Twitter Basics

The Twitter Basics

Twitter, not unlike all the other Social Media platforms, changes on a regular basis. That being said, there are still a bunch of basics that are likely not to change.

Most of the basics I am going to share below can be found thru the Twitter Help Center. This is a great resource for new Tweeps and even vets who want see the new stuff and refresh the skills they (we) have not used much.

Tweets are the essence of Twitter. These are short messages, up to 140 characters, that people post in Twitter. These messages can be about almost anything except for spam or X-rated content. A tweet shows up on the sender’s profile page and in the timeline of those following the sender. A tweet can be a simple statement. A tweet can be a profound, bold, exciting and thought provoking statement. A tweet can be a URL to other great content or a picture or document.

Profile is the first thing a new Twitter user should create. A profile should include your name, a 160-character bio, a link to your website or other public source, your location and your picture. People won’t follow you without this critical piece. When you view someone’s profile, you see information like this, along with the person’s most recent tweets.

@username represents a person’s Twitter ID, such as @TLBurriss @NCWiseman  Talking to another Twitter user within a public tweet requires adding the “@” symbol. The Twitter ID is also called a handle.

Timeline or Stream displays the most recent tweets of the people you Follow in real-time (live). When you log into Twitter, you’ll see your “Home Timeline or Stream.” This is your Twitter homepage and timeline of the most recent tweets from the people you follow. To view everyone’s tweets, including those from people you don’t follow, go to the public timeline at Be ready to be overwhelmed since we all are tweeting like crazy and the public timeline moves all the time.

RT is a retweet, which repeats someone else’s original tweet. It’s a way to pay it forward, sharing a valuable tweet. If @TLBurriss shares a useful Tweet, you may feel the urge to RT it for your followers to see.

If you want to Retweet someones tweet and add your own comments, copy the tweet and past it into a new Tweet adding your comments – up to a total of 140 characters

Follow means to follow someone to see that person’s tweets in your timeline. When you don’t follow someone, you won’t see that person’s tweets show up unless you’re looking at the public timeline. “Following” means you actively follow someone. “Followers” are the people who follow you.

Building Followers is a key to getting Twitter to be mutually beneficial to you and your followers and those you follow, as long as the content you share or RT is TRUH (Transparent, Relevant, Useful & Honest)

Mention is a Twitter user mentioning another Twitter user by including the @username. Clicking “Mentions” from your Twitter account displays all the tweets that mention you.

If the very first character in your tweet is a @, then the tweet can only be seen by (a) the recipient and (b) any of your followers who are also following the recipient.

If the first @ is preceded by anything, even a single character, then the tweet can be seen by all your followers.

Reply is one Twitter user responding to another user’s tweet. These often begin with the @username followed by the reply.

Favorites are tweets marked as a favorite. Anytime you see a tweet you like or want to keep, click “Favorite” from inside the tweet. Marking a tweet favorite puts it in your Favorite List and lets the originator know you marked it such.

Lists give users a way to sort the people they follow into categories of their own creation.

Listed indicates that another user has included you in his or her Twitter lists.

#hashtags are words that begin with the number (#) symbol to create a keyword or a topic. When clicking on a #hashtag, Twitter displays the most recent tweets that include the hashtag. For example, people often use #quotes when tweeting a quote. Click #quotes for a list of the most recent tweets mentioning quotes. #ff is a popular hashtag that stands for “Follow Friday.” When users add #ff to a tweet, they’re recommending others to follow that person. These tweets often appear on Fridays, but that is no longer necessary or expected.


Author: tlburriss

I am a Networking Strategist and LinkedIn coach and Trainer. I live by my personal edict, "Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward thru life." I want to help people become better Networkers and better LinkedIn users focused on their business and career goals.