5 things you need to know about Twitter

Politicians, celebrities and reporters live here

After crashing onto the social media landscape in 2006, Twitter has been the go-to platform for live events, politicians, celebrities and reporters. While Twitter is always changing, here are five things you need to know while developing your latest Twitter strategy.

The era of likes and favorites is over. Twitter has expanded its advertising offerings to include the ability to retarget tweets and even purchase pre-roll videos (pretty much commercials for Twitter) with a program called Twitter Amplify. These advertising tools allow you to precisely target the action for which you want to pay. Learning how these campaigns work will allow you and your company to reach specific goals such as improving message visibility and engagement.

Twitter is a conversation. So, spend some time reacting to other people’s opinions and ideas. You never know who might respond. Keep your tweets on the shorter side so people can read and respond to them quickly. Tweets between 100 to 112 characters have been found to have greater engagement, and sometimes, even a few words can get a point across.

Hashtags are both a tool to tag content from a variety of sources and another way to express a thought or emotion. Use hashtags to join trending topics, make your content visible in searches, show humor or other emotions, and add context to the Twitter conversation you’re having. But be careful. Using too many hashtags can decrease post engagement so only use ones that are truly relevant to your content.

Use images as often as you can. They increase engagement significantly. GIFs, videos and static images give context to your tweets. They also stand out in people’s news feeds. Images also allow you to show more complicated data than is possible to include in a character-limited tweet.

Think of Twitter as the social chatterbox or the guy who talks to everyone at the party — a lot. You have to engage in real time, or he’s on to the next conversation. When you join relevant Twitter conversations right away, your content is more likely to be discovered by other users. As a general rule of thumb, trends on Twitter generally last for about an hour before the next one appears. So, try not to spend a few days pondering whether or not you’re going to comment on #TheLatestThing. Instead, think quickly and be prepared to jump in.