Twitter terminology

Twitter terminology: here's everything you need to know...

Posted by Colm Hanratty on Sep 7, 2016

Of all the social networks out there, and today there are many, the one that businesses still find the hardest to get to grips with is Twitter. I find a lot of the time this comes down to one thing – Twitter terminology. People find it difficult to understand terms like DM, handles, avatars and mentions. That’s where we come in!

Read on and next time somebody on your tour or activity mentions one of these Twitter buzzwords, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about…

trekksoft-twitter-tweet.pngTweet (noun): The post/message you either broadcast to all your followers or send to one person.

Tweet (verb): The act of posting a message from your account.

Handle: Your Twitter username ie @trekksoft.

Avatar: Your Twitter profile picture.

Mention: When somebody puts your handle in a tweet i.e. I just downloaded the @trekksoft ebook on mobile photography.



trekksoft-twitter-RT.pngRetweet (noun): A tweet that you forward to your followers.

Retweet (verb): The act of sharing somebody else’s tweet.

DM (Direct Message): A private message between accounts.

Hashtag: A word or series of letters preceded by the hash/pound symbol (#) that then becomes a live link and is used for either filing, tone, or marketing purposes. It's smart to monitor your business's hashtag (e.g. #visitmeteora).

@reply: A tweet aimed directly at another account i.e. @colmhanratty What’s your favourite social network and why?

Tweetup: An offline get-together when people who know each other primarily from Twitter meet up in real life.

Twitter chat: A specific time that people log on to Twitter to discuss a certain topic or subject using the one hashtag. You can read about the most popular travel Twitter chats here.

Bio: The short description of you or your business that's used on your account.

Twitter bio


Tag/tagging: Adding somebody’s handle into a tweet to get their attention.

Like: The act of ‘liking’ a tweet (was previously known as ‘favourite’).

List: A list of accounts you can create (public or private).

Trending: A group of words/hashtags/phrases that are being tweeted very frequently in a particular place (i.e. city/country/worldwide), thus making the ‘trending’ list. If a topic appears here, it indicates to other users that it’s very topical.

Timeline: Sometimes referred to as Twitter feed – this is where tweets from accounts that you follow appear.


Some more articles to power up your Twitter strategy:


Get even more social media tips in your free copy of The Ultimate Social Media Guide

Ultimate social media guide ebook

Colm Hanratty

Written by Colm Hanratty

Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.

Topics: Social media insights

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