Understanding Twitter Basics
This guest post was provided by University Alliance and submitted on behalf of University of San Francisco. USF offers online marking courses including social media training, search engine marketing, mobile marketing and more. To learn more about USF’s certificate programs visit www.usanfranonline.com
Understanding Twitter Basics
If you’re an avid Twitter user, or if you’ve had social media training, you know there’s a whole Twitter language to decipher and understand. While you might think your Twitter messages (known as “tweets”) are reaching each and every one of your followers, that’s not always the case. It all depends on how you’re typing your tweets, and if you’ve unlocked the code of the Twitterverse.
Thankfully, Twitter is not as complicated as you might think. With just a few simple keystrokes, you’ll have the ability to speak directly to one follower, or blast a tweet to all of your followers (even if you’re only responding to one). Check out these handy Twitter tips:
1. Twitter 101
First, let’s clarify the various types of tweets.
- In general, a tweet is a message you send to all of your followers. It is not private and is not usually directed at one person.
- A private tweet is called a Direct Message, or DM. This tweet is sent to only one person and goes to a separate inbox, not included in the Twitter newsfeed.
- If you send an @ reply to a Twitter user, and you’ve placed the @ symbol at the beginning of the tweet, this tweet may not go to everyone that follows you. If your followers also follow that specific Twitter user, they will have the ability to see those tweets, and those tweets will also be in newsfeeds and in the “Mentions” tab of the recipient.
2. Placement of The @ Symbol
The use of the @ symbol can be a bit confusing. Again, if your intent is to publicly speak directly to one Twitter user, then starting a tweet with the @ symbol and their handle is correct. Twitter may send that tweet to only that user and those who follow both of you. However, if you want all of your followers to see the tweet, but you also want to mention a specific user, you’ll have to make some adjustments to the way you type your tweet.
3. The @ Workaround
A simple way to make sure everyone sees a tweet is to include a character before the @ symbol. For example, start your tweet off with a period, and then type the @ symbol and the Twitter handle (ex. .@schemjo Did you see that article about the UK SEO agency?) . Twitter will read this as a general tweet and publish it to all of your follower’s news feeds. Any symbol or character will work, but a period is as unobtrusive as it gets – remember, you’ll want to keep it simple so it doesn’t eat some of your 140-character allotment.
4. Alternate @ Symbol Placement
If you simply cannot spend one extra character to make sure your tweet is seen by all of your followers, just rearrange the Twitter handle so it is placed somewhere within the tweet. Using this method will serve as the flag to Twitter to send the tweet to all of your followers. For example, Did you see that article about the UK SEO agency? @schemjo
Because the use of Twitter for marketing and branding purposes has exploded in the past few years, these tips can help you effectively communicate with all of your followers and customers, as well as aid in the growth of your brand, products and services. Soon, you’ll reach hundreds of people (maybe thousands), and garner a devoted following – 140 characters at a time.