Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 1

Twitter 101 Mentions and Hashtags

men·tion – mention another user in your tweet, by using a @ followed by the Twitter username. (@MissioDigio)
hash·tag – add keywords or topics to your tweet, by adding a # followed by the topic with no spaces. (#MyAwesomeHashtag)

In the last article, we learned how to write a tweet on Twitter. Even though it may not seem like it, the tweet has several powerful features that can make it even more engaging. In the next few post, I want to dissect the tweet, and explain in more detail these features. These features include mentioning, hashtags, direct messaging, and many others. Today, we will focus on mentioning another user in your tweet, and adding a topic or keyword to your tweet. Let us begin!

Anatomy of a Tweet: Mentioning

Sometimes you might want to share your tweet with one or several users on Twitter. You can do this by using the mention feature in your tweet. Here is an example tweet that I would like to share with MissioDigio.

Tweet Needs A Mention

Using Twitter’s mention syntax (@MissioDigio), you can share this tweet with multiple users. Inside your tweet, type an @ followed by the beginning letters of the username you would like to mention. You will notice that Twitter helps you by providing an auto fill list of users to select from.

Example of Mention Autofill Select

Once you click on the username, you will see that the mention looks like this:

Example of Mention

You can add additional users by following the steps above. Once you hit the tweet button, the tweet will be posted to your home timeline. If you would like to see all the tweets that mention you, just visit your home timeline, and click the @Mentions link. Once you click it, a list of tweets that mention you will be displayed in descending order.

Mentions Timeline

Mentions are a great way to share tweets with your friends, and communicate with them in the public arena. In a later post, we will discuss how to communicate with your friends privately using a direct message. Until then, mentioning can be valuable for sharing your tweets with your friends.

Anatomy of a Tweet: Hashtags

Another feature of a tweet is the hashtag (#Twitter). When you add a hashtag to your tweet, you are assigning the tweet to a specific keyword or topic. These keywords and topics are then searchable on Twitter using their search form. You can add multiple hashtags to your tweet, and can make up any hashtag that you would like to use. Here is an example of a tweet that I would like to add the keywords “Twitter” and “Training and Tutorial” to:

Tweet that need a Hashtag

As a side note, the tweet is mentioning MissioDigio.  In order to add a hashtag, we must use the # symbol followed by the topic or keyword. The topic or keyword can not have spaces in it, so the typical user will capitalize every word when removing the spaces. So our hashtags will be #Twitter and #TrainingAndTutorial.  Here is the tweet with the hashtags:

Example of Hashtag With Pointer

Once the tweet is posted, you can find the tweet by doing a search. I will search using the #TrainingandTutorial since it is less likely to have a lot of tweets. So I add TrainingAndTutorial into the search box, and here are the results of tweets in descending order:

Searching Example

If you would like to see the most popular hashtags for the day, just visit your home timeline. In the right column, you will see the heading “Trends”. This will show you the trending hashtags, and popular words throughout the Twitter site worldwide. If you click the change link, you can narrow down the geography to a specific country. So if you want to see the trending hashtags for United States only, then change it to the United States. Here is a snapshot of the trends module.


Putting It into Practice

Now that you can add mentions and hashtags to your tweets, I want to leave you with a quick exercise. Take a moment and write a tweet that mentions MissioDigio, and has the hashtags “Twitter”, “Tutorial and Training”, and “I follow MissioDigio”. Have fun with it, and happy tweeting!

Welcome to Missio Digio's Twitter 101 series. This is our first series of posts developed by Missio Digio. This series is designed to help you discover new ways to use Social Media in your day to day operations, and strengthen your communication with your congregants and/or supporter base. If you have any questions, please submit them under "Got a question?" or, just add a comment below.

Other Articles in the Series

  1. Twitter 101: A New Form of Communication
  2. Twitter 101: The Power of Social Media
  3. Twitter 101: Signing Up & Guided Tour [video]
  4. Twitter 101: Following & Leading
  5. Twitter 101: Tweeting
  6. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 1
  7. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 2
  8. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 3 (Multimedia)
  9. Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 4 (Location-Based Tweeting)
  10. Twitter 101: Direct Messaging
  11. Twitter 101: Organizing with Lists
  12. Twitter 101: Searching the Twittersphere
  13. Twitter 101: Fresh Coat of Paint
  14. Twitter 101: Text to Tweet