Do You Speak Twitter? Top 10 Twitter Terms You Should Know

Do You Speak Twitter? Top 10 Twitter Terms You Should Know
An example of a Twitter timeline

By Loraine Kasprzak, MBA
If you are a business owner new to social media, you probably don’t have a lot of time to mess around learning each of the tools. Twitter, the free microblogging service, is probably the easiest to put to use quickly, and is helpful for sharing news about your company and establishing your brand.

As a neweeter – that is, someone new to Twitter – you’ll want to know some of the more important Twitterspeak terms before you get started. Here are my picks for the top 10 Twitter terms you need to know:

  • Tweeting – the act of posting your 140-character message (“tweet”) on Twitter
  • Tweeter or twitterer – a user of Twitter. You need to register for a free Twitter account to be able to use the service.
  • Twitter timeline – a stream of tweets that are displayed on a user’s computer screen or mobile device. These are posts from tweeters whom the user has chosen to follow.
  • Followers – those who get your tweets in their Twitter timeline. While some social media gurus say the more followers the better, I believe having a dozen or so of the right followers can be just as effective for building your brand and promoting your company.
  • Retweet (RT) – when you repost someone else’s informative, valuable tweet to share it with your followers. Retweeting is one of the best ways to show you are engaged in the Twitter community.
  • Tweet-back – bringing a previous tweet conversation or reference back into the current conversation
  • Hashtag – when you add a ‘#’ – which is called a hashtag – to a word or term in your tweet, it adds the tweet to a category that is searchable in Twitter. Using #marketing in a tweet, for example, means that post will be found by anyone searching on the keyword “marketing”.
  • Drive-by-tweet – a quick post between tasks
  • Non-tweep – someone who doesn’t understand or use Twitter

And here are three more just for fun:

You’ll see the Fail Whale when Twitter crashes
  • Ashton Kutcher – your kids will be impressed that you know Ashton Kutcher, besides being Demi Moore’s husband, is a social media guru wildly popular on Twitter. At last count, he had over 5.8 million followers.
  • Tweeterboxes – twitterers who tweet too much (see Ashton Kutcher).
  • Tweeps – Twitter people who follow each other from one social network site to another.

Thanks to Mashable, which was the source for some of these definitions. For a more extensive list, check out their Twitterspeak article.

What are some other words or phrases that business owners who are new to Twitter should know? Share your thoughts in the Comment section below.

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