Twitter is a social media site that keeps lingo concise through short and sweet tweets. Tweets are required to be 140 characters (not words) or less. Think of these one-liners as a spark, and the media, link, or question posed within as the firewood: the substance that inspires conversation.
Twitter is great for PR, promotion, news, trending and culturally significant topics, and interacting with others on the web who are short on time or like to sift through a feed of news topics.
In The Beginning
Sometimes, to keep tweets concise, you have to leave the articles out. No, not the hyperlinks; for those, you can generally find a short link. Tweets over 140 characters often see THESE articles cut out: “the,” “his” or even “a.”
Here is a comprehensive overview of basics for beginners: The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter
How to choose a good user name, before you get started: How to Choose a Good Twitter Username
This is Twitter’s system for sorting tweets by topic, allowing users to see similar tweets immediately. My tweet about adorable kittens could be followed by #cutecats and users could look up #cutecats to find, well, tweets about cute cats.
Finding hashtags, trending topics, and an overview: Twitter Hashtags-Understanding their Value and How to Use Them
Here’s a more in depth guide to creating your own hashtags: Creating Hashtags and Making them Useful on Twitter
Directing Tweets at Other Users
Twitter users engage in conversation: Which breed of cat is cutest? What do people think of a viral photo? Of course, for controversial topics this banter does get quite heated … and for those marketing a product or service, directing a tweet at a user with @(user’s name) is priceless for generating a buzz.
Find out more on the topic here: Twitter Reply: How to Use Twitter @Reply
And here: How @Replies Work (And How They Might)
Finding and Using Hyperlinks and Short links
When you share a video of adorable kittens, newsworthy article or page describing a must-have product — the media has to be linked into the tweet. This is done through hyperlinks, or more preferably, with short links.
Here’s how to post links into a tweet: Posting Links into a Tweet
Is the link safe? How to Tell if a Link is Safe Without Clicking on it
Shortening your URL to make a short link: 5 Twitter URL Shorteners with Awesome Features
How to Include Uploaded Media
Want to post a picture of your own cute cat? Or original articles, photos of your product … etc? You’ll want to upload the media into the tweet.
Find out how to do it here: How to Add Photos, Videos and Links
As for music: 10 Ways to Share Music on Twitter
How to Retweet
Often times, another user captures what you’re dying to say perfectly, or wants to feature your PR on their page. This is done through retweeting one another’s tweets.
Here’s how to do that: Retweeting Another Person’s Tweet
An experiment in retweeting with a comment included: Twitter is Experimenting with a New Way to Retweet
This one appears most confusing, but is perhaps the biggest boon to spreading the word efficiently and exponentially: integrating twitter with other social media sites. For example, when you post a tweet, it can show up on your website.
Here’s a guide for integrating twitter to your WordPress: 6 Ways to Add Twitter to Your WordPress Site
…to your website, How to Embed Twitter Timelines on Your Website
and, connecting your Facebook and twitter profile: Using Twitter with Facebook
A Little Inspiration
Some users have got it down pat — and the results show in the number of followers they have, how many quality tweets they’ve put out, their humor and their cultural relevance. Here are a few lists of noteworthy examples you can follow if you like, to inspire you as you move forward.