Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Twitter Trainings

Date Published: 
March 27, 2013

Twitter 101: Want to learn the Twitter basics? Not sure what a "#hashtag" or "@reply" is? Watch this 20 minute Twitter 101 training originally developed for USAID staff.

Twitter 102: Have the basics down and want to dig deeper? Watch this 20 minute training to learn how to navigate Twitter.com, follow an #AskAg Twitter chat, and use advanced Twitter management tools such as HootSuite and Tweetdeck.

Please note: When viewing the training, please click the "full screen" button on the top right of the sceen if you have trouble viewing the content.

Watch the trainings, download the presentations, view links below, and explore the FAQ. Have additional questions for the FAQ? Please email agrilinks@agrilinks.org.


Twitter FAQ

1. What is a hashtag?
From Twitter.com: "The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages." Visit the Twitter Glossary to learn more.

2. What is a mention or @reply?
From Twitter.com: "The @ sign is used to call out usernames in Tweets, like this: Hello @Twitter! When a username is preceded by the @ sign, it becomes a link to a Twitter profile." Visit the Twitter Glossary to learn more.

3. How do you create a hashtag? Who owns a hashtag?
Hashtags are created organically. No one owns a hashtag and any user can make use of any hashtag. Just add "#" in front of a word and presto, you have a hashtag.

4. How do you know what hashtags are most popular?
Use TweetReach.com to search various hashtags and determine the most popular hashtags related to your topic of interest.

5. How long is each tweet?
Each tweet can contain 140 characters. This includes any spaces or links. Try using shorthand usually reserved for tween texting:

  • you → U
  • because → b/c
  • between → btwn
  • before → B4
  • are → R
  • to → 2
  • for → 4
  • forget → 4get
  • with → W/
  • one → 1
  • today → 2day
  • And many more - be creative!

6. What platform should I use to join a Twitter chat?

  • Twitter search: A simple search on Twitter.com of the chat hashtag (#AskAg) will display the chat discussion. After searching, make sure to click “All” to display all tweets (the default display is top users). To tweet during the chat, click the blue compose button on the top right of the screen and be sure to use the chat hashtag. Twitter will automatically shorten any URLs you include. [Recommended for beginners]
  • Tweetchat: Tweetchat is a simple and straightforward third-party platform to display a stream of tweets. You can also sign in using your Twitter account to post tweets. Tweetchat is useful because you can set the refresh speed of tweets. You can also type your tweet at the top of the screen with an unimpeded view of the stream of tweets (Twitter.com uses a window which partially blocks the stream). Tweetchat does not automatically shorten URLs. [Recommended for intermediate users]
  • Twubs: Twubs is a similar third-party platform, but it includes more advanced features and an enhanced layout. Like Tweetchat, you can sign in with your Twitter account to post tweets, and you can also pause the live stream. When posting tweets on Twubs, the hashtag is automatically included, and URLs are shortened. Twubs also generates a list of chat contributors. For chat hosts, Twubs also provides the ability to register a hashtag and create long-term space for ongoing chats. [Recommended for Tweeps and Twitter fanatics]

7. What is the difference between HootSuite and Tweetdeck?
HootSuite and Tweetdeck are applications you can use to manage Twitter accounts along with other social media outlets (Facebook, YouTube, etc). These two platforms offer many similar features in terms of viewing streams of content or posting new content, but there are some key differences. HootSuite offers more advanced features when it comes to analytics, and may be more useful for organizations. For example, HootSuite has its own integrated url shortener and advanced analytics reporting capabilities. HootSuite also allows for autoscheduling, which determines the optimal time to send your social media content. On the otherhand, Tweetdeck’s simpler look and feel may be more suitable for new Twitter users.

Have other questions? Please email agrilinks@agrilinks.org.