Social media is an ever evolving part of internet marketing. There are thousands and tens of thousands of social networks out there with sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Digg being some of the bigger players. A lot of companies want to just run head first into social media without having any sort of plan. One of the first steps someone should take is to learn the lingo. Twitter is the best one to use as an example since there are things like URL shorteners, hash tags and tweets.
Before jumping into a social network, or maybe even signing up, start running through the public timeline. See how people are structuring their messages and pick out things that aren’t familiar. If you quickly scan Twitter, you’ll see messages with things like this:
- # – Hash tag, used for tracking and other things
- bit.ly or ow.ly – Examples of URL or link shorteners, allows you to fit a longer URL in your tweets
- FollowFriday – used to tell your followers about people on Twitter you find useful
- @ – Use this followed by someones handle or username to reply to them
- RT – Stands for Retweet, passing on or forwarding someone else’s tweet
These are just a handful of unique things to Twitter. If a scan had be done, someone could pick these out and find out what they mean so they use them properly. It would be embarrassing for something to jump in and start tweeting to then use the lingo wrong and look silly. Something as simple as saying “FridayFollow” when the correct terminology is “FollowFriday” can put egg on someone’s face and let everyone on Twitter know they’re a newbie.