Archive for October, 2010

#, @, RT? Twitter: Back to Basics – written for tba | PR + Advertising

Monday, October 11th, 2010

I once heard someone say that people you are friends with on Facebook are the people you have once known personally, but don’t really have much in common with, and the people you follow on Twitter are those you don’t know personally but have a lot in common. How can you start interacting and making a connection on the Twittersphere? Many people are still unaware of the benefits of Twitter and how it can help a company or an individual engage with the public. Here are a few basic pointers on how to start doing this:

1. Hashtags #
A great way to get in front of like-minded individuals is to put a #hashtag symbol before a keyword. If you use a hashtag in your tweet, and you have a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag can find your tweet. Anything can be made into a hashtag, but there a several common ones that can be found here. As a side note, the location you put a hashtag into your tweet is really up to you. Most people put them at the end of their tweet, but you can also integrate them inside the tweet. This is also a great way to find out what people are saying about your company or industry.


2. @ Replies or “Mentions”
By using the @ symbol or #hashtag in front of a Twitter username to reply to someone or refer to their post, you are basically saying hey, @XYZTwitterUsername, I am paying attention to you! The user below prefaced his RT (which I will go into next) with a comment, which makes this a hybrid tweet. He both mentions @thebecheragency by making the comment “Hilarious!” and RT’s @thebecheragency’s post by saying RT before the username:


In this post, user @WhitleyGaffney mention’s #thebecheragency by using a #hashtag. It is not as easy for the Twitter user to notice these posts, but it is still searchable. Best practice would be to use the @ symbol when mentioning @XYZTwitterUserName in your post.


3. RTs or “Re-Tweets”
If someone posts something interesting on his or her wall, RT their post. This will share it on your wall and will appear to all of your followers. A standard RT does not include additional comments

4. DM or “Direct Messages”
A direct message is a private, off-the-record message that you can send your followers. Think of it as a short email. The only rules are that the user has to first follow you and the message has to be under 140 characters. One great way to use DMs is to send a short thank-you message to the user when they follow you, or to make connections with them outside of Twitter.

5. Follow Those Who Follow You
Personally, if someone is trying to sell something, speaking in a different language, or is posting vulgar information, I will not follow them back. If for example you are a contractor and another local contractor follows you, follow them back! Twitter is a very powerful networking tool that could potentially lead to strong partnerships and friendships. By following your followers, you can not only monitor the competition, but also re-Tweet relevant information of local and national companies or individuals who are in similar industries.

6. Find and Follow Like-Minded Twitter Users
This is crucial to learning more and engaging within your industry. The best site I have found for this is Twellow. It is very straightforward and allows you to add your username to certain categories. For example, @thebecheragency is listed under 5 categories:

  • Marketing + Advertising + Ad Agencies
  • Marketing + Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Marketing + Public Relations
  • Information Technology + Software Programming + Web Developer + Web Design

Social media is supposed to be fun! The more you do it, the more familiar it will become. It can seem like a lot if you are first starting out, but really becomes second nature when you dive in. Yes, social media is always changing, but please feel free to give me, or anyone at tba | PR + Advertising a call if you have any questions and if there is anything we can assist with.