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The Basics of Twitter

Tweeting: posting content on Twitter within a 140 character limit

Links, pictures and GIFs are worth 23 characters.

Retweeting: a function that allows you to share another person’s Tweet on your timeline, whilst crediting them as the source.

Hashtags (#): these allow your Tweet to be grouped with other Tweets and appear in searches using the same tag.

#Do #not #hashtag #every #word. It’s not cool.

Twitter handle: this is the @ symbol on every users profile. This is how you search for Twitter users and interact with each other by ‘mentioning’ them in your Tweets (refer to Mentions).

Like a website, when deciding on your Twitter handle, make sure that it’s easy to share, remember and say out loud.

Following: if you’re following someone, you will see their Tweets in your newsfeed and they will be added to the ‘following’ list on your profile.

Unlike Facebook, you are not required to have a mutual relationship, so don’t feel the need to reciprocate every follow.

Followers: this is the opposite of ‘following’, this is how many people follow you.

Mentions: to mention someone and have your Tweet appear in their interactions (unless they’re a verified user and have opted out), you can tag their Twitter handle in your Tweet.

But remember, Tweets beginning with ‘@name’ will only appear on the timelines of mutual followers between you and who you mention. You’ll soon notice that some Tweets use a full stop before the @name to allow the message to appear on the timelines of their entire following.

As long as there is another character before the @ symbol, it will go to all of your followers. For example, writing “@name how are you?”, will only go to the named person and their followers who follow you. Writing “Hi @name, how’s it going?” will make it public to all of your followers too.

Direct messages: for you to send a DM, you both need to be following each other — use this to send private information.

Similar to emails, be aware that people will DM you with spam and viruses from time to time, so be careful with any links you receive.

Trending: trending Tweets are essentially things (often hashtags) that are popular at the moment. It’s good to keep an eye on what’s trending, just so you aware of the current social media climate, but don’t feel the need to jump on the bandwagon every time.

Twitter lists: a useful function on Twitter which enable you to create separate public or private feeds, full of selected users who you don’t need to be following.

This will help you avoid missing out on content from your favourite accounts.

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