Today I was speaking with one of my coaching clients and he asked me “Is there a Twitter cheat sheet anywhere I can get?” In TwittFaced (Your Toolkit for Understanding and Maximizing Social Media) my co-author and I cover Twitter basics and ideals extensively, but I have yet to do that here.Well friends, that’s what this post is.
The Twitter cheat sheet is a quick and dirty primer on Twitter. I’ll cover some of the basic terms, symbols, and ideas behind using Twitter. If you’re reading this in your email or RSS reader and don’t think it will be helpful to you, please send it on to beginner who might benefit, thanks.
Twitter Cheat Sheet
Twitter is a communication and networking powerhouse that connects people to each other, ideas, and topics. It’s a way for businesses to connect to their customers, get feed back, and interact with the people who enjoy their products enough to talk about them. The problem, for some, is getting started and understanding the symbols and terms used on Twitter everyday.
Twitter Symbols and Terminology
@ – The at sign is how you talk to people. Anytime you see @ followed by a username the message is either being directed at, or referencing to that person.
- ex: @JoshSPeters Thanks for putting together the Twitter cheat sheet, it’s awesome!
- ex: I really enjoy @JayBaer‘s blog. It’s very insightful and informative. You should check it out.
# – The hashtag denotes a topic, event, idea, etc. that your tweet pertains to. The tag can be placed any where in the tweet, but is often put towards the end.
RT – This stands for ReTweet. It’s a way of echoing what someone says, or sharing what someone has said with your own followers.
Fav – The little star icon that comes next to tweets (on Twitter.com) is how you favorite a tweet. Favoring a tweet is a way to collect tweets you find inspirational or to save for later if you’re on a mobile device
DM – Stands for Direct Message. This is a private message sent between two people that only those two people can see.
Twitter Cheat Sheet Advice
When picking your Twitter name give it some thought. Try to get your own name if possible. If not, then try to get something that represents you, and don’t fret too much about it, because you can always change it later.
Fill out your profile! Put your real location (so people can find you) and HONESTLY fill out your bio. Make it interesting and don’t just stuff it full of keywords and banal crap, tell us who you are and what you like.
When it comes to Twitter who you follow is completely up to you. Just because someone follows you does NOT mean you have to follow them back. It’s all up to you.
Amount of followers someone has doesn’t mean much, in fact the amount of Twitter followers someone has could mean nothing at all. The value you get from Twitter is all from who you follow and why.
Can’t figure out where to start? Just jump right in. Find some people in your area and just start talking to them. Connect to some new people and make some new friends. After all that’s what Twitter is all about.
Use a link shortener like Bit.ly to share your links. This will help you use fewer characters for links in your precious 140 limit per message.
Once you start following 100+ people it’s a good idea to start using a 3rd party Twitter app like TweetDeck to help you “manage the madness”.
Be sure to send more @ messages than links or updates. This is a medium for 1) Connecting 2) Communicating 3)Sharing. You will never get beyond the introductory stages of Twitter if all you do is broadcast crap all day long.
If you have any Twitter related questions or have some tips of your own please add them to the comments below
Thanks for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters
image by Rosaura Ochoa