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Getting some of the Twitter jargon out of the way

August 3, 2010

My last blog article Twitter for Business – What’s all that about? was for the Twitter cynics among you, as I shared my experiences of launching Twitter as a new business communication channel. Last time was mostly about tips and advice; this time I’m getting down and dirty as I take the lid off some of that confusing Twitter jargon to try and get a few more converts!

So here’s the low down:

What is a Re-Tweet or RT?
If someone says something on one of their Tweets and you want to share it with other people, you “Re-Tweet” it (re-publish it to your network of followers). What this means is that the original author of the Tweet gets credited with the original Tweet (Stay with this!) By doing this, it means other people reading the Tweet may then visit the original author and follow them. To do this you put RT at the beginning of your Tweet. Example RT @extravision- “your interesting message”. And a useful tip is to always remember to add a small comment of your own to personalise it.

What is a Direct Message or DM ?
OK, to send a direct message to someone, you need to be following them. Direct messages do not appear in the public timeline (for everyone to see) but are only between you and the other person. To do this you put DM at the beginning of your Tweet. Example DM @extravision – “your interesting message”

What are #Hashtags?
You add a hash tag when you want to add something you’ve said into a discussion group or specific interest group. When Tweeting, if you put this in your message #Quote it goes into a timeline with all the other people. Hash tags are a good way of building followers. I regularly search for example, on #emailmarketing, so I try and remember to put this in front of my relevant Tweets. The reason being, that like-minded people with also be searching on the same and therefore you increase your propensity to be followed.

What is Follow Friday or #ff?
Every Friday, Twitter users are encouraged to promote other people they follow. By putting a #ff in front of it, all these recommendations appear in a public timeline for others to see. It’s a very effective way to pick up new followers. Make sure you add some narrative on to your recommendation. Example “#ff I recommend @extravision because……”

A few of my recommendations

• Allow time for some Twitter research before you start ( competitor and business sector tweets)
• As with all business communications channels - have a strategy and objectives in mind
• Use bit-ly to post your links. Easy to use and good statistics
• Get yourself listed on Twellow Pages
• Make sure your Tweets are managed responsibly in line with your brand values
• If things get serious download Tweetdeck to manage all your Tweeting
• When you are Re-Tweeting – try to personalise, don’t just replicate
• Don’t set up auto replies, they’re a pet hate of mine!! Say thanks personally if you feel the need
• Use the search facility i.e. “email marketing” to find interesting Tweets to share
• Remember to use hash tags

So is Twitter worth looking at for my business?

Without going into any detail on the relevance of Twitter to differing business sectors, in general terms; Twitter definitely has a role as a business communication channel for most B2B companies.
Don’t give up, and keep your eye on all the social media resources out there to help you on your journey as you really can’t afford to get left behind.

So, if you fancy it and you haven’t done so already, grab yourself a Twitter domain name and get Tweeting!

You scratch our backs and we’ll scratch yours!

I hope this article has helped changed your way of thinking about this exciting new communication channel and look forward to welcoming you as a follower of our Extravision Tweets. If you are already Tweeting, or you end up having a go, please don’t forget to say “[email protected] ”. Of course, we will not send an automated “hello” back, but we will send you a very lovely personalised thank you and will definitely follow you back!

Posted by Jenni Malley
Social Media


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