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Understanding Twitter Lingo

Are you part of the 40% of Twitter users who is rarely engaged and never tweets?

Do not fear, you are not alone.   Many people get intimidated by the not-so-intuitive Twitter language.  Confused by hashtags, usernames and re-tweets, many avoid tweeting for fear of doing it wrong.  They often end up abandoning their Twitter feed as too confusing to be worth their time.

But as Facebook becomes evermore complicated and populated with ads, you might find it’s worth re-visiting your Twitter account as a more resourceful and rich social media platform.

Here’s a quick look at a tweet and a Twitter glossary to get you up to speed on the basic elements of a tweet.


Username/Twitter handle – Your ID on Twitter must be unique and contain fewer than 15 characters, no spaces. Is used to identify you on Twitter for replies and mentions.
Hashtag (#)  –  The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a post.  It is created organically (anyone can create a hashtag) as a way to categorize messages or posts of similar natures.  Examples:  #DarienCT #KYDerby #selfie

Retweet (RT) – The act of sharing another user’s Tweet to all of your followers.

Note: When you “tag” other Twitter users, include “hashtags” or links in your Tweet, all of these elements (highlighted in blue) will be actionable links once posted.  Including these elements also makes your Tweet more engaging and findable.

Here are a few other articles to help bring you up to speed on the basics of Twitter:

Now you’ve got the lingo, I challenge you to give Twitter another try.  I’ll make it easy – tag me (@sheesalt) in a Tweet and I will reply or Retweet!

Let me know how it goes in the comments or ask about any other challenges you face on Twitter.  Also, please consider sharing this article if you found it useful.  Thanks.

What the #### is a hashtag?

For Facebook fans who have been happily living a hashtag-free life, fear not, Facebook’s announcement officially rolling out hashtags this week is not really bad news.  You might even find it to be a good thing, once you get the hang of it, and especially if use them to promote your work or business.

But first, the basics, what is a hashtag?
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a post.  It is created organically as a way to categorize messages or posts of a similar natures.  Examples:  #summer #Oscars #SuperBowl #TGIF

How do I use a hashtag?
People (and businesses) use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces)  so that their posts will be grouped into other similarly “hashtagged” posts when searched upon or clicked.   Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message  will show you other posts marked with that keyword or phrase.  It’s interesting to note these posts will not all necessarily be from your friends (I’m seeing quite a few business pages showing up – methinks that users might clamor for filters in the very near future.)

For those new to the hashtag world, here are some examples of hashtags from Twitter, Instagram and other social media networks that we might see creeping into Facebook:  #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #selfie #nowplaying.

And good news for those of you who auto-post across your social media networks (serious Ninja stuff), the hashtags will be recognized across all social networks.

For more information, background and details about hashtags in Facebook, please check out:
* Public conversations on Facebook – Facebook
* Hashtags finally get support from Facebook – Mashable
* Privacy and hashtags on Facebook – Mari Smith

Have hashtags been enabled in your Facebook account, yet?  If so, what is your first post with a hashtag?