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Do you #Hashtag?

I began a tutorial on the use of twitter when I started hosting the ProBlogger Winter 31dbbb on the Sits site’s Community Forum as a way of introducing this special way of getting a message or Tweet out in 140 characters.

A few of the comments that I received were about Hashtags and how to use them, so I thought a little tutorial on “the hashtag” would be a great follow up.

A Hashtag:

• Is a keyword with a # hash symbol in front to identify it.

• Gives people who are interested in that topic an easy way to find you and follow in the discussion.

• Helps someone target their niche or audience

• Can show that you are knowledgeable about a specific subject or demonstrate that you are a leader of information for a specific topic, or you are interested in this topic of conversation.

• Act as a label which allows a person to find a particular topic of interest.
• Can be used for setting up “chats” in real-time.

• Are driven by the community, so their ability to deliver what you’re seeking will be determined by how effectively the tag is used.

After you start using Twitter you will see these little symbols on a daily moment by moment basis. At first I didn’t “get them” but as soon as I started using them I had an “ah ha” moment and realized how easy they were to use, and made my time on twitter more efficient.


When we began the Winter Problogger31dbbb challenge I created a hashtag to use when I sent out daily tweets about the days tasks or as updates. Before creating this I checked to make sure that one was not already established at hashtags.org. There wasn’t one so I jumped in and created our #sitsgirls31dbbb and the group has been using this daily since Day 1 to find one another, chat, give updates and advice.

If you were to type #sitsgirls31dbbb in the search box you would find all of the tweets that are related to our group and then you can respond and become part of the conversation.


When looking at your time line; if you see a #hashtag that interests you click on it, and it will bring you to a timeline of tweets that all follow the same topic.

Have you used our #sitsgirls31dbbb in a tweet? Why not tweet this one out now?

RT @shelleyellen It’s Party Time! Day 7 Write a Link Post; it’s linking time ladies #sitsgirls31dbbb

And now a little announcement… Dah Dah Dah Dah… As a thank you for everyone who is following along with our #sitsgirsl31dbbb I will be giving away a prize every Friday for the next few weeks with the grand finale prize $100 gift card to Amazon. (From our friends at Sits!)This week will be for all of you music buffs, come on back because you or your kids, or your hubby must love music! I-tunes gift card Giveaway entry on Friday!

The Anatomy of a Tweet

twitter logo
image credit: twitter dot com

After jumping in and volunteering to be the “hostess” with the mostess for the Sits 31 Days to a Better Blog I noticed that there were a lot of ladies who don’t “tweet.” Since I do tweet and use the tweetster to send out messages I thought it might be helpful to write a basic tutorial on setting up a twitter and now I’m going to be getting a little more into the meat of a tweet to help these ladies and gentleman who don’t know how, learn a little… *I don’t claim to be a twitter expert but I have sent out over 4,200 tweets in my day… so let’s keep going with this…

There are a 3 different ways of posting on Twitter:

1. The Tweet: On Twitter you need to have good content, be interesting, informative, entertaining and valuable. You need to do this in a short concise manner-140 characters.

twitter what's happening box
image courtesy of twitter

How do you form a basic Tweet?
• You are identified on twitter by your user name with a “@” in front.
Example when I send out a tweet or someone tweets me it’s to @shelleyellen
• At the top of your Home Page you have a white box that say’s “What’s Happening?’
• Type your witty or informative 140 character message in that box.
• Hit the Tweet button just below the box on the lower right side.

2. The Reply: The next type of post is a reply. When you send out your tweet someone might reply to that with a comment back. You will see your name with the @ symbol before it as I showed you above or perhaps you might want to reply to someone else.

• For example: I might send out this tweet:

Happy birthday 2 the sweetest little lady in the world 19 years ago u came into the world and have inspired us every day since I

• Reply to me might look like:

@shelleyellen Hope your little daughter enjoyed her birthday

Replies are viewable to everyone who is following you.

• My Response to their tweet:

@bettywhite thank you very much!

3. The Direct Message: This is a private message that you don’t want everyone else on twitter to see.

• To send a Direct Message otherwise known as a DM go to the box on the top where you type your tweets and before the message type DM and the person’s username and then the tweet, however all together it must not exceed 140 characters.


DM @bettywhite thank you so much for the beautiful flowers! They really made Hadley smile!

4. How to check your “mail” from your @username:
• On the right side of the screen on the sidebar look for your @username
• Click on it
• Now you should see a running list in the “timeline” section if you have any tweet mail.

