Twitter_IconTwitter is a remarkable social media platform for your business. It’s a way to connect with or find your customers, partners and vendors, follow thought leaders, and keep up with what your competition is doing! In short, it’s an easy way to get your message out there and be on top of what is going on in your industry.

But if you’re new to Twitter it can be more than a little confusing. An effective Twitter presence starts with understanding how it works. Here’s what you need to know for the best ways to tweet:

How Tweeting Works:


When you send out a tweet with @username included in the MIDDLE of the tweet, “hello @username” (called a mention, explained below) all of your followers will see that tweet in their Twitter Home feed.

To see your Twitter Home feed, click on Home:


The tweet will also appear under the “@Connect” tab for that user you mentioned.


NOTE: When you send out a tweet with @username at the BEGINNING of the tweet, “@username hello” the tweet will not show up on any of your followers Twitter feeds EXCEPT the user mentioned at the beginning of the tweet.


A mention is a public Tweet directed to another user that includes their @username. Mentions are clickable and link back to the mentioned individual’s profile.



A reply is a public response to a Tweet via the reply button. Replies show up in your Twitter Home feed and the Twitter feed of the person to whom you are responding to. You must follow both parties to see the full conversation.


You can pass along someone’s Tweet by retweeting it. Just hit the Retweet button to send the original message to all of your followers. It will look the same as a regular tweet with the author’s name and username next to it.

You can see if a tweet has been re-tweeted by the green re-tweet arrow that appears at the top right of the tweet. If you expand the window, you can see who has retweeted it.



This is any word beginning with the # sign. People use hashtags to organize conversations around a specific topic. Clicking on a hashtag takes you to search results for that term and you can see tweets of all users that have included the specific hashtag in their tweet.

For your business, you may choose to attach a hashtag, such as #smallbiz, #SMB, #entrepeneur or even your brand’s name itself, like #Nike. This improves the chance that other Twitter users will find your tweet in targeted Twitter searches. You can ask users to include a unique hashtag in their own tweets as part of your newest Twitter marketing campaign. Throughout your campaign, the hashtag files tweets for easy search and organization within Twitter.

#FF or #FollowFriday is a great hashtag. You can see what hashtags are trending and jump into the conversation at



“Favoriting” a tweet is similar to liking a post on Facebook. It’s a way to let the original Tweeter know you liked his or her tweet.

It also gives you a way to save your favorite tweets in your Favorite folder so you can refer back to it later. This is handy.


Simply click the star icon with “Favorite” next to it in order to favorite a tweet

Twitter_Favorites_Feed 2

Direct Messages

A direct message (DM) is a private message sent to one of your followers. You can only send a direct message to a user who is following you. You can only receive direct messages from users you follow.

You can send a direct message to people who follow you by clicking the gear icon in the top right and selecting “Direct Messages.”


Choose the “New Message” icon, type the name or username of the follower you wish to send the message to. Unlike tweets, direct messages are private and DO NOT appear on the recipients Twitter Home page and they do not appear on your page. They can only be seen by the recipient of the message.

Keep Tweets Short and Sweet

Tweets are limited to 140 characters. But a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate.

Aim for 100 to 120 characters for your tweets. This make it for someone to retweet add their handle — @username — and a bit of commentary.

Create and Use Twitter Lists

Twitter lists are an excellent method of filtering through the people you follow. To create a list, click the Lists link and then “Create a list.


After creating a list visit the persons profile page you wish to add and click the list icon. Read my blog on Twitter Lists: Are They Useful?

Basic Rules

To maintain a successful Twitter presence:

  1. Tweet great content 3-4 times a day
  2. Reply to conversations
  3. Retweet other people’s content
  4. Be easy to retweet and follow

Here’s to successful Tweeting for your business. As always, please leave your comments and feedback!

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