Getting started with Twitter: Introduction
What is Twitter?
Twitter is yet another social media platform that everyone knows about. Not everyone however knows how to make the most of it. Twitter is primarily used to share thoughts, memes and search for news in 280 characters (increased from 140 in 2017).
In Q4 2017 Twitter reported 330 mln MAU (monthly active users) and is the 4th biggest social media network in the world (after Facebook, Youtube and Instagram). Its users generate 500 million tweets a day, so no wonder how one can find this platform a bit overwhelming.
Key countries (based on the number of users)
- USA (20% of the user-base)
- 37% of users are between ages of 18 and 29, 25% users are 30-49 years old.
- There are over 67 million Twitter users in US, that’s 21% of Twitter userbase.
- Total number of users in UK is 13 million.
- There are 330 million monthly active users, estimated number of Twitter accounts – 1.3 billion.
- Most retweeted tweet has 3.6mln and it’s not what you probably think it is.
Tweet: A short message posted by a user (280 characters)
Retweet (RT): A tweet reposted/reshared by another user
Feed: The homepage stream of tweets posted by people you follow and ads targeted at you, these are displayed in chronological order
Follow: An action of signing up to other users updates, so they can be visible in your newsfeed
Handle (@): Your username.
Mention (@username): it’s a term used to describe referencing another user and bringing their attention as they get notified.
Direct Message (DM): A private message that can be sent to another user
Hashtag (#): A way to highlight a topic of a conversation or get involved in a larger discussion (e.g. #ttot, #Trump). A hashtag is a discovery tool that allows others to find your tweets, based on topics. You can also click on a hashtag to see all the tweets that mention it in real time — even from people you don’t follow.
Moments: Trending stories curated by Twitter that are based on your location, follows and interests.
Twitter Connect: Only available on mobile apps – it helps you find people to follow based on your Twitter follows and behaviours.
Basic rules for Twitter newbies
- You can post a tweet that’s up to 280 characters and a video that’s up to 140 secs. You can also post an image, a GIF, a poll, location and post a series of tweets.
- Unless your account is set to private, anyone can see what you tweet so bear that in mind
- Hashtags are a way to categorise your tweets and you can find trending hashtags in your location in the left side panel. They can be also used to attend in discussions and chats
- You can also interact with a tweet by commenting on it, liking it or retweeting it.
- If you want to tweet to someone you have to use @username for them to see it.
- To interact with someone else’s tweet you can comment on it, retweet it (or retweet it as a quote), like it, send it as a message or save to Pocket. When clicking on the drop down icon to the right of user name you will also find you can embed it and take few other actions.
- To send a private message you can use the ‘Direct Message’ option. In most cases, you can only message people who already follow you
What do people use it for
- Search: To find latest news
- Information/Entertainment: To find out what Trump has to say
- Discovery: To discover something new
- Opinion: To share their thoughts and views that Facebook users wouldn’t appreciate
What do brands use Twitter for
- Monitoring brand’s performance.
- Research and find content ideas.
- Google rank – If you set up your profile properly, your Twitter account will show in Google search results.
- Sharing brand’s news and content that links back to their website/blog.
Who is it best for
- SMBs (Small and medium businesses) as it adds the personal touch to customer interaction – brands can quickly grow their awareness through Twitter’s recommendations and easy interaction with users.
- Brands that provide customer support – It is usually the 1st stop for users to complain about a business – they will try to message directly knowing they will get quicker response.
- Media and information services as well as businesses that want to spread information or provide live updates, because people use Twitter for breaking news and updates it is the perfect place to post about any changes and improvements.
- Specialists and businesses who want to boost their authority among their peers.
- Events businesses – It is a great place to promote events.
Is Twitter right for you?
It most probably is. And if you spend few hours planning your strategy and content for Twitter, you will see a great return on invested time in no time!
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PS. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date with latest news & updates.