What is Twitter? A Beginner's Guide

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What is Twitter?

Twitter is a social network and microblogging service for real-time communication used by millions of people and organizations. Twitter users stay interconnected by posting updates, known as “tweets,” to the site for sharing, exchanging and discovering information. Tweets consist of 140 characters or fewer and can contain ideas and various types of information, such as photos, videos and links to articles. Users can access these posted messages on Twitter via the Web or on a mobile device with an Internet connection. Once a user posts a tweet, the message is posted to their profile and sent to the homepages (or feeds) of the user’s followers who have subscribed to that user’s Twitter updates. Users can scroll through their feed to consume Twitter updates from followers that can be anything from a personal observation to a breaking news story. Users can follow or be followers of friends, family, co-workers, organizations, businesses and public figures.

Followers communicate with a user by replying to a tweet or “retweeting” the post to re-share the update with his or her own followers. Tweets and replies are public and visible to anyone, unless Tweets are protected. By responding to and sharing tweets, users engage with one another in real-time over interesting content, hot topics and current events.

Users are identified on Twitter by their handle, which is a designated username. Users mention followers or other users by using the @ symbol and their handle. Tweets can also be searchable by using a hasthtag and tagging the # symbol followed by a keyword.

Twitter launched in 2006 and originated as the Podcasting company Odeo. The platform has since grown into a global communication tool and digital social space, commonly referred to as the “Twitterverse,” that fosters conversations and information gathering through delivered and searchable tweets. Since its inception, the social platform has evolved into one of the world’s most popular social networks where people stay connected to one another through dialogue, search and discovery.

How do people and brands use Twitter?

People use Twitter to discover information and stay socially connected with others. The social network is a digital space for communication and a gateway to shared ideas, interesting content and current events updated in real time. Twitter is not only a social platform, it is an information-gathering tool and broadcasting resource that helps a person stay relevant. A user can receive breaking news updates, track trends and discover hot topics by following tweets from anyone or anything, such as a pro athlete, political figure, the media or a local business. When users tag or search hashtags, they can find and engage in specific types of interesting information.

Twitter users can also use Twitter as a social outlet for creative expression and interpersonal communication. A person can start a conversation with a friend or organization over a personal thought or particular topic by tweeting, replying or retweeting.

Brands use Twitter to engage with consumers and build relationships. Brands can leverage the social platform to access niche communities online and influence customers. By creating an active Twitter account and acquiring followers, an organization can create and nurture connections with customers. Tweets can serve as bite-sized marketing content to increase brand awareness, generate site traffic and grow a loyal following.

Brands have also discovered how to use Twitter to learn about their target audience and observe consumer behavior. Searching relevant hashtags and interacting with Twitter users helps brands track trends and learn about customer needs and expectations.

How do I get started using Twitter?

Not sure how to use Twitter? Join Twitter by creating an account and signing up at Twitter.com Once you enter your full name, email and password, click “Sign up for Twitter” and you will be directed to a page where you choose an available or recommended username. Next, double-check your information, click “Create my account” and go to your confirmation email to click on the link for confirming the account.

After your account has been established, create an identity on Twitter by uploading a photo and header. Include profile information such as your name, location, website and bio. Twitter users (or soon-to-be Twitter followers) can identify or gain a sense of who you are.

Now the fun begins. Develop your Twitter presence and follow accounts that interest you, which can be accounts of friends, family, news organizations, favorite brands, celebrities, public figures and local businesses. Your Twitter homepage will turn into a customized stream of real-time information delivered by your followers. Share your own content and ideas by posting tweets; include hashtags (or keywords following the # symbol) to make your message more shareable and searchable. Replying, retweeting or mentioning another user using the @ symbol in a message will engage you with your followers. Twitter is your global social space and informational broadcasting resource for breaking news, trending topics and interesting dialogue. Keep following and tweeting to exchange ideas and make social discoveries.

Do I need the Twitter app for my phone or tablet?

Mobile devices equipped with the Twitter app can keep you socially connected anywhere, anytime. Although you can access Twitter.com on your desktop at home or work, the Twitter app on your smartphone or tablet provides you with breaking news, trending topics and interesting content from your followers in real-time right at your fingertips.

The Twitter app transforms your mobile digital device into a communications tool and social source for broadcasted information delivered as it occurs. The Twitter app is a networking channel for social connections, self-expression and discovery. You’ll never miss an update with a smartphone or tablet in hand. You can share your own idea or express an opinion right away. Post photos, videos and comments directly from your mobile device no matter where you are.

The Twitter app also keeps businesses continually engaged with their consumers. Since organizations are reliant upon mobile devices for staying connected with customers and clients 24/7, organizations can communicate and promote news or events with their target market and audiences. Open the app during a commute or before a meeting to stay on top of hot industry trends or participate in relevant conversations. You’ll never miss a marketing opportunity or chance to grow your business socially and digitally.

You may not necessarily need the Twitter app on your phone or tablet, but it can keep you connected while promoting your personal or professional brand and learning about the world.

How can I use Twitter to stay in touch with Lenovo?

Lenovo currently has 550,000+ Twitter followers and we encourage you to sign up for Twitter, follow us, and join in on the conversation. Stay up to date on Lenovo promotions, news, events, contests, tips and more. Following us on Twitter is also a great way to learn more about our latest products and what people are saying about Lenovo. You can find Lenovo on Twitter at https://twitter.com/lenovo and https://twitter.com/lenovopress.

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