With today’s social media obsession, Twitter has consistently been a go-to forum for connecting and sharing information within a network of more than 200 million active users since its launch in 2006. For those of you making plans to jump aboard the Twitter train, here are suggestions and explanations of a few of the most basic Twitter features to help get you started.
- Tweet - Tweets are thoughts, which are 140 characters or less. When posted, a simple tweet will be shared with users who follow you. It’s important to note here that 92 percent of Twitter users are compelled to retweet content that is of interest to them, so being useful and relatable in what you tweet is key. If you’re wondering what a retweet is, the retweet button is a quick way to engage with an individual whom you find insightful. Retweeting someone is like telling them, “I value what you have to say and want to share your insight with my followers.”
- Insert a link - Don’t be shy; share that article you can’t get enough of on your Twitter timeline. Remember that Twitter automatically shortens links to 19 characters. This gives you room to type a comment along with the link you Tweet or share on your timeline and with your followers.
- Use a hashtag - Hashtags are any word or phrase beginning with the pound (#) sign (e.g., #leadership, #insight, #wisdom, #development). The best hashtags are usually those that are the most obvious and simple. Clicking on a hashtag will guide you to a search results page for the term which was clicked, ultimately showing what other members of the Twitter universe are hashtagging the same thing you are. It’s a great way to connect with users who have the same interests as you.
- Mention others - Mentioning others in your tweets is a convenient way to connect with friends and people in your industry. Keep in mind that mentions may be viewed publicly; it is not a private message between you and the Twitter user you mention.
- Reply to others - In conjunction with mentioning others, knowing how to reply to others is just as important in follower engagement. The reply feature allows users to respond to a tweet by hitting the “reply” button. I think we can all agree that engaging your audience is vital to any successful message.
What was your biggest "aha!" moment as a Twitter newbie? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet your responses to us using the hashtag #mcgblog.