Twitter For The Tweeting Impaired
Twitter is the world’s fastest growing social media site. At this point, you’ve at least heard people talking about it on TV, and you must be a bit curious. The problem is, when you tried to check it out, it just didn’t make any sense. There were weird words, random people, and strange symbols. What were these people talking about? Who were these people? You didn’t like it. You ran back to Facebook, scared, and intimidated, vowing never to return.
Guys, I feel your pain. Twitter can be intimidating at first, but trust me, like the quiet girl in the back of class you’ve been wanting to ask out, Twitter can totally be worth the wait. That why I’ve decided to put together this little guidebook to help you better understand the twitterverse. After reading this, you should be Tweeting in no time.
1. What is Twitter?
Twitter is a micro-blog site that allows users to express themselves in bursts of 140 characters or less. Think of Twitter as a condensed version of Facebook. Social media lite.
Twitter can be used to keep in touch with friends, follow the lives of celebrities, get the latest news updates, stay on top of new deals with your favorite businesses, or whatever else you want. Twitter is quite versatile. Your Twitter experience can be whatever you want it to be.
Twitter lingo can be confusing. The number one complaint for new users is that they have no idea what people are talking about. Allow me to try to break down some of the more common Twitter words.
Tweet - A tweet is the Twitter equivalent to a “Status” on Facebook. The main difference is that a “Status” can be any length and a tweet must be under 140 characters. This 140 character rule is the saving grace deterring the all too familiar long and overly-dramatic Facebook Status from that annoying Friend you’ve been meaning to delete anyway.
Mention - A mention simply means that someone has mentioned you in one of their tweets. How do you mention someone? I’m getting to it. Hold on.
Retweet - A retweet is exactly what it sounds like. Tweeting someone else’s tweet again. This can be done by pressing the retweet button. The retweet is the highest compliment any tweet can receive.
Follow - To follow another user on Twitter is to subscribe to their tweets. Once you follow someone, their tweets will appear in your newsfeed.
Follower - A follower is essentially Twitters version of the “Friend”. Your follower subscribes to all your tweets, meaning all of your tweets will appear in their newsfeed.
Followback - For some, Twitter is a quest to get as many followers as possible. These people will often send you a message requesting a “followback” meaning that they will follow you if you follow them, allowing both of your follower numbers to increase.
Trending Topic - A trending topic is a word or phrase that is among the most mentioned word or phrase on Twitter at a particular time. Trending Topics can be found on the Trending Topic list located near the newsfeed. Popular trending topics are Justin Beiber, the NFL, big news stories, and jokes about Kim Kardashian. Trending Topics are working links, allow users to click and see what people from around the country are saying about the particular topic. Trending Topics are useful ways of discovering whats going on around the country. When a big story breaks, it will undoubtedly become a Trending Topic.
Hashtag - The hashtag refers to the “#” symbol. The hashtag turns words or phrases into clickable links, allowing twitter users to add their two cents to discussions with users from around the world.
#oomf - oomf is an acronym for “One of my followers”. Its almost exclusively used to call out the suspect actions of one of a person’s followers. (eg – #oomf needs to chill out with all these tweets about the Bachelor.)
@ - The “@” symbol allows you to mention others, allowing you to easily communicate. The users you mention using the @ symbol receive a notification from Twitter allowing them to tweet back. (eg – @stokes1003 your blog on twitter was so helpful!)
# - The pound sign is the hardest thing for non-twitter users to figure out at first. And really, there is nothing to figure out.The # sign turns the word or phrase behind it into a searchable link, allowing users to see other peoples tweets on the same subject. People use the # symbol for countless reasons, and its really just up to the users imagination.
Well guys, that’s pretty much it. Twitter as simply as I can explain it. Try it out. Trust me, once you start its hard to stop. If you have any other questions, Tweet me. @stokes1003
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