Twitter BluebirdTwitter seems to have come out of nowhere to become one of the world’s most popular online social services behind Facebook and MySpace. Twitter now has millions of users, and even Oprah got on it, putting it in the minds of millions more yet (and irking thousands of existing users in the process). Celebrities and CNN are all about Twitter now, it seems. But most of the people on twitter are your peers and your clients and customers.

Simply put, if you’re not using Twitter, you’re missing the party. Not just a party but “the” party. The party that keeps going 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and I don’t think it’s going to die down very quick.

Twitter should be seen as the single biggest opportunity you have outside your blog.

Twitter Terminology

One of the fun aspects of Twitter is its jargon. If you’re going to use it successfully, you need to know the lingo. People love to take the words twitter, twit, tweet and combine them with other words to make up fun new words, like tweeple.

Autofollow – Automatically following other users who follow you. This is a setting in Twitter, but tools which integrate with Twitter may also automatically follow other users–a practice which has met with much scorn, because of its use by spammers and over-zealous marketers who don’t understand the value of relationship-building.

Block – If you don’t want to ever see anything another Twitter user says, you can block them. This is commonly done when people are spamming or offending you on Twitter.

Direct Message/DM - Private messages sent to other Twitter users who are following you, and whom you follow. Mutual following is what makes DMs possible.

Follow/Followers/Following – When you want to read what another Twitter user posts, you follow that user. Your followers are all the people who are interested in what you have to say and in interacting with you on Twitter. When you are logged into the service, you can follow others with the click on a button.

Hashtags – Hashtags are a keyword prefaced with a “#” sign. If I tweeted about SEO, for example, I might put #seo in the tweet. There are services online which scan for these and people can also search on them and see all the tweets that contain a particular hashtag (the # is also called a hash sign).

OH – An abbreviation for “overheard” followed by something funny or entertaining which the tweeter overheard someone say. This is what happens when people are out and about tweeting with mobile devices–life all around us can be quite entertaining at times.

Reply – A tweet that is a public message to another Twitter user. These tweets begin with @username.

Retweet/RT – Copying another Twitter user’s tweet and adding the letters RT plus their Twitter username. This allows you to spread great tweets by others and credit them.

Tweeple/Tweeps – Tweeple is a combination of twitter and people, meaning twitter followers. Tweeps is a similar combination of  twitter and peeps (already slang for people).

Tweet/Tweeting – What you call a post on Twitter. Tweeting is what you’re doing when you’re writing posts on Twitter.

Twittering/Twitting – Another way to say you’re creating posts on Twitter (it means the same as tweeting).

Twoosh – A tweet that uses exactly 140 characters.

URL Shortener – A URL is a web page address. Because of the character limit in Twitter, long URLs would destroy any chance of sending a link to your followers along with a message. A URL shortener service redirects your long URL to a much shorter one that goes to the exact same address, saving space. Twitter does this automatically with URLs that you type or paste into the message window, provided that even with the URL, the message is still less than 140 characters.

Tune in Tomorrow as I show you how to set up your twitter account for maximum effectiveness.

**Join Me Next Thursday, September 10th as I share all the secrets I’ve learned to turn yourself into a Social Media Powerhouse. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS!**

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