You may have noticed that Twitter has a language all its own. It’s not hard to learn though, once you get the basics.
There are four ways to utilize Twitter:
- Tweet—This is also called updating your status. It’s something everyone can see.
- Reply—This answers an update and is directed to a specific person, but everyone can see your answer. You do this with the @followed by the person’s name. Example @EdieMelson. This is actually a clickable link so others can click on @EdieMelson to get to their feed.
- Direct Message—This is the Twitter version of a personal email. It only goes to the person you’re addressing.
- Retweet—This is a play on the word, repeat, and is when you repost or repeat something someone else has tweeted.
When to Use What
When to RETWEET and when to REPLY: There are two ways to answer someone on Twitter, RETWEET and RELY. And there are specific times to use each one.
A RETWEET, is a repeat of the tweet sent. This is used when you want to share a tweet with your followers. For instance, if I saw a tweet about how to avoid getting embarrassed on Twitter, I’d retweet it to my followers so they could learn too. I also use it to share good news about others.
A REPLY, is an answer to a tweet that’s been sent. This is used if someone asks you a question on Twitter. It’s also used when someone else mentions you on Twitter. It’s a way of saying thank you. It’s considered a very bad instance of bragging to retweet a mention of yourself. For instance if someone tweeted about this post, I’d REPLY and say thank you.
- So RETWEET if you see an update you want to pass on to your followers.
- REPLY when someone mentions you or asks a question.
Do I have to Follow Everyone Who Follows Me?
No, absolutely not. I try to follow the people I believe have something valuable to say. I DON’T follow those who look like spammers or sketchy accounts. Often times you can tell because they don’t have a picture, only that irritating egg avatar. Another way I check is to look at the description they give for themselves. If they don’t have a description, I’m always skeptical.
Is There a Rule about How Often I Should or Shouldn’t Tweet?
Twitter has a 140 character limit for a reason and it’s considered bad form to Tweet 3 or more times right in a row. Doing this is called Hogging the Stream or Hijacking the Stream.
So When is it acceptable to HOG THE STREAM? The short answer is …NEVER! Hogging or Spamming the stream, means posting several social media updates in a row. This can be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. You can do this inadvertently by engaging the AUTOMATIC updates available on some ancillary programs like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Buffer.
This option of automatic updates claims to identify when the largest amount of your followers are engaging on social media and update at that time. Unfortunately this can often result in multiple updates sent one right after another. This can leave you labeled as an irritation or even banned from certain networks. I recommend you avoid any automatic scheduling options to avoid this.
So schedule the times when you send out your social media updates and don’t post them one after another. Spread them out.
First, so you don’t irritate anyone by Hogging the Stream.
Second, so you reach people who are on at different times of the day.
What Does RT, MM, OH, HT Mean?
- RT—means RETWEET.
- MM—is MUSIC MONDAY, similar to Follow Friday.
- OH—is OVERHEARD.
- HT—is HEARD THROUGH.
Now it’s your turn. Be sure to post your questions in the comments section. And...
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