Some 330 million of us use the platform each month, but it’s also the platform I hear the most people say that they don’t ‘get’. In my opinion the reason they come unstuck is because they try and treat it like Facebook which it’s not and you won’t get results if you do this.

What makes Twitter different?

Twitter is known as a microblogging platform, and it used to be a lot more ‘micro’ than it is now. Up until recently, Twitter’s character limit was 140. This wasn’t a lot, but actually it was enough for this particular social media platform.

I personally think the character limit taught all of us to be concise and it was also a point of difference between Twitter and other platforms. All platforms have their quirks and limitations – this was one of Twitter’s.


See also: A guide to Facebook


As of November 2017, the character limit increased to 280, double what it was.

More than just a microblogging platform

Twitter now is more than just a microblogging platform. You can share a thought on Twitter, but you can also add images, video and go live too. You can add GIFs, include links, there’s a lot you can do on and in the platform.

You’re also able to share other people’s tweets by retweeting. This simply means that their tweet is duplicated on your timeline so your followers can see it like a post from you. The creator of that tweet is credited and it’s a great way to share relevant news to your audience.

This might be something about your industry or an event – I personally use the retweet function to help spread client news and event news the most. You’re also able to comment on people’s tweets and you can add your own comments to a retweet too.

Hashtags

Twitter uses hashtags as a search function like Instagram. However, unlike Instagram’s ‘30 hashtags’, most people use just a handful on Twitter to tag another person or company in their post. The character limit could be one reason for this, and the fact it can look ‘spammy’ if that’s all the post is made up of, but hashtags on Twitter can be really useful.


See also: Getting the right tone of different social platforms


Is Twitter getting old?

Twitter gets a lot of stick. It’s not as big as some of its stablemates. It doesn’t have the huge range of functionality, but is it still valuable?

If your audience is using it, then it absolutely is. Some micro niches use Twitter as their preferred social media platform, and if you find that’s what your potential customers are using, you need to be there.

Twitter is smaller than Facebook, Instagram and Youtube but it still has around 330 million monthly active users, the population of the United States is similar in size.

Don’t think of Twitter as the same as Facebook or Instagram. It’s a different ‘tool’ but can bring a lot to the party if used properly, for its intended purpose.


See also: A beginners guide to Instagram


Getting started on Twitter

Getting started is simple. All you need to do it create an account.

I find the app is the best way of using Twitter, but it works well on a desktop too. When you have your account, add your images and personal or business information and then use the hashtag search to find people talking about things you’re interested in.

Follow the ones you want to follow and engage with the ones you want to engage with.

Create tweets on topics and conversations of interest and use hashtags and tag people in the tweets to maximise your exposure and engagement potential.

You can find me on Twitter @rheafreeman.