Twitter 101

  • Twitter 101

    Twitter is a news feed-based social media platform. When you create an account, your tweets will show up in your followers’ news feeds.

    You will be limited to 140 characters per tweet, so brevity is your friend.

    Maximizing Your Tweets


    Hashtags allow you to search within Twitter by topic. You can create hashtags to make your topics and events searchable to you and others, and you can use common hashtags in your tweets to help them be seen by a larger audience. Check out this list of SU’s current hashtags.

    Use caution when utilizing hashtags, as Twitter users can become fatigued by excessive use of hashtags. As a general rule, it’s better to use popular or organic hashtags (ex: #seattleu) than to try and invent a whole new hashtag and gain a following.


    Mention other users by referring to them in your tweet (ex: “Looking forward to the @SU_Athletics Hall of Fame celebration this weekend”). When you tag users, your tweets appear in their notifications, and their users get to see them, which helps you grow your audience.

    Replies, Favorites and Re-tweets

    You have the option to reply, favorite or re-tweet other users’ tweets, all good ways to gain exposure. Replying starts a dialogue with another user. Insider tip: if you want more people to see the reply in your newsfeed, start with a period. Ex: “. @SU_Athletics what time is the tennis match tonight?”

    Favoriting a tweet creates a list of your favorite tweets, which others can see if they choose. It’s also a nice way to let someone know you saw and liked what they had to say, without starting a full dialogue.

    Re-tweeting shares a tweet with your followers. This is a great way to share information and help users find accounts you might want them to know about or follow.

    Creating a Twitter Account

    Choosing a Username

    Choose a name that’s short and easy to identify. Since tweets are limited in characters, it makes it easier for people to mention you if your username is short.


    Follow users who are relevant to your channel. The more people you follow, the more followers you will get. Many people will notice that you have followed them and return the favor. Mentioning users in your tweets and using hashtags also helps you to gain followers. Aim high – often celebrities and major organizations will respond to you if you mention them!

    Profile Photos, Cover Images and Page Design

    Seattle University’s Marcom office has new tools on hand to help you select profile images, cover images and background images that adhere to the new SU brand. Contact Sarah Hyde at or (206) 296-6109 for assistance, or utilize our social media branding resources.

    A few quick tips:

    • Please refrain from using the university seal as your profile image.
    • Choose a cover image (the picture that sits at the top of your feed) that makes sense with your profile, reflects your area, and works well on both desktop and mobile devices.
    • Choose a page background that is clean and does not distract from your content. It is highly suggested that users select plain SU branded colors instead of photography or images for their backgrounds.

    Use Caution When Tweeting

    Deleting a Tweet

    Twitter will allow you to delete a tweet after you’ve published it – just click on the three –dot icon beneath your tweet and voila! However, if someone re-tweets you, you cannot control or delete those tweets.

    Direct Messaging (DM)

    You can utilize the DM feature if you want to speak directly to someone in a more private way than tweeting at them using @username.

    Spam Accounts

    Sadly, it’s unlikely that all of your 1,500 followers are real people. Some accounts following you may be spam. If you detect a follower you believe to be spam or a troll, you can block or report the user (easily done in the drop menus).

    Private vs. Public Accounts

    You have the option to make your Twitter account public or private. If you are tweeting on behalf of a Seattle University entity, you will likely want to make your account public so that all users can see your content. Private accounts are only visible to people who are already following you.

    Finding Your Voice

    Use your best judgment when deciding on a voice for your Twitter account. Unless you are an individual (ex: a dean, a coach, a professor), you will likely not want to tweet in the first person, but rather use the third person for a more inclusive feel. Ex: SU Athletics is a large entity, not an individual, and as such should not tweet in the first person.

    Any questions?
    Sarah Hyde
    Social Media Marketing Specialist
    (206) 196-6109

    Updated November 2014