Skip to main content


Social Media Blog

The basics of Twitter [Part 1]

27th May 2015

In this series of blogs we take you right back to basics, and help you understand each social media platform so that you can use it well for your business.

This week, we introduce you to Twitter.

So many people we meet through our training find it very difficult to understand what Twitter can offer them, as well as how to use it. We know how valuable it is for a business, and we want you to love it as much as we do. So let us talk you through it, right from the beginning.

What is Twitter?What is Twitter?

Twitter is a real-time social network with over 284 million monthly active users and 500 million tweets sent every day.

It was launched in 2006, and allows people to discover what is happening all over the globe right now, to share information and to connect with others wherever they are and whatever they are doing.

80% of tweets are accessed from a mobile site, and this is only set to increase. 83% of businesses would recommend Twitter to other small or medium sized businesses.

Therefore the power that Twitter has to reach your potential customers and increase awareness for your business is enormous. But don’t be scared – we’re here to help you.

What is a tweet?

What is a Tweet?

A tweet is a message, posted on Twitter, containing 140 characters or less. It can include text, photos, links or videos. However, if you are adding any of these they will automatically take up 22 characters on your allotted amount.

What is a Twitter handle (@)?

Every account begins with an @. To tag (or include) someone else in your tweet you use ‘@username’ and they will get notified that you have mentioned them and therefore you can start a conversation. It is useful to note that if you use the @ at the beginning of the tweet, that tweet can only be seen by both yours and the recipients followers. This means it is more private, but cannot be seen by a wider audience.

What is a Twitter handle and hashtag

If you are tweeting as a marketing tool, then use the @ in the middle of the text, or add a simple full stop before your tweet.

How about a hashtag, what does that mean?

A hashtag is a way of getting involved in a wider conversation. A hashtag can be any word or phrase, which cannot include punctuation, that starts with the # symbol. This word or phrase can be used to communicate with others talking about the same subject – you may have seen on television whilst watching your favourite programme a phrase in the corner with the symbol. If you search this hashtag you find tweeters all over the world tweeting about that subject. It is a very powerful tool which we will explore in detail later on.

Why do I click ‘follow’?

Why do we follow people on Twitter?

By following a user, this means that every tweet they send will appear in your newsfeed.

What does RT mean?

RT stands for ‘retweet’. A retweet is when you copy someone else’s tweet to your own followers. You can directly RT the tweet, or you can add some of your own comments to the RT before you press send. The is useful for any relevant information that you have seen on Twitter that your own followers may be interested in. If you get retweeted, remember to thank people – they have just sent your information to a potential huge audience that you may not be able to contact.

What is ‘favourite’?

Clicking on the star underneath the tweet ‘favourites’ it. Favouriting a tweet is an acknowledgement that you are grateful for a tweet that you may have been mentioned in, but it also serves as a bookmark, enabling you to find that tweet later on with ease.

Why do we love Twitter?

Twitter enables us insight into a huge world that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to access. We can communicate with others throughout the globe. We can reach so many people about our business. It breaks down barriers and allows you to connect with everyone and anyone. It doesn’t take long to tweet, RT or interact any you can do it wherever you are!

Next time?

Signing up, choosing a username and starting to tweet!

Click here to download the 3 part guide as a whole