Twitter in an Eggshell: Tweet, Retweet and Repeat
Twitter is a social medium that has a personality all its own. Perhaps much like the Tweedledum and Tweedledee characters from the classic tale, Alice in Wonderland. Acting as one, they were quirky, original, logical, and often got their message across…cryptically.
From the classic story,
Tweedle Dum: If you think we’re waxworks, you ought to pay, you know.
Tweedle Dee: Contrariwise, if you think we’re alive you ought to speak to us.
Tweedle Dum: Tweedle Dee: That’s logic.
The purpose of social media is to converse with your audience. When your audience speaks to you, speak back! In Twitter-land, it’s done through a Retweet or reply via the @ symbol. A Tweet is equivalent to a Facebook “post”, only Twitter has coined their own term for it. It’s a brander’s dream, really. To create your own language AND have it catch on as normal speak. Roller Blades and Kleenex were both successful in replacing “inline skating” and “tissue” with their own terminology. Chapstick is another, but I digress…back to Twitter. Below are a few common terms and definitions for new Twitter users.
Tweet and Retweet (RT) to avoid becoming obsolete.
Facebook offers the “share” button and Instagramers must incorporate a third party app for “ReGramming”, so what do we do in Twitter-land? We Tweet, then Retweet. If you see something you like on your Twitter feed, whether it be a relevant news story or some recent praise your company has received, simply click the Retweet button below that Tweet to feed that Tweet out to all of your followers. Some may say it’s better to give than to receive, but when it comes to Retweets, receiving is pretty great, too. Send out Tweets to your followers that encourage responses and Retweets (just keep the 140 character limit in mind)! The quick nature of sending and sharing messages on Twitter lends itself well to crafting messages that are born to go viral.
What is the 1-4-0?
You read above that Twitter allows only 140 characters, which is the lowest of the many social media tools. Why that number? They found this to be the perfect length for sending status updates via text message and the standard text message length is 160 characters. Take 20 from 160 to account for your name, and you get the no-longer-mysterious 140 character limit to use as you choose. Interested in extra credit? Go sub 100 and achieve an even higher rate of engagement. (https://business.twitter.com/best-practices)
What are you looking @?
When you see the @ symbol, you are seeing a publicly viewed reply to another user. The @ simply calls them out, creates a link to their profile, and keeps things, well, social. Facebook and Google+ also use @'s but you don’t actually see them; the usernames are the tags and the tags are the usernames.
If you want to include a personal or corporate page in your Tweet, and send them a notification that you’ve mentioned them on Twitter, simply type the “@” and their Twitter name. Once you begin typing, you’ll even see a handy drop down menu listing the profiles that you follow to make Tweeting your favorite people and companies a breeze.
Hashtags are practically Twitter’s trademark but, believe it or not, Twitter did not create the hashtag – their user’s did! It was an organic effort created to categorize Tweets, thus making tweets about certain news topics and large events easier to find. The trend has gotten so big, Facebook has followed suit and as of last year, features full hashtag support. You can hashtag about an event your watching or attending (#SuperBowl), a big news story (#Election2016), or just about how you’re feeling at the moment (#sunshiny). Once you type a word or phrase behind the hashtag symbol, it automatically creates a link that other users can click to see more Tweets using that same hashtag.
Not sure what to hashtag? Either learn from Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake or just keep an eye on the left hand side of your Twitter homepage to see what hashtags and topics are currently trending on the social media platform. Get in on the conversation and Tweet creatively using these trends and hashtags, as it’s a great way to gain extra Retweets and followers. It is wise not to overdo it – two hashtags per message is plenty. You will also find that hashtags are commonly used in a sarcastic tone to summarize one’s feelings. We approve, so long as it’s not spam!
By now, you have probably drawn the conclusion that you don’t want to treat Twitter exactly the same as Facebook or your other social media venues. It really does have a unique niche for brief, frequent conversations. The tone is often quirky and the audience is vast, giving marketers the opportunity to target differently and diversify their plans. Plus, you want to use Twitter more often than the others; this is where it’s okay to invade your followers’ personal space! Okay maybe not invade but 3-5 Tweets per day is a good starting point, adjust as needed. Lastly, Tweets that include links, pictures or videos are the most successful.
Follow me at your own risk @terrostarcstall.