweets to make friends and chat about life. Remind them from time to time about something new or exciting on your website but never try to sell.
Quick Tip for Your Business URL
The address or url of this page is. That has 45 characters and so would take up about a third of a tweet.
If you want your followers to come to your website then the url may be too long so why not shorten it? If you use google or bitly that address becomes http://goo.gl/sqSQpz and that only has 20 characters.
Try it and see. This page will come up again even though the url makes no sense.
This is another free tool from Google and you use it by going to goo.gl and pasting in the long url. And as an added bonus Google will even show you how many times the shortened url has been clicked thereby telling you how successful your tweet was.
Have You Got The Idea?
If you need or want some more basic training on how to use Twitter you can use the banner below to get some…..and you can use the button to give a like.
Whatever you choose TIA + TTYL
Read More Here