What Is Twitter?

A Guide To Twitter

What is it
Twitter is a social media site. Everyday millions of people log into Twitter to connect to their interests, to share information and find out what’s currently happening in the world. Anyone can read, write and share messages of up to 140 characters. Twitter can also be used as a ‘search engine’ by searching people’s tweets – effectively becoming a human search engine.

Who uses it
Twitter is an open platform that is unrestricted. People and businesses from all walks of life can and do use twitter including celebrities to the police, and schools.

Why is it useful to an organisation

  • Millions of people can read a tweet without having to send the information individually to every single one.
  • Free advertising in the sense that you can tweet about your company running competitions etc which your followers can then read.
  • You can follow competitors and see what they are doing.
  • People only follow you if they have an interest in you.
  • Twitter is worldwide so you can reach out to other countries.
  • Twitter is available on a range of devices and is highly accessible
  • Images and videos can be uploaded offering exclusive offers
  • Twitter works in real-time


  • You are limited to 140 characters
  • Twitter streams move fast so your tweet may not get read
  • Hackers have found their way in and can start spamming on your behalf.
  • Twitter Bots – they are a robotic twitter user that employs software to automatically tweet a list of messages to spread spam links

Top tips

  • Be creative, don’t just tweet the same things over and over.
  • Follow competitors to see what types of things they are doing.
  • Tweet regularly to keep up interest.
  • Follow people, start conversations and re tweet messages.
  • Set up competitions to attract interest and help maximise sales.

Tweet – 140 character message put on your twitter page for others to read.
Mention – people can mention each other in a tweet by putting the @ symbol then the username of who they want to mention.
Retweet – When you see a tweet by another user that you want to share, you can retweet it to forward it to your followers instantly.
Message – a private tweet.
Hashtag – Users often use a # to categorise something for others.
Twitter List – Twitter lists let tweeters create and subscribe to lists of followers.
Promoted Tweets – Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of users or to spark engagement from their existing followers.

Key Sites/Blogs