Twitter Commands and Twitter Glossary


In our previous post, Unfollowing, Blocking, and Reporting for Spam on Twitter, we talked about what to do when someone follows you that you do not want to be associated with. By the way, we go into much more detail about our Infinite Pipeline Relationship Development process in our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for B2B Sales Success – Sales Person Edition. See the bottom of this post for more info.

In this post, we continue the Twitter series with a look at some useful Twitter commands and glossary of terminology.

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Twitter Commands

Anyone can find your messages by searching for keywords, so don’t tweet anything private. Anyone can also see any replies you make to others’ tweets — these replies begin with @theirhandle. Doing this saves the message in the recipient’s Replies tab for later reference by the recipient.

If you want to send private messages, known as Direct Messages, or DMs, begin your post with D followed by a space and handle of the person you want to send to (with or without the @ sign.) For example, this sends a direct message to us “D @smpgcom Love the book.” Don’t make the rookie mistake of using DM at the beginning of a direct message (we’ve all been there). Everyone can see that message.

As a privacy measure, and to ensure that random people can’t DM you with spam, you can only DM someone when you are mutually following one other.

One thing to especially remember about using Twitter: You don’t have to read all the tweets.

Once you follow more than a dozen people it’s hard to have a life and follow that many tweets, especially if those you follow love to yack. You may want to consider getting a Twitter app for your mobile phone if you want to keep close tabs on your Twitter feed. There are several, especially for iPhones.

Twitter Glossary

Like all social media, Twitter has its own specialized vocabulary. Here’s a list of some of the more familiar terms you’re likely to run into.

  • At Reply or @reply — a reply to another user
  • DM — stands for direct message, but use D to start a direct message, not DM
  • Failwhale — graphic that appears when Twitter is over capacity
  • Hashtags or # — marking a word as a keyword
  • Retweet (or RT) — repeating another’s tweet
  • Tweeps — people who follow you on Twitter
  • Tweet — sending a Twitter message
  • Tweetbacks — the background for your Twitter Webpage
  • Twitterati — A-list twitterers everyone follows
  • Twitterverse — the Twitter community
  • Via — instead of using retweet, use “via @username” when you paraphrase another’s tweet

There are also a lot of cute or funny twitter terms such as Twapplications, Twaiting, Twalking, Twead, Twebay, Tweetheart, Twerminology, Twittectomy, Twittastic, Twittercal mass, Twitterfly, Twitterish, Twitterject, Twitterloop, Twitterphobe, Twitterphoria, Twitterstream, Twittertude, Twitticisms, but we won’t bother to define them here, as they’re generally not in wide use and most are, quite frankly, more than a bit silly, or SillyTwit, if you like.

Next up: Searching on Twitter


Twitter Commands and Twitter Glossary is the 108th in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 301. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances

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About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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