Backcourt Fundamentals: Twitter for Beginners

If you found yourself reading this article after spending the last hour setting up a Twitter page and trying to learn the difference between hashtagging and tagging, don’t feel bad. Twitter is a complicated tool, as it’s unlike any other social media platform. You are not crazy for thinking so. However, we promise that the more you use it, the easier it gets.

Before you throw your computer out the window in frustration, we’ll remind you some of the reasons you started a Twitter in the first place.



Plenty authors, professors, doctors, media and more use their Twitter pages to establish themselves as a thought leader and a professional in their industry. In this sense, Twitter is like networking on steroids. You have the opportunity to reach thousands of professionals in your industry and discover news and facts you may not have known before.

Drive traffic

Of course, share your website or blog content on Twitter. Use links in your tweets and in your bio. Sell more! It’s all possible with Twitter.

Customer service

If you have a product or service that may require support, customers will inevitably find you on Twitter, especially if they are hoping for a quick response. Twitter gives you the opportunity to answer their questions on a public platform and exhibit your customer service.

Now, we’ll help walk you through some of the terms and defining characteristics of the Twitter platform.

Twitter handle

Your handle is basically your username, which starts with @. Twitter prompts you to choose a handle when you set up your account. It is important to pick one that accurately reflects your brand or name so that it is easy for people to find you.

You can change your display name at any time, but your handle is what you share with others to direct them to follow you and it is used in the URL to your page.


You have the option to “follow” any person or company profile on Twitter. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, this is not a mutual connection and this account does not necessarily have to follow you back in order for you to see their Tweets. Following others, however, is an extremely important part of increasing your own audience of followers.


Think of hashtags as keywords. Put a hashtag (#) before the words you want people to find you by.

Twitter trends are created by hashtags, which you can search to find more information about. For example, a person looking for tweets about the NBA Playoffs will search #NBAPlayoffs. If you are providing insight on interior design and want people in the interior design space to notice you, use #interiordesign, #design, #decor, or a similar hashtag that may be more popular at the time. On the right side of your profile page, Twitter has a “Trends for You” column with hashtags and topics catered to the type of content you interact with.

Sometimes, you can even create your own hashtag for your brand or event. Just make sure you share it frequently enough to hope it catches on.


When somebody uses your Twitter handle in their tweet, they are giving you a mention. This will show up in your notifications.

You automatically mention another account when you reply to its tweet. Mentions are also used when trying to start a conversation amongst other members or to get their attention. To mention an account, just start with @ and continue typing their name and it will populate as you’re writing your tweet.


A retweet, also known as RT, is simply when you share another person’s tweet with your audience of followers. Underneath every tweet, you will see the little arrow-box formation. When you click that, you have the option to quote this tweet, or simply retweet it to your followers. You also have the option to add your commentary to the tweet along with sharing it.

Most importantly, make sure you are tweeting original content that people want to retweet to extend your reach to their following.


A direct message, more popularly known amongst the Twitter kiddos as “DM”, is a private conversation between two Twitter members. You have an inbox for direct messages, located at the top of your Twitter homepage. You also have the option within your settings to not allow others to send you direct messages.

Congratulations on bravely venturing into a new social media realm! Knowing it has its payoffs is the first step to having success with Twitter. Follow Backcourt Marketing on Twitter for some inspiration or contact Backcourt Marketing if you need further assistance getting your pages started.


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