Ultimate Guide on How to Use Twitter – Lesson 3: Twitter Lingo and Guidelines
In the previous lesson I covered the Twitter account overview to help you get familiarized with the Twitter interface and what features they provide you. If you missed that lesson, click the link below.
In this next lesson we’ll discuss some helpful Twitter lingo so you’ll know what people are talking about when you read some tweets as well as some helpful guidelines to prevent you from getting banned. After all, you don’t want to lose such a powerful resource after putting in so much hard work just from a careless mistake.
Twitter is known for its short and quick 140 character messages also known as tweets. It’s no wonder that people have come up with short acronyms to pack as much possible within the character limit.
If you want to ask others to tweet you back would you rather use “tweet me back” and use up 13 precious characters (remember, spaces count as characters too) or use “TMB” and use 3 characters to mean the same thing? Or if you posted something that is “not safe for work”, you’d be using up 17 characters but instead you could use “NSFW” and use 4 characters instead.
Packing in as much as you can in one tweet is important so you have room for things like images and links to your site. You want images to attract the attention of users since they’ll be flooded with tweets, you need to make yours stand out and a nice image will do exactly that. You want a link to your site because your end goal should be to either get more visits to your site where they can see more info about what you are promoting (whether it be a product, your business, or even yourself)
Some basic Twitter lingo are:
- Tweet – 140 character publicly available messages
- Followers – All the accounts that interested in your account and are following you. They will see all your tweets posted on their Home dashboard.
- Retweet – to copy either your own or other people’s tweet and share it with your followers
Next, let’s talk about some that may not be so obvious.
Twitter Abbreviations and Acronyms
The “at” sign is used to mention another account like @FreedomHomeInc. If you type this in your tweet it becomes a link to that account’s profile. You can also use it as an abbreviation for “at” in a sentence like “I’m @ the park”.
The “hashtag” is used for keywords, topics, or events and using the hashtag in front of those words in a tweet turns that word into a link that lets you see other tweets containing the same tag. An example can be “I’m going to #Disneyland tomorrow!”.
The “dollar” sign is used to denote a stock symbol such as $GOOG (Google) and when you type this in a tweet it becomes a link to that stock.
This is just an acronym for “As far as I know”
Just like in email, CC means “carbon copy” and combined with the @ tag it’s used to ensure a Twitter user sees the tweet. “Pretty cool article www.url.com – cc @Someone”.
This means Direct Message and as I mentioned in the previous lesson, direct messages are used as a way to send private messages between accounts. Since tweets are public, if you have any private messages you might say “DM me for more details”.
“In case you missed it” is usually used when retweeting your own content. “ICYMI here’s my latest blog post on…”
“Not safe for work” This is used to show that content in the tweet could potentially inappropriate.
Retweet. Often used with a comment and retweeting a tweet. Used to mark the end of the comment and the start of the original tweet. “Check it out! RT @Someone: Insane video. You won’t believe it! www.url.com”
“Shake/shaking my head”. Used to express disbelief or disappointment. “SMH. I can’t believe I failed my exam.”
“Thanks for the follow”
“Today I learned”
“Tweet me back”
“Thanks for the retweet”
Here are some other short-hands that aren’t really Twitter specific but can be useful in shortening your tweets:
abt – about
b/c – because
b4 – before
btw – by the way
idk – I don’t know
imo – in my opinion
tbh – to be honest
u – you
Of course there are tons of others out there and even new ones being created all the time so sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all different the acronyms.
Let me know what other ones you often use in the comment section below.
There are millions of Twitter users and Twitter wants to protect the experience and safety of their users so there are some rules that they have put in place. Failure to follow the rules may result in temporary locking or permanent suspension of the account so make sure you understand and follow the rules.
You can read about all the Twitter Rules here.
Content Boundaries and Use of Twitter
Trademark – if you’ve taken a username that has legal claim or trademark, Twitter can reclaim it on behalf of businesses or individuals. Read more about their Trademark Policy here.
- Copyright – They take copyright seriously so make sure you don’t publish copyright material. Read more about their Copyright Policy here.
- Graphic Content – No pornographic or excessively violent media allowed in your profile or header image. Some things can be marked as “sensitive media” which shows a warning before it can be seen. You can read more about it here.
- Unlawful Use – You can not use Twitter for any unlawful purposes or to further any illegal activities.
- Misuse of Twitter Badges – Twitter badges, like the “promoted” or “verified” badges, may not be used unless provided by Twitter. Accounts that use these badges to falsely imply affiliation with Twitter may be suspended.
Twitter doesn’t tolerate abusive behavior and will quickly lock or suspend any account that exhibits this behavior. There are many types of abusive behavior and here are some of them.
- Violent Threats – you can’t make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism
- Harassment – you can’t incite or engage in targeted abuse or harassment of others
- Hateful Conduct – you can’t promote violence against or directly attack or threaten people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease
- Multiple Account Abuse – you can’t create multiple accounts to evade the temporary or permanent suspension of a separate account
- Private Information – you can’t publish or post other people’s private information such as credit card numbers, street address, etc without their express authorization and permission. You also can’t post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent. Read more here.
- Impersonation – you can’t impersonate others to mislead, confuse, or deceive others. Read more here.
- Self-harm – If you encounter someone considering suicide or self harm on Twitter, make sure you report them. Twitter will take steps to help them by reaching out or providing resources for help
Spam is a big problem all over the internet and Twitter is no exception. What constitutes as spam is constantly evolving as spammers come up with new tricks and tactics to get around existing rules. Twitter takes spam seriously so make sure you follow their rules to prevent being locked or banned.
They have a list of what they consider spam and you can read the full list here but I’ll just go over a few major ones.
The following is considered spam:
- if you have followed and/or unfollowed large amounts of accounts in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive following or follower churn)
- if you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile
- if a large number of people are blocking you
- if you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account
- if you are selling or purchasing account interactions (such as selling or purchasing followers, Retweets, likes, etc.)
Take note of the last point. You’ll see a lot of sites promising that they’ll get you followers, retweets, or likes if you buy one of their packages. Twitter does not like that and considers that spam so make sure you don’t buy any of those packages. Key point is “selling or purchasing”. Seems as though traffic exchange sites that offer services for free are OK.
So today you learned:
- some basic Twitter Lingo
- Twitter guidelines
I know Twitter lingo will take some time to get used to but understanding it will help you become a Twitter expert.I hope you’ve taken the time to read Twitter’s guidelines so you know what to expect. Please abide by them so you don’t get your account locked or permanently suspended. It would definitely suck if you taken the time to build up a decent following only to have it all taken away.
If you have any comments or questions, leave them in the comment box below.
Now that we got all the boring admin related stuff out of the way we’ll be learning more fun stuff in the next lessons as I’ll show you techniques that I used to successfully gain followers.
Click the link below to move on to the next lesson.
If you’ve missed the previous lesson, you can check it out below.
If you’ve missed the Course Overview, you can check it out below.