SOCIAL MEDIA | January 29, 2009

Twitter 101 | Basic Commands

A friend who just joined Twitter asked me for clarifications on standard Twitter functions. She wishes to grasp the subtleties between the commands.

Note that a Twitter user is called a Tweeter or a Twitterer. Tweeple refers to Twitter people, Twitter members or the Twitter users viewed as a group.

Reply @

You reply to another Tweeter by answering to one of its tweets (messages of up to 140 characters). This is also how you engage in a conversation with someone. When you wish to reply to someone you either use the reply link or you can type @ before their Twitter user name.

A Twitter reply

Note that replies are public message (can be seen by everyone).

Direct Message d

This is a message that only the recipient will be able to see. It is also subject to the 140-character limit. Either use the direct message link via the interface or type d followed by a space in front of the user name at the start of your message. For example:

d kimvallee How are you doing?

Retweet RT

You republished the tweet of someone else. The text is identical in a retweet. There are Twitter applications, like Tweetdeck that incorporate a retweet button that will automatically fill out the (up to) 140-character message for you. RT identifies a retweet

Step by step intructions on how to create a retweet

Hash tags #

These were invented by users as a quick way to follow all conversations surrounding an event, a topic or a brand. You add a hash tag simply by prefixing a keyword with a hash symbol: #keyword. Hashtag.org tracks the conversation for you. Follow hashtags on Twitter so they can track you.

Tracking conversations via Hashtags.org

With the advent of a Twitter search function, you can simply do a search on #keyword. I find that it works better since not everyone follows hashtags on Twitter.

Hashtag conversations tracked with Twitter search

Get a desktop applications for Twitter

Several client applications are available for free. Twitter applications adds functions that simplify the use of Twitter and better engage in conversations. I used Twirl on my laptop. Now I am giving a try to Tweetdeck.

The biggest advantage of Tweetdeck over Twirl is the ability to organize in groups the Tweeple you follow. For example, I create a group of my favorite Tweeters to make sure I do not miss what they have to say. What is bothering me about Tweetdeck is the extra huge interface; it requires almost a full screen. The interface of Twirl requires little real estate on your screen. I will see if I can adapt.

For my iphone, I used either Twitteriffic or Twittelator from which you can upload pictures.

In case you wish to follow me on Twitter.

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9 Responses to “Twitter 101 | Basic Commands”

  1. I’m not totally there yet but I should jump in soon. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Pingback from a Web site

    […] Twitter tips of the day are two quick tips on how to use TweetDeck. I talked about TweetDeck when I installed it. Now that I used it for a while, I absolutely love it.  As you may […]

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    […] with whom you build better relations to your Facebook friends. If you are new to Twitter, read my Twitter basic commands to give you a head […]

  5. This 101 helped a lot. Thanks so much!

  6. Pingback from a Web site

    […] as possible on being active on Twitter. If you are new to Twitter, familiarize yourself with the basic Twitter commands. I wrote this post to help you understand the culture behind […]

  7. 7 Tom Klemens (@tkwordwright) said:

    Kim – Enjoyed this piece – got here from a link in your May 2 or 3 post on using Twitter to boost your brand. Just wanted to note my favorite Tweetdeck feature: you can forward a tweet as an email (start under options, then select tweet, etc.) It’s great for archiving ideas I don’t want to lose as they get pushed down the list. Thanks for your enlightening commentary.

  8. Twitter 101 | Basic Commands
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