Sometimes the social-media world can feel like a whole other planet with its own unique etiquette, customs and language. If you’re an advisor just starting to explore this strange new landscape — or an old pro — you need to be familiar with certain words and phrases. Enter the Financial Social Media dictionary, a list of need-to-know social-media lingo, broken down by platform. Here, we cover Twitter terms.

  1. Direct message: A private message sent via Twitter. Direct messages are sent by beginning a tweet with the abbreviation “DM” or by clicking this option on a user’s profile.
  2. Follower: Someone who has subscribed to your profile on Twitter. They will see everything you tweet and any tweet that mentions you.
  3. Handle: The username you select for your Twitter profile. It is preceded by the @ symbol. (Example: @FinSocMedia.)
  4. List: A tool to categorize the users you have decided to follow. Categories might include users who tweet about market info, small business, technology, etc.
  5. Mention: A reference to a user in a tweet. A mention includes a user’s Twitter handle preceded by the @ symbol. Like the hashtag, a mention creates a searchable term.
  6. Reply: A direct response to a tweet. This will create a conversation thread based on a tweet.
  7. Retweet: The sharing of someone else’s tweet with a one’s own followers.
  8. Tweet: A post on Twitter; must be 140 characters or less.
  9. Trending: Describes a topic or phrase popular on Twitter at a given time.
  10. Verified account: An account Twitter has vetted based on usage. Verified accounts are identified by a check-mark symbol.

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Amy McIlwain is a professional speaker on social media and President of Financial Social Media, an online marketing firm specializing in the financial industry. She can be reached through her website www.financialsocialmedia.com and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.