Twitter

Every social media platform is slightly different. The technology of the platforms determine, to a large extent, how communication takes place. On Twitter, the 140-character limit and large volume of tweets has created an atmosphere that appreciates concise, fact-filled messages.

Twitter is best thought of as a cocktail party, where conversation is much more interesting than self-promotion, and you should listen more than you talk. Jokes are popular.

A tweet includes one or more of the following:

  1. Text.
  2. A link (to videos, photos, more with Twitter Cards).
  3. @usernames
  4. #hashtags

Text

Twitter gives you 140 characters, and you should use as few of them as you can to professionally get your message across. Shorter tweets are more likely to be retweeted.

Links

One link is usually the limit for a tweet. If you are including two or more, you better have a good reason. Links can take your audience to photos and videos, which appear more often inside Twitter, or to a web page.

@usernames

An @ before a username is called a mention. When you mention someone, they will get an alert. Using @ at the very beginning of the tweet will limit the audience of that tweet, and only accounts that follow both you and the additional username will see the tweet in their stream. Using mentions later in the tweet are good when you are discussing someone’s work, when you have a question for someone, or when you want to give credit.

#hashtags

Many of the jokes on Twitter are based around hashtags, which is any word or term preceded by the # symbol. Hashtags are great for following live events and breaking news.