Monday, February 18, 2013

Social Media Monday—The Tweet Life, Part Three—Twitter Vocabulary & Etiquette


You may have noticed that Twitter has a language all its own. It’s not hard to learn though, once you get the basics.

There are four ways to utilize Twitter:
  • Tweet—This is also called updating your status. It’s something everyone can see.
  • Reply—This answers an update and is directed to a specific person, but everyone can see your answer. You do this with the @followed by the person’s name. Example @EdieMelson. This is actually a clickable link so others can click on @EdieMelson to get to their feed.
  • Direct Message—This is the Twitter version of a personal email. It only goes to the person you’re addressing.
  • Retweet—This is a play on the word, repeat, and is when you repost or repeat something someone else has tweeted.

When to Use What
When to RETWEET and when to REPLY: There are two ways to answer someone on Twitter, RETWEET and RELY. And there are specific times to use each one.

A RETWEET, is a repeat of the tweet sent. This is used when you want to share a tweet with your followers. For instance, if I saw a tweet about how to avoid getting embarrassed on Twitter, I’d retweet it to my followers so they could learn too. I also use it to share good news about others.

A REPLY, is an answer to a tweet that’s been sent. This is used if someone asks you a question on Twitter. It’s also used when someone else mentions you on Twitter. It’s a way of saying thank you.  It’s considered a very bad instance of bragging to retweet a mention of yourself. For instance if someone tweeted about this post, I’d REPLY and say thank you.
  • So RETWEET if you see an update you want to pass on to your followers.
  • REPLY when someone mentions you or asks a question.

Do I have to Follow Everyone Who Follows Me?

No, absolutely not. I try to follow the people I believe have something valuable to say. I DON’T follow those who look like spammers or sketchy accounts. Often times you can tell because they don’t have a picture, only that irritating egg avatar. Another way I check is to look at the description they give for themselves. If they don’t have a description, I’m always skeptical. 

Is There a Rule about How Often I Should or Shouldn’t Tweet?

Twitter has a 140 character limit for a reason and it’s considered bad form to Tweet 3 or more times right in a row. Doing this is called Hogging the Stream or Hijacking the Stream.

So When is it acceptable to HOG THE STREAM? The short answer is …NEVER! Hogging or Spamming the stream, means posting several social media updates in a row. This can be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. You can do this inadvertently by engaging the AUTOMATIC updates available on some ancillary programs like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or Buffer.

This option of automatic updates claims to identify when the largest amount of your followers are engaging on social media and update at that time. Unfortunately this can often result in multiple updates sent one right after another. This can leave you labeled as an irritation or even banned from certain networks. I recommend you avoid any automatic scheduling options to avoid this.

So schedule the times when you send out your social media updates and don’t post them one after another. Spread them out.

First, so you don’t irritate anyone by Hogging the Stream.
Second, so you reach people who are on at different times of the day. 

What Does RT, MM, OH, HT Mean?
  • RT—means RETWEET.
  • MM—is MUSIC MONDAY, similar to Follow Friday.
  • OH—is OVERHEARD.
  • HT—is HEARD THROUGH.

Now it’s your turn. Be sure to post your questions in the comments section. And...

Don’t forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

17 comments:

  1. Great post, Edie. I've unfollowed people who post every 3 seconds about their books or themselves. Constant posting discourages me from visiting their sites and reading their books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, that irritates me as well. I've noticed a lot of folks hogging the stream on Google+ lately. Anyone else see that trend? Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

      Delete
  2. I'm just glad to know what FF means! I could tell it was something cheery, but wasn't sure from the context exactly what it meant. Your post is very helpful for a new Tweeter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carolyn, you're wise to wait until you know for sure what something on Twitter means. I have a couple of funny (embarrassing) stories about assuming on Twitter. I'm glad you found this helpful. Blessings, E

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the explanation, Edie. Two questions: When I retweet someone, is there a way for me to put in my own words like,"Great post on _____ by @EdieMelson? I haven't seen a place to put in my own words. Second question: I've never seen OH, HT, MM. When are they used, and when should I use them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ellen, you can add words at the beginning of a retweet, just place your cursor where you want to insert the comment. The problem comes with the 140 character limit. A lot of times, there's no room to add anything. You really don't have to, it's understood that you're endorsing the information if you retweet something.

      You can use the abbreviations when they're appropriate to what your tweeting about. Here's an example of OH: While I was at the #ACFW conference I OH ....(add your information instead of the ellipsis)

      Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

      Delete
  4. Oops. I see I've made some etiquette mistakes. Thanks for letting me know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vonda, trust me, we all do! That's the great thing about the social media community, it's full of forgiving, understanding folks. Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

      Delete
  5. Given your advice on “not hogging the stream”, what should you do when you participate in a Twitter chat? If you are an active participant in the chat, there will be many tweets in your stream within a short period of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true and a great question! When it's a conversation, or even a Twitterview (twitter interview), it's not considered hogging the stream. Hogging the stream refers to a series of unrelated updates. Or a series of related advertisements. I should have made that distinction.

      Almost everyone enjoys following a conversation!

      Thanks so much for commenting! Blessings, E

      Delete
  6. Great tips Edie. I do use Buffer and will have to watch and make sure my tweets are truly spread out- I hadn't considered the "hogging" problem with auto tweets!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia, I haven't heard of a specific instance of Buffer doing this, but it's always a risk when we relinquish control. Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, E

      Delete
  7. Great reminders, Edie!! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristi, thanks so much for stopping by! Blessing, E

      Delete
  8. I still haven't broken into the Twitter world. I've been scared to, but your tips are helping soothe my nerves. I might just dive in soon and see what it's all about. Blessings to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cathy, I think you'd be a natural! Anytime you're ready to wade in I'll be happy to help. Blessings, E

      Delete