The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Twitter

You know "those" type of parents who ask you about “the Instagram”, what ‘YOLO’ is, and what ‘selfies’ are? Well don’t go so hard on them because when it comes to Twitter, whether you're a mom or a teenager, it's easy to get lost between the abbreviations and the confusing jargon, so let us be your guide! Twitter terminology is unique to its own device and can be different from every other social outlet. You may know a few things already but we'll go ahead and cover all the bases just in case.



Let’s start with the handle, or more commonly known as the username which is found behind the "@" sign. People usually use their personal, business, or blog name for their Twitter handles. For example, our handle is @social_studio.

Extra tip: Remember when we shared this helpful tip about Instagram handles being searchable? The same goes for Twitter! If you want others to easily find you on Twitter, make sure you are using the name in your handle that you are most known for.

If you’re a photographer and you want other people to potentially see your account when searching for “photography”, you would need to include that keyword in your handle (@____) and/or your account name (the name that displays on your profile).

Account name

Account name? Didn't we just read about that? Nope! Your handle (aka username) is in fact different then your account name. Your account name is what is displayed in bold on your profile. Your username and account name can be different.

Continuing with our example from above, for search purposes, you could have @sallyphotography as your username, then your business name (Sally Gene Moments) as your account name.

Still confused? See below...

Our account name is social studio shop and our handle is @social_studio.


A mention is anytime you use someone's handle, or username, in a tweet. Think of it like tagging someone. You can do this if you want someone else to see a certain tweet, or if that other person has something to do with the tweet. See examples...


cc: is what you type when you want a user to see a tweet. Just like when you cc: or carbon copy someone on to an email, you can do the same on Twitter by cc:ing then mentioning them.


Via is something you type when you are sourcing information. Let’s say you are posting someone’s artwork or another persons article, it’s courtesy that you give that person credit. Avoid being the worse kind of copycat and always give credit where credit is due.


DM translates to “direct message’. In order to DM another user, the two of you must be following each other. This feature is good for private conversations. For instance, businesses commonly use this option when they receive a negative tweet from a customer. Direct messaging allows the business to deal with the issue head on, without publicizing their conversation to the world, and keeping the cranky piggy-backers (random people who join social conversations) out of an issue that they don't belong in.


RT is the abbreviation for retweet, this is used for when you want to share someone else’s tweet with your own audience.  you can simply use the retweet button and retweet the exact conversation or you can add a comment in addition to the retweet by typing in the box above after pressing the retweet button.  can look like  …rt: @__________ mt is a retweet but edited or modified and therefore becomes a modified tweet.  do this when you want to change a word or two but still want to credit the original tweet. (mt): @_________


A reply is exactly what it sounds like, replying or responding to fellow tweeter.

Extra tip: if you want your entire audience to see a reply to someone, simply include a character in front of their handle, like a ".".


Favoriting a tweet is like double tapping on Instagram or liking something on Facebook. You can favorite a tweet anytime you like the content that's included in a tweet. Just don't consider a "favorite" an appropriate reply, if the tweet requires an actual response.

Extra tip: Another awesome reason you may want to favorite tweets is because all your faves are saved off into a specific location where you can go back to view them in the future. This can be fun anytime you want to save articles to look back on.


#FF stands for Follow Friday. It's a technique that used to be used a lot more on Twitter when you wanted to share appreciation for certain accounts to your audience. #ff is now starting to be used on Instagram to as a way to link like-minded accounts.

To participate in Follow Friday, you use the #ff, ‘mention’ the user(s) you are giving a shout out to, and add why you chose them. This shows your appreciation for your followers and generates awareness for their account(s).

Pinned Tweets

Don't confuse these babes with Pinterest pins, no these pinned tweets are not that, BUT you can think of social media like a cork board. You pin notes and reminders that you want to bring to your attention, to cork boards, right? The same can be done on your Twitter feed. You can pin tweets to the top of your feed that you want to bring to your followers’ attention. Pinned tweets hang at the top of your profile and never move from the top until you unpin them. This can be a fun way to get more eyes on a certain post. Maybe if you're hosting a giveaway, a sale, or having an event coming up. Pinned tweets are a great way to get the most eyes on your content without paying for ads.

Want to practice your new found Twitter skills? Join us for this week's #socialstudiochat! We'll be talking about Taking a Leap of Faith. Details here.