5. How to check your Direct Messages:
• On the sidebar just below your @username you will see Direct Message
• Click on it
• Should you have any DM’s you will see them there and you can respond right there
• If you want to respond to a DM, look just below the tweet and you will see
Reply or Delete on the bottom right hand
• Click Reply
• You will see at the top of the page it now says Send _____ a direct message
• Type the 140 character message in the box below
• Hit send

6. The Retweet or RT: One of the great things about twitter and what makes it so powerful is it runs in “real time” and goes viral immediately. When someone sees something they think is of value it can be passed onto their followers in seconds and then so on and so on. This is done by what is called a RT or Retweet.

• To send out a RT you will need to put RT in front of the @username of the person whose tweet you will copy and then hit send.
Example: If you wanted to retweet this comment from my timeline:

Woot Woot our #sitsgirls31dbbb is growing stronger and stronger! Looking forward to Monday!

Then you would tweet:

RT @shelleyellen Woot Woot our #sitsgirls31dbbb is growing stronger and stronger! Looking forward to Monday!

If you wanted to make a comment about it you would add the comment to the retweet at the beginning or the end:

I’m so there! RT @shelleyellen Woot Woot our #sitsgirls31dbbb is growing stronger and stronger! Looking forward to Monday!


RT @shelleyellen Woot Woot our #sitsgirls31dbbb is growing stronger and stronger! Looking forward to Monday! (I’m so there!)

Or you can always push the retweet just below the tweet on the newsfeed and it will send out an automatic tweet from you.

image courtesy of twitter; new twitter toolbar on top

Twitter is in the middle of changing the way the site is viewed. The way I am explaining how to check your Tweet Mail or Direct Messages is on the old version. The newer version (as seen above) has a tool bar at the top of the Home Page where you can get to both your @username (known as a mention mail) or your direct messages just click them. I’m still using the older version, I like it better and will use it until I’m thrown off LOL. It’s like moving into a new house, I’m just not ready yet!

I will do another post on Twitter Etiquette in a few days but there is one thing I will say before I end this post and that is if someone is kind enough to tweet you, tweet them back, this is what twitter was set up to do… Keep the conversation moving…

I hope I answered your basic questions, please let me know if there is something I can help you with!

What do you use the tweetster for mainly?

What’s with all the Twittering?

twitter logo
image courtesy of Twitter

A Tweet? Just a few years back if someone had asked me if I “tweet?” I would most definitely have looked at them odd. Tweet? I’m not a bird, I speak English… However when I started writing my site I’m Still Standing in the spring of 2009 and joined ProBlogger’s 31DBBB I learned the importance of the new up and coming program: Twitter.

Some of you think it’s just another “thing,” well, you are right. It is another “thing” another venue to let people know about you, meet you, and join in the conversation in 140 characters or less.

According to Wikipedia:
Twitter is a website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc., which offers a social networking and microblogging service, enabling its users to send and read messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page. Tweets are publicly visible by default; however, senders can restrict message delivery to just their followers. Users may subscribe to other users’ tweets—this is known as following and subscribers are known as followers.

It really is very simple to join and get set up and since I will be the “Hostess with the Mostess” (well at least I hope you think so, lol) for the next 31 Days to building a better Blog I felt it important to make sure everyone sets one up and becomes familiar with this wonderful little site as it will be a tool we will be using daily.

1. Go to www.twitter.com

2. This page should show up next

photo credit: Twitter

3. Click the yellow “Sign Up ” Tab


4. On the first line enter your “real” first and last name. Then you will need to create a User Name. This is an important step in branding f yourself. This is how you will be seen on Twitter. If you are a business I would recommend using your business domain minus the dot com. Example my husband’s company is Center Pet Pharmacy and he uses @centerpet as his user name. I have a few sites which I write and so I am my own “brand” which is why I chose my name on twitter @shelleyellen however another site which I publish, The DC Ladies, has a twitter username of @dcladies.

5. Follow the rest of the questions:
• make up a password

• enter an email address; either business or personal

• type the security code so the twitter knows you are “human”

• then click the “accept” of the terms and conditions. *I guess you can read them and if you do and can understand everything I’d love to hear it, but I guess they have to do this.

• I uncheck the “send me email updates” box. *I don’t know about you but I get enough email updates from everywhere “if” I need them I’ll find them.• “Create my account.”

6. That’s it… Congrats you are now a tweeter user!

7. Once you have an account: sign in

8. On the top of your home page look for: Settings

9. Click that

10. Look for Profile and take a few moments to fill in your sites URL and a short bio about yourself; very short, 28 characters short.

11. You can also change your background color and design there too, hmm maybe that will be good for another post. However, I just wanted to make sure everyone knew how to make a Twitter account.

Did you do it? OK, let me know your new Twitter URL to add to our great growing group!