Twitter tends to be one of those platforms that isn’t quite as easy for some people to grasp. Hopefully, after reading this you will have a better understanding and may even be more interested in using Twitter. In this quick tutorial, we’ll teach you all the essential information you need on how to use Twitter.

“They say Twitter is like a river, ever changing as it flows, and a Tweeter’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes….” ~ Amy, Aspen Grove Marketing Director

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a free online networking tool that allows users to connect and post status updates that are 280 characters or less. Users can follow each other and share pieces of their daily lives. Learning how to use Twitter can be a bit tricky to do solo, so here are some of the terms used in Twitter defined for you:

  • Tweet: A status post that must be 280 characters or less. The “shelf life”’ of a tweet is very brief, so feel free to do it throughout your day. For a deeper dive into the frequency of posting, read our blog here.
  • Home Timeline: For those of you familiar with Facebook, this is like your newsfeed. A home timeline is a collection of tweets. A timeline of tweets from every user you have decided to follow displays on your home page.
  • Follower: Someone who has opted to see your tweets on their homepage.
  • Reply:  A response to a tweet. Click on the “reply” button at the bottom of the tweet you wish to respond to.
  • Direct Message: A private (direct) tweet. Direct tweets do not appear in the public timeline. You can only send a direct message to someone who follows you.
  • Retweet: See something you like in the stream?  Simply retweet using the retweet button or “RT.” Similar to sharing a post on Facebook or forwarding an email, retweets will give the original tweeter credit by including a link to their profile.
  • Mentions: Using the “@” symbol anywhere but the beginning of a tweet will allow everyone who follows you to see this message. This is like including a link to that person’s profile. If you include the “@” at the beginning of a tweet only those that follow you and the profile you are tagging will be able to see it.
  • # (hashtag): Including a hashtag will group your tweets by that keyword. Hashtags are great for events, discussions, important topics, and groups. These also make it easy to search for a certain topic.
  • Likes: A tweet you have liked by clicking the heart at the bottom of a tweet.
  • Lists: A group of hand-picked Twitter accounts that you would like to see tweets from. The purpose of adding these accounts to a specified list is to easily follow their tweets in one stream to organize your tweet-reading.
  • Trending: Current topics that are being talked about the most.

But How is Twitter Relevant to My Business?

Twitter is another platform that you can use to connect with your customers/clients, increase your brand awareness, position yourself as an expert in your field, and open the lines of communication. When exploring how to use Twitter for your business, we recommend starting here:

  • Define your goals. Are you on Twitter to increase awareness, position yourself as a leader, and/or provide a customer service or feedback channel? Lots of larger organizations are very successfully using Twitter as a customer service channel. Twitter can be more convenient than a phone call or email for customers. Goodbye to the days of online forms and waiting on hold for ages. Your consumers can simply send you a tweet to get answers to their questions.
  • See what others are doing. Do a search of your company, your industry, your products, or your town. Get a feel for what people are saying and how they are interacting. Spend some time listening and observing.
  • Connect with your customers. Don’t just push your advertisements. Be real, personable, and genuine. This is not a just another place to get free advertising. It is a place to connect with customers when they aren’t face to face.
  • Interact with the right people. You don’t need to go follow everyone that comes across your screen. Find the influencers in your industry/location/interest group and join the conversation. If you engage with and reply to other users, more often than not they will follow you back.
  • Just dive in. Give it a shot. Then evaluate and compare your results against your goals and go from there.

We hope you decide to give Twitter a chance, because it could mean more business for your small company. If you’re still curious and need more information about how to use Twitter, reach out to us – we’re here to help! Aspen Grove Marketing employs the best social media experts in Northern Colorado and can help with any digital marketing need your business may have.