PR & Social Media Tips | Using Twitter


It may be a bit confusing, and you may be hesitant to use Twitter if you and your company have yet to embrace social media and social networking site, but as mentioned in past posts, there are many reasons why Twitter is a great tool to utilize in your PR and marketing mix.

Here are a few helpful and basic tips to help you make the most of Twitter, including some shortcuts and definitions:

1.) The #hashtag. This tag has a bit of functional use when Tweeting. When there is a topic you'd like to comment on (or an area you think your 140 character saying relates to) and you'd like others to be able to easily find your comment among the many other comments, try using the hashtag. It comes before the term or topic your Tweet comments on. For example, if you were to share this blog post, you might use hashtags like #twittertips, #pr, #marketing, etc. You can make up your own tags, or use others that you've seen around.

If you are ever curious as to what a tag means, simply click on the tag. This will open a new page that lists all of the tweets that have used the tag. This may give you an idea of what the tag means. You can also try searching in Google. Some tags that are simple abbreviations are hard to decipher if you don't already know about the tag, but doing a little digging will usually tell you what it means. Others, like #ifihadamilliondollars, is pretty self-explanatory; these tags may not have much marketing or PR use, but they can be interesting to read and can serve as a break from your normal tweets.

Also, on the Twitter homepage on the right hand side column, there is a section titled "trending topics". There, Twitter lists the hashtags that are currently being used by many people. These can be an interesting read as well, but the tags usually have to do with current events or topics like #ifihadamilliondollars. Another hashtag that is used a lot is #ff, or #followfriday. Every Friday, people share other people on Twitter that they enjoy following. It serves as a sort of suggestion to other people that follow you that these people are worth checking out. (Others include: #bookmarkmonday, #sharetuesday, #retweetnesday, & #thankyouthursday.)

The moral of the story: hashtags can help others find your tweet if they are looking for related tweets, and it can also help you stay involved in a Twitter chat or topic discussion.

2.) @mentions. To send a Tweet to someone or to talk about someone on Twitter, you use what is called a mention. If you have something you'd like to share with someone specific, but also with other people, put their Twitter user name before your message. Before their name, add the @ symbol. If you were to mention me, you would use: @ashleywirthlin. This allows you to mention me to other people on Twitter or to send me a direct tweet.

3.) RT = Retweet. To retweet something is like to forward an email. You are sharing a tweet that you found to be interesting (for whatever reason) with the people that follow you, as they might not be following the person who initially made the tweet. Retweeting is also a good way to reply to someone, if they ask a question. You can retweet their question and add your answer. This is especially useful when having a Twitter chat session. In order to retweet something, use the @ symbol before the Twitter user's name. For example, @ashleywirthlin. If I said something along the lines of "Find Some Twitter Tips Here: http://publicrelationsblogger.com", and you wanted to retweet/share it, you would simply type RT before my Twitter account name, and send the same tweet that I sent earlier. (It's sort of like citing your source.) "RT @ashleywirthlin: Find Some Twitter Tips Here: http://publicrelationsblogger.com". It's pretty simple once you do it a few times. To make it a little more simple, try using an application like TweetDeck that puts a RT together for you.

Try using these tips to network, get in touch with other Twitter users, and share your content as well as other content you find useful.

Any other Twitter tips I missed?

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