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Twitter 101: A Quick Lesson For Twitter Newbies


I just joined Twitter a few weeks ago, and was initially very confused about what was going on.  Thanks to the help of some of my co-workers, though, I figured it out and subsequently realized how useful (and addictive) it can be.  In the spirit of paying it forward, I thought I’d share some really basic information with those of you who are as Twitter-illiterate as I was:


If you type this symbol before someone’s name in a tweet, the tweet addresses that person specifically.  Your side navigation has an @(yourname) link which will allow you to view only tweets directed at you.

Direct Messages

Referred to as “DM” by Twitterers, a direct message is a private message you can send or receive to a user.  This means you are the only two people that can view that message.


If someone tweets something that you really like or find useful, you can reintroduce it into the live Twitter feed by retweeting it.  This will give people another opportunity to check it out if they missed it before.  When people retweet your stuff it means it was a really good tweet!


Typing #(word) will ensure that your tweet will appear in search results for that word.  Searches are the way people find subject matter they are interested in tweeting about and following.  So if i wanted to index my tweet under the subject of tennis, I could use this feature by tweeting the following:  Check out this breaking #tennis news about the U.S. Open this year! Now, if someone searches the term tennis, my tweet will appear.


Click the “follow” button on a user’s profile if you like the information they’re posting, and their tweets will automatically appear on your live homepage feed.  People that you decide to follow compose your “following” (a number tally of which is listed on your homepage in the right side navigation.) Users who follow you then, are your “followers.”  You will automatically only see tweets by your following on your homepage. Managing your following and followers is is a way of filtering content.  People with more followers are considered to  have more credibility, and also have more social media power because of their large audience of listeners.


To post a link on Twitter, simply copy paste the link.  If it’s too long, use a tool like to shrink it to fit.

So there are you are- the basics of Twitter.  There’s a lot more to learn, but that’ll get you started.

Don’t be scared– it’s a great way to get customer feedback, share knowledge about niche industries, and connect with professionals in your field.  Not to mention it has a lot of potential as a marketing tool, if used correctly.

Good luck, and don’t forget to follow me @Marisol1986. I’ll be there for ya if you need me to answer any more of your Twitter questions.

Author Alex Stetson

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