Social Media and You…Twitter 101

When I first started posting on twitter, it took me awhile to “get it”. I thought, what can I say in 140 characters? I’m verbose, I can ramble on and on and on about pretty much anything and the whole premise was one that I just didn’t quite “get”.

Now that I “get it”, I thought I’d share the basic questions that I had when I first started. I found it hard to really find this info..So here is Twitter 101.

What is Twitter?
Twitter (www.twitter.com) is simply a scrolling message board with newest posts (tweets) on top. You are limited to 140 characters per post. You select to follow people you are interested in reading and in turn, people will follow you.

How do I find people to follow?
First, it is likely you have friends, coworkers or clients that use twitter. You can go ahead and follow them. That might be enough for you. If you are looking for areas of interest, such as selling on eBay or selling on Amazon or Kaleidoscope collectors, you can do a search using twittersearch and find like-minded people to follow and connect with – Oh, and don’t forget to follow Vendio!!

What is a DM?
DM (Direct Message) is really just a PM (Private Message). To send a direct message, just click on the twitter name of the person you want to send the message to and select to send a DM (if the person accepts private messages).

What is RT?
RT stands for Retweet and one of twitter features that does the “networking”. If you are reading something on twitter that you want to share, copy the message and place a RT to indicate it’s a Retweet. For example, let’s say you wanted to do a Retweet of a recent Vendio Review:

Original Post:
all_business New blog post: Vendio Platform Review – The Answer for eCommerce? http://bit.ly/jf2xJ

You simply add a RT@ and post it, so that YOUR followers can also see the tweet (in case they are not following the original poster):
Your re-tweeted Post

RT@all_business New blog post: Vendio Platform Review – The Answer for eCommerce? http://bit.ly/jf2xJ

How do I link to a blog post or website?
Since you only have 140 characters, you can use a URL “shrinker”, which takes a long URL and makes it shorter. There is a plethora out places on the web that will do this for you, such as tinyurl and budurl.

What does the # mean?
The # symbol is a hashtag. Hashtags “group” a conversation. When hastags are used it for a specific purpose, you can search only for that specific tag and find all posts that contain that hashtag. For example, Vendio uses #VendioS (for Vendio Store). If you were to use the tweet search link above and search for #VendioS, you would find only items related to the Vendio store.

If you wanted to start a grouped conversation about Kaleidoscopes, just search #Kaleidoscope and if it is not in use, go ahead and begin using it when talking about kaleidoscopes. If it is in use, just join the existing conversation. This allows conversations and networking between folks interested in kaleidoscopes.

And that’s twitter in a nutshell. Happy Tweeting!!

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