Twitter is a great way to connect with people for all walks of life, but as with any social media site, some of the terminology and concepts surrounding the public text messaging platform can be confusing for people new to the service. Here are 25 questions commonly asked about Twitter.
1. What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamic, user-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content.
A hashtag is used to index keywords or topics on Twitter and allows people to easily follow topics in which they are interested. People use the hashtag symbol before a relevant keyword or phrase in their Tweet to categorise those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter search. Clicking or tapping on a hashtagged word in any message shows you other tweets that include that hashtag. A Hashtag can be included anywhere in a tweet, and hash tags that become very popular are known as Trending Topics.
2. What is the Twitter timeline?
A timeline is a linear representation of important events in the order in which they occurred. When you log in to Twitter, you will land on your Home timeline, which displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow on Twitter. You may see suggested content powered by a variety of signals. You can reply, Retweet, or like a Tweet from within the timeline. Tweets you are likely to care about most will show up first in your timeline; Twitter chooses them based on accounts you interact with most, Tweets you engage with, and more. You may also see content such as Promoted Tweets, or Retweets in your timeline.
Additionally, when Twitter identifies a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that is popular or relevant, they may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you do not follow.
3. What are followers?
Followers are people who receive your Tweets. If someone follows you they will show up in your followers list, they will see your Tweets in their Home timeline whenever they log in to Twitter, and you can start a private conversation with them.
4. How do I create an effective Twitter bio?
To create an effective Twitter profile bio, first determine your primary goal(s). Are you trying to build awareness for a product, brand or your expertise? Are you trying to directly sell products or services? Once you have done that then the following steps can be followed:
- Search Twitter for the brands, experts, services, or people that you already know about in the industry or topic area of your primary goal.
- Take note of the profile bios of those accounts.
- Once you find a few accounts that you trust, take a look at the last 10-30 posts of each. You are searching for common hashtags and keywords within the tweets of this group.
- Once you have made a list of those common hashtags and keywords, search on those words to find more accounts, to take note of more bios.
- Pay special attention to the account profiles of Twitter users who have high numbers of followers.
- Also look on those account feeds by following those high quality users. That will give you valuable examples of how many posts to create per day, week or month; what times are the best to Tweet; and what kinds of posts receive the highest number of shares (retweets and favorites).
- Within those popular profiles, you should see a pattern emerging among them. At this point the easiest thing to do is make that pattern your profile template. Make sure that your profile contains the hashtag or keyword that brings you the highest quality profiles.
5. When is the most popular time to tweet?
Based on research, noon to 1 pm local time, on average for each time zone, is the most popular time to tweet. The highest volume of tweets occurs between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., peaking between noon and 1:00 p.m. Not surprisingly perhaps, the fewest tweets are sent between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m.
6. What’s the difference between a Reply and a Mention
Every time your username is tagged on Twitter with the @ symbol it works its way to your mentions folder.
Twitter handles tweets that start with @username differently than it does those that place the @username somewhere else. Any tweet that starts with @username on Twitter is interpreted as a reply – that is, Twitter assumes you are sending this message directly to that person and will place it in their feed (and mentions folder) accordingly.
However, if you start a message with @username, it will not appear in the standard home stream of anyone else in your network unless both of you (the sender and the recipient) are being followed. If a given @username is included in a tweet anywhere else but at the very start, Twitter interprets this differently – as a mention instead of a reply. What this means is that the tweet will be immediately sent to the home stream of everyone who is following you, and not just the person that was mentioned.
7. Can you tell if someone looks at your Twitter?
There is no way to see who views your Twitter profile. You can, however, see who reads your tweets. Every tweet you write is read by your followers – If you click on the followers score, which is also a link, you can view who follows your twitter updates. Everyone all over the world can see your Twitter profile.
8. Is it possible for non-followers to view my tweets?
Unless your profile is set to private, all tweets are public. People can view them from different means: entering directly to your profile page; searching your username in Twitter search; adding you to a Twitter list that they check; checking a hashtag or keyword that you used; or Following someone who retweeted you.
9. How do I know who is following me?
The followers link on your profile page or home page will show you how many followers you have and who they are, and, by default, Twitter will send you an email to let you know when someone new follows you.
10. How do I get followers?
If you want to get followers, there are a few proven strategies. Start including your Twitter name on your email signatures. Link to it naturally on emails. Add a link on your website. Include it in your author bio when you are writing for publications.
The best way is to start tweeting. Send out concise, witty, and relevant tweets and people will find you. Engage with leaders in your sphere of influence and they will start retweeting you and sharing your messages with their followers. People will get curious and start following you.
11. Can I restrict who follows me, or sees my updates?
You can do this by protecting your Tweets.
Protecting your Tweets means anyone who wants to follow you must submit a request for your approval. Only followers you approve can see your protected Tweets and your Tweets will not appear in search engine results.
