Twitter Dictionary

If you work in social media, I’m sure you’ve gotten the question: “I signed up for that Twitter thing. Can I get a 101 or a Twitter dictionary?” I tried to search for one and didn’t find anything that broke down the Twitter language and defined its value proposition.

So, here’s my best attempt.

Twitter Translation Dictionary:

  • RT:  Retweet aka sharing information someone has already tweeted and giving them recognition for being the original source.
  • @name: Send a message to someone specifically that anyone can see.
  • DM: A private message sent between two Twitter members. These members must be following each other.
  • via @name: When you aren’t RTing what someone said verbatim but would like to give them credit for writing or finding the content, add this to the end of a tweet.
  • cc @name: Similar to e-mail language- carbon copy.
  • #FollowFriday: Used to make a recommendation to your Twitter followers on, you guessed it, Friday. Be sure to explain why people should follow your recommendations in your tweet. For example, ” #FollowFriday social media experts …”
  • #chatname: An online event just happening on Twitter where people with a common cause meet for 1 hour per week or month. For example, if you’re looking for a job you could follow#jobhuntchat.
  • #randomword: This is similar to keyword tagging on a website and helps people find content and meet people with similar interests.
  • 140: The number of characters you can use in a tweet.

So Why Should You Tweet?:

Now to answer the most common question I get about Twitter: “Why do you want to know what people are drinking or eating? That’s all people tweet about anyway.”

Even if that is all someone tweets about (which it isn’t), consider this scenario.

You’re heading to the same conference as a major influencer in your industry. You follow the person on Twitter and they tweet about their favorite drink, Coca-cola.

How easy is it to grab a coke? How easy is it to start a conversation with someone you barely know? You can start the real life conversation with Twitter. In a networking scenario, the smallest things can make the biggest difference. THAT is why you should be on Twitter.

What would you add? What questions have you been asked about Twitter?

Networking Twitter

Katrina Kibben View All →

Katrina Kibben is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina’s career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter’s world – listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply.

Katrina has written for,, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

1 Comment Leave a comment

  1. Great, crisp listing, Katrina. Simple for the first-timer! I love the Coca-cola example – spot on!

    Regarding the ‘value’ of Twitter, I would add that by tweeting pithy content the person tweeting can show evidence of their value to a target audience. So, if their specialty is technology, then they may want to tweet predominantly about their technology topic of expertise, including 140-character snips as well as links to meaningful blog posts and other articles.

    Nice to see you blogging, Katrina!


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