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Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 2

Twitter 101: Anatomy of a Tweet Part 2

re·plies – a tweet posted as a reply to another tweeter’s tweet.
re·tweet (noun) – a tweet by another tweeter and forwarded to you by someone you follow.
re·tweet (verb) – the act of forwarding another tweeter’s tweet to all your followers.

Sharing is caring!

If this statement is true, then we live in a very caring society. Sharing has become integral in our digital lives. We share articles, videos, and other media on our favorite social media platforms, through email, through video, and even texting. Many blogs, including this one, provide tools to make it easier to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Many websites also have their own built-in sharing tools, so you can share media to those who follow you. So it should not be a surprise that Twitter offers several tools for sharing as well.

Continuing our study of tools available to you when tweeting on Twitter, we will look at two ways you can share on Twitter. The first is replies, which gives you the ability to share your opinions on another person’s tweet. The second tool is the retweet, which let’s you share a tweeter’s tweet with all your followers.

Anatomy of a Tweet: Replies

Sometimes, you might read a tweet and want to share your thoughts and insights with the original tweeter. Twitter gives you this ability by using the reply feature on a tweet. Replies are mentions that refer to a specific tweet.  Like mentions,  replies use the @username format. The main difference between a mention and a reply is that a reply is associated with a specific tweet. Let’s walk through how to reply to a tweet. Go ahead and log into Twitter, and then visit the MissioDigio timeline. Remember, you can find another tweeter’s timeline by visiting http://www.twitter.com/username. So in this example, you will visit http://www.twitter.com/MissioDigio.  Here is how the timeline looks for me, when I am logged in as jpulos:

MissioDigio Timeline

The timeline might look a bit different for you, since we add tweets regularly. So locate the first tweet, and hover your mouse over it. You should now see several links appear below the tweet. Here is an example:

Tweet Controls

Go ahead and click the “Reply” link. A dialog will pop up with @MissioDigio in the tweet box text area. The dialog looks like this:

Reply Dialog

A reply starts off with a mention using the @username format.  You should type your reply after the mention.  Go ahead and type a reply, and then hit the “Tweet” button. Remember, you still are limited to 140 characters. Once you hit the”Tweet” button, the dialog will disappear and a message will appear at the top of the page letting you know the tweet has been posted. Now click on the “Home” link in the navigation to get to your home timeline. You should now see the reply you just tweeted. Here is a snapshot of my reply:

Jpulos timeline with a reply

Now if you want to see what tweet this is a reply to, just click on the tweet for its details. A window will slide out on the right showing you the details of the tweet.

Tweet Details

At the top you see the original tweet. In the middle, you see your reply. At the bottom, you will see tweeters mentioned in the tweet. Since a reply is a mention, you will see MissioDigio in the list at the bottom. If you would like to see the replies that you have received, you can click on the @mentions link on your home timeline. Here is an example of MissioDigios @mentions timeline.

MissioDigio Mentions timeline

Anatomy of a Tweet: Retweets

Occasionally, you might come across a tweet that you would like to share with your followers. Twitter has developed a retweet tool, so you can share that tweet easily. So we will again use one of MissioDigio’s tweets as an example, and retweet it to our followers. So log into Twitter, and visit the MissioDigio timeline. What was the link for this? (hint. look up a few paragraphs). I am logged in as jpulos, and here is the MissioDigio timeline at the time of writing this article:

MissioDigio Timeline

So pick a tweet you would like to share, and hover your mouse over it. You should see several links appear. This should look familiar to you.  Here is how it looks:

Tweet Controls

Go ahead and click the “Retweet” link. A dialog will pop up to confirm the retweet. It also displays how the tweet will look on your timeline. Here is a snapshot of the dialog:

Retweet Dialog

When you retweet a tweet, the image and username will belong to the original tweeter, and not you. This may be a bit confusing, but it makes sense to attribute the original tweeter. I will show you how to distinguish a retweet on your timeline in a minute. For now, hit the retweet button. You will now see a red triangle on the top left corner of the tweet that you just retweeted. This lets you know that you retweeted this tweet. It looks like this:

Retweet Triangle

If you visit your home timeline, you will not see the retweet. Remember, retweets are sent to your followers. Instead,  you can look at your profile timeline, and see the retweet. Your profile timeline is a timeline of all your tweets and retweets listed from newest to oldest. You can visit your profile timeline by clicking the”Profile” link in the main navigation. Here is a snapshot of my profile timeline:

JPulos Profile Timeline with a Retweet

So the first tweet is my recent retweet. As stated previously, you will notice that the image and username belong to the original tweeter. You can tell this is a retweet by looking next to the username. You will see this symbol, and your username:

Retweet Icon

This indicates that you retweeted this tweet. There is one other place you can look at retweets. Go ahead and visit your home timeline by clicking the “Home” link. Right next to the @Mentions link is a “Retweets” link. Click on the “Retweets” link, and a list of links will slide down.

Retweet options

You will see three options here:

  1. Retweets by others – displays a timeline of retweets posted by tweeters you follow.
  2. Retweets by you – displays a timeline of retweets you have posted.
  3. Your tweets, retweeted – displays a timeline of your tweets that others retweeted.

So if you click on “Retweets by you” link, you should see the retweet you tweeted. Here is an example:

Retweets Timeline

Turn Off Retweets for a Specific Tweeter

It is possible that a tweeter might inundate you with retweets, and you might want to turn off the retweets from that tweeter. Twitter gives you the ability to turn off retweets on a specific tweeter. First you need to visit the tweeter’s timeline. Next to the “Following” button you will see two icons that look like this:

Following Controls

The first button lets you receive the tweeter’s tweets via text messaging which we will cover in a later post. The second button lets you set whether you want to receive retweets from the tweeter. If it is grey, you will receive retweets from them. If it is green, then you will not receive retweets from the tweeter. So if you want to stop receiving retweets from this tweeter just click the second button.  Twitter does not have a setting to turn this off globally. So you will need to visit each tweeter’s timeline, and click this button to turn off retweets.

Twitter has developed some remarkable tools for us to share our thoughts with others, and share tweets with those who follow us. These tools will become indispensable as you implement Twitter in your daily routines. So lets show we care, and share with in Twittersphere.

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