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Twitter:The Basics Explained

Twitter:The Basics Explained

For many of us out there, Twitter is this mysterious force that everyone seems to talk about, but no one really explains. Here today, we will unveil the mysteries and make this social media tool, a user friendly adventure.

What is Twitter?

As defined by Twitter themselves, it is an information network compromised of 140 character Tweets.  This is oriented as a way to receive bits of news and updates that apply or are important to you as an individual by deciding who to Follow.  To Follow someone is to become a subscriber, or sign-up for their Tweets or updates.

What is a Tweet, and how do I use one?

A Tweet is a 140 character message that you want to share with your Followers. To Tweet, you simply log-in and enter your message in the box that says “Compose a new Tweet” and click on the Tweet button. This will immediately show up on your home timeline, it will also show up on your profile page, and on the home timeline of anyone who is following you.  There are different types of Tweets, such as Mentions, and Replies. To mention someone in a Tweet, you use this symbol “@”, and type in the Twitter username of the individual or group you would like to Mention. This will show up on your timeline, your profile, and on the Recipient’s Mentions & Interactions tab.

To Reply to a Tweet, you hover over the Tweet you would like to reply to, then click on “Reply”. A box will pop up with the “@” symbol and the username of the original Tweeter already entered.  This will appear on your profile, or if it is someone you do not follow, it will also appear on your home timeline.

There are also Direct Messages, these are messages that are only visible to you and your correspondent, and will be removed should you or your correspondent delete the message.

Retweets, are a re-posting of another individual’s Tweet, to recognize a Retweet, you simply look at the bottom of the message. You can turn off the ability to see Retweets and also prevent others from Retweeting your Tweets.

A timeline you say?

Twitter defines a timeline as a Twitter term for a collection of streamed tweets seen in real-time order. Your home timeline will list all the Tweets of the individuals or groups you’ve chosen to follow. On your home timeline will allow you to interact with the Tweets that appear, and expand to see photos, videos, or additional information that has been provided with Tweets. Timelines will also appear in lists or search results.

What are Hashtags?

Probably one of the most mysterious trends of Twitter are hashtags displayed as this symbol “#”.  Hashtags are used to categorize Tweets, which allows them to be found in search results. When a word is hashtagged, and you click on it, it will show you other Tweets that have that hashtag listed. The words that are hashtagged  are key words that apply to the content of what you are Tweeting. For instance, “I love when our boss brings in #donuts”, this Tweet will now be categorized by the word “donuts”. Popular hashtags are usually Trending Topics, and allow you to follow conversation occurring about topics that interest you.

To get more insight on links and linking, and how Twitter can help your Business, check back next month. Twitter also offers information and even a glossary to help get you started, to get this information and more go to: http://support.twitter.com/groups/31-twitter-basics# .

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