A Beginners Guide to Twitter


Twitter is a social media phenomenon that has practically taken the world by storm. Virtually anyone, who is anyone has one, but what on earth is Twitter? And what is it all about?

What is Twitter?

Created in 2006, is basically a place where you can share your thoughts and feelings, and even have conversations with others. But the catch is: Your messages can only be 140 characters long.

Why 140 characters?

Anyone who remembers the days before mobile phones became the instruments of technological advancement that they are today, will remember that once upon a time, a text message could only be 140 characters long, there was no splitting up of texts into two separate messages automatically, and even when you could, you did not want to be spending your £10 monthly “top up” on two texts, when you could easily squish it into one.

Well, Twitter basically plays on that idea.

How can I promote links to my website/blog, is I only have 140 characters?

There are various tools across the internet, include bit.ly that will shorten your URL for you, by replacing it with an alternative URL,  shrinking it down to a more manageable size.

Why is there an @ symbol before the person’s user name?

The “@” symbol is used to denote the fact that you are speaking to a specific person or individuals. If you place the @ symbol and user name at the beginning  of your message, the only people that will see that message are the recipient (as in the person that you have named), and anyone that follows both you and the recipient.

What is Following? Sounds a bit Stalkerish!

When you “follow” someone, as long as their account is not set to private (meaning that they have to acknowledge and accept you), you will be able to see everything that they say, automatically, in your Timeline.

What is a Timeline?

You “timeline” is basically an ongoing feed of tweets from people that you follow, and there are several types of tweet that will probably appear here:

  1. Some tweets will just be general ones that can be read by anyone who follows that individual.
  2. Re-tweets, which means that the individual has chosen to share something that someone else has said, that they think their “followers” might enjoy too.
  3. Links to blogs and websites, whether their own or ones that they are reading and think other people might enjoy.
  4. Tweets between two or more people that you follow
  5. Tweets directed at you

What are “hashtags”?

A “hashtag” or a # symbol is used by a lot of people in front of keywords, in order to make a point or a statement, but it is also used to create or contribute to a “trend”. Using hashtags also helps people to find certain tweets using the search tool, so it’s a great way of targetting your audience. For example, if you are a beauty company, you might use the hashtag so that your sweets can be found by people searching for “beauty” or “cosmetics”, for example.

Hashtags are also useful for when people want to take part in a specific chat. For example, every Sunday evening at 8pm (London), many beauty bloggers using the #bbloggers hashtag to participate in a conversation about a specific blogging related topic, organised by Makeup Savvy.

What are “Trends”?

Trends, quite simply, are what most people are talking about. This could be across the world, in a set country, or even a specific area.

This is a great tool to use to find out what is going on, what people are talking about, and what is effecting peoples’ lives.

Managing Twitter accounts is a service that I can provide to your business. So, if you’re struggling to figure out your tweets from your hashtags, use the contact form above and get in touch.


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