Twitter jargon buster….a beginners guide

When we run our bespoke social media training sessions we always cover the topic of Twitter jargon.

Twitter definitely has a language of it’s own and for beginners it can seem a bit daunting. So here is our beginners guide to ensure you know your RT from your FF and what on earth does # mean anyway?

RT or “retweet”

To retweet means to post someone else’s tweet, crediting them with the original content. It’s polite to leave the original tweet as unedited as possible, though it’s acceptable to edit the tweet for length or clarity.

DM or “direct message”

These are private tweets that can only be seen by the recipient. You can only send direct messages to people who are following you, so you can’t use DMs for spamming.

# hashtags

People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorise those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. It’s a great way to search for people to follow too. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword. Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end. Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

Try not to misuse hashtags….#hashtaggingjustbecauseican is very irritating!


Trends are determined by an algorithm and are tailored for you based on who you follow and your location. This algorithm identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter that matter most to you.

#FF stands for “Follow Friday

Twitter users often suggest who others should follow on Fridays by tweeting with the hashtag #FF. This is a nice touch to thank followers who have RT’d you or perhaps new followers.

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