The following terms are important to understand when using Twitter for your business or even personal use.
- Bookmarks: These are similar to bookmarks in an internet browser, the Bookmarks button on Twitter allows you to save tweets so that you can find them easily later. This is especially helpful if you want to watch a video linked in the tweet or read an article but don’t have time at the moment.
- Block: If you block an account on Twitter, the person to whom the account belongs can’t add you to Twitter lists or see your tweets, follow you. You also will not see their tweets.
- @: Similar to other social media websites, you use the “@” symbol along with a user’s handle to mention or tag them.
- # (hashtag): A hashtag that is denoted with the pound sign, is used to index phrases or words on Twitter. Twitter automatically shows you other tweets with the hashtag when you click on a hashtag. This makes it easy for people to follow major events and topics.
- Followers: These are the Twitter users who follow you and can see your tweets in their timelines.
- Direct messages (DM): This option allows you to speak or chat with an individual user privately. If one of your followers or customers has a question, they can ask you directly via DM. The best part about DMs is that there is no character limit, so your response can be as detailed as you want it to. Nonetheless, if someone you do not follow messages you, by default, their message will pop-up in the “requests” folder, so there are chances you might not notice it immediately. This can be changed in your settings.
- Follow: You’re subscribing to see that user’s tweets in your timeline when you follow an account.
- Retweet: Retweeting is like sharing someone’s post on Facebook. If you happen to like a tweet and want your followers to see it too, you retweet it! Then, the tweet will show up on your profile and your followers’ timelines.
- Like: You can like tweets by simply clicking the heart symbol under it. You can also view all of your likes on your profile.
- Lists: You can make private and public lists of other users you find interesting. This doesn’t mean you have to follow a user in order to include them in a list. For instance, you may make a list of local writers or news outlets, influencers in your industry, your competitors or important customers.
- Trending topics / trends: These are the currently most discussed hashtags and topics on Twitter. You can view trending topics on the left-hand side of your Twitter homepage in the “trends” box. You can also customise your trend display in order to show what’s popular or happening in your location or with the people you are following.
- Timeline (or home): Your timeline shows the tweets and retweets of the people you follow along with promoted tweets.
Key takeaway: In order to use Twitter for business, you need to understand common terms like “hashtag,” “trending topics” and “timeline” so that you can use these sources of insight. You’ll also need to learn what it means to follow, bookmark, like, DM, block, @mention, and retweet another post or user.
Tools of Twitter
Organising your account(s) needs to be at the top of your priority. Two popular third-party tools you can use to assist you in doing that are Hootsuite and TweetDeck.
- Hootsuite, allows you to manage other social media accounts other than Twitter. This helps you to schedule your tweets, respond to messages and tweets, manage your replies, and generally automate your account’s management. It is arguably not as simple or sleek as other tools like TweetDeck, though it uses tabs for each profile you connect to. Hootsuite is available as a free version, or you can also buy the pro version if needed.
Twitter and Hootsuite itself have mobile apps that can be used on a tablet or smartphone, and you can also add multiple user accounts to this.
- TweetDeck, which is also owned by Twitter, is free tool to use and has a very sleek user interface along with customizable columns where you can organise notifications, your feed and lists. You can also schedule tweets in advance (something you can’t do on the Twitter website or mobile apps), track hashtags in separate columns, and add multiple Twitter accounts in order to manage several users at once. TweetDeck is accessible via web browser as well.
Key takeaway: You can utilise tools like TweetDeck and Hootsuite in order to manage your Twitter account by using a centralised dashboard with some automation capabilities.
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