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​​​Learning to Tweet – Part 2​

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​After my recent blog post on learning to tweet, several readers expressed an interest in hearing more about the tips that had been shared with me as I was starting out on my Twitter journey. As I write t​his, I'll be the first to admit that I don't follow these pointers consistently. With that in mind, this is a lesson for me as much as it is for those of you who are reading it. 


Limiting your posts to 140 characters or less is just one of many basic things to remember when it comes to Twitter. Here is a list of some of the most important things:

  • DM stands for "direct message" and is a private message sent to one of your followers. You can only DM users who are following you, and you can only receive a DM from users you are following.
  • One way for continued involvement in Twitter conversations is to retweet messages. For people new to Twitter, the easiest way to do this is to click the retweet button.
  • To involve other users in the conversation, you may consider referencing "tagging" their account name or "handle," which notifies the user that they are part of the conversation.
  • A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the "#" sign. The most popularly used hashtags at the moment are considered to be "trending." 
  • If you want to reply to someone who has posted something on Twitter, just start your message with @username to direct it at them. Remember this is not a private message!
  • Twitter is all about quick, easy conversations. Keep your updates short and your response time shorter.
  • Following others who have similar interests, and retweeting and commenting on their posts is a good way to build up your followers.


When starting out, consider follow​​ing users in your profession, industry, and community, as well as users who have similar philanthropic interests and hobbies as you. For those who are not already following them, @TheIIA​ and @IaMag_IIA are great places to start. Also, live tweeting from conferences and other industry events is a good way to get your feet wet as you are starting out.

As mentioned, this post only touches the surface of the Twitter universe. A quick internet search will provide much more information about Twitter for beginners, as well as an abundance of online tools.

You can follow me on Twitter at @laurasoileau. ​


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