12. If somebody follows me, is it necessary for me to follow them back?
No – you are not obliged to follow, in turn, a particular Twitter user who has chosen to follow you.
13. What is meant by the term ‘Twitter impressions’?
An impression is the total number of times tweets about a search term were delivered to Twitter streams, or the number of overall potential impressions generated. Tweet count is the total number of tweets sent by an account, whereas the impression are the tweets sent that actually generate interaction or replies from others on Twitter.
14. What is meant by the term ‘Twitter engagement’?
Twitter Engagement is the Total number of times a user interacted with a Tweet. Such engagement means clicking anywhere on the Tweet, including Retweets, replies, follows, likes, links, cards, hashtags, embedded media, username, profile photo, or Tweet expansion.
15. What is the average engagement rate on Twitter?
An engagement rate between 0.09% and 0.33% is considered to be high, where an influencer would expect 9 – 33 reactions for every 1000 followers on Twitter. An engagement rate between 0.33% and 1% is considered to be very high, with expected reactions to be between 3 – 10 for every 1,000 Twitter followers.
16. Should I link Twitter and Facebook?
You can get Twitter to sync with Facebook. However, it is strongly recommended by industry experts that you do not. That is because the two mediums are built to engage people in different ways. Facebook is about building relationships with people you already know. Twitter is largely about connecting with people you wish you knew (industry leaders, thought leaders, celebrities, etc.).
17. What are Promoted Tweets?
Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers. All Promoted Tweets are clearly labelled as Promoted when an advertiser is paying for their placement on Twitter. In every other respect, Promoted Tweets act just like regular Tweets and can be retweeted, replied to, liked, and more.
18. Can I block Promoted Tweets?
There are some changes to the settings you can make which will stop promoted content from bombarding you as soon as you open the app. However, there is a Xposed module that you can download to destroy all ads and promoted content in the official Twitter app.
It is a simple process. begin by opening your Xposed Installer app and going to the Download section in the side navigation menu. Tap on the search icon and type in “Twitter,” then select the top result, Twitter Adfree. Download the latest version of the app from the Versions tab, then tap on “Install” when prompted. Then activate the module and reboot in order to clean up your Twitter timeline.
19. Can you block people on Twitter?
As with any other social media platform there may be unsavoury people you want to block, or those whose behaviour you do not like, or simply prefer not to engage with, for any reason. It is a simple process to block a Twitter user:
- Log into your Twitter account.
- Go to the profile page of the person you wish to block.
- Click the person icon on their profile page. This brings up a drop-down actions menu.
- Select Block from the options listed.
20. What is a Twitter Favorite?
A favorite is similar to a Like on Facebook. With a single click, you can engage with content to either bookmark, show your appreciation, or simply let the author know you have seen their Tweet. This has made favoriting an attractive form of engagement.
21. How to get our tweets ‘Retweeted’?
There are a number of ways to get tweets Retweeted, but some work is required – it will not happen automatically. Some suggested ideas are:
- Share original content. By reacting quickly to breaking news or creating original content you will automatically increase your chances of being retweeted.
- Be Unique. Put your own unique spin on third party content.
- Give people what they want. If people have chosen to follow you it is a reason so give them want the want.
- Always upload a picture. Tweets with images generate 150% more retweets than text-only tweets.
- Retweet others. Retweet other people regularly and they are far more likely to return the favour.
- Use hashtags. Studies show that using 1-2 hashtags in a tweet significantly increases engagement. Never, however, use more than two hashtags, as that can have a negative effect on engagement.
- Use an exclamation point. Tweets that contain an exclamation point generate twice as many retweets as those without.
- Simply asking for a retweet can generate 3-4 times the amount of engagement.
- Tweet frequently. The more you tweet the more people will notice you on Twitter and the more likely it is they will retweet your content.
22. Do people get notified if you stop following them?
No, the only thing that will happen is that their follower count will decrease by one. They will not get an email telling them that you have stopped following them.
23. What is a Twitter chat?
A Twitter chat is a conversation on a certain topic, often at a certain time. There are genre-specific chats and chats that writers host to connect with their readers.
24. Can you get hacked on Twitter?
Accounts may become compromised if you have entrusted your username and password to a malicious third-party application or website, if your Twitter account is vulnerable due to a weak password, if viruses or malware on your computer are collecting passwords, or if you are on a compromised network.
25. What are Twitter analytics?
Your actions on Twitter, along with the actions of all the people who follow you, engage with your tweets, or otherwise interact with you, create an extensive set of data you can use to track various Twitter metrics.
Twitter analytics tools allow you to analyse that data and measure your performance for Twitter metrics over time, so you can learn what works, what does not, and how to get the most from the time and resources you put into posting on Twitter.