Twitter Terms for Beginners: Jargon That Helps You Win Prizes

Get to Know Some of Twitter's Strange Language

If you want to enter and win Twitter Contests, you'll need to get the hang of this popular social media platform.

The good news is that Twitter is free and easy to use. However, some commonly-used Twitter terms can seem confusing at first. This glossary of Twitter terms for beginners will help you start winning on Twitter.

What Is Twitter?

What Is Twitter?
Did You Know You Can Win Big Prizes through Twitter?. Image (c) Ratsanai / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images

Twitter is not only a popular social media website, it's also the hot new way for companies to offer sweepstakes.

The interesting thing about Twitter is that each post needs to be 140 characters or less, including links. So all of the conversation takes place in bite-sized posts.

Who's on Twitter? Everyone, from your family and friends to celebrities and world leaders. Oh, and also the brands and companies that are giving away prizes today.

If you're ignoring Twitter, you're missing out on a lot of new ways to win. Find out more about what Twitter is and how you can use it to win prizes.


While you're on Twitter, don't forget to follow me on Twitter, at @ContestsGuide. More

What Is a Tweet on Twitter?

Do You Know what Tweeting Is?
All About Tweets and Tweeting. Image (c) Zmeel Photography / E+ / Getty Images

Tweeting is the basic method of communication on Twitter. Every post of 140 characters or less is called a Tweet.

When you enter sweepstakes, you'll often see sponsors offering additional entries for Tweeting about the giveaway. This simply means making a post about the giveaway, often including a specific hashtag.

Other sweepstakes require you to post a Tweet to enter in the first place.

Read more about what Tweeting is and how to do it right.

Example of a Tweet:

Acme, Inc is giving away a free trip. Click here to find out more: #acmesweepstakes

What Is a Retweet on Twitter?

Image of birds tweeting.
What retweets are and how to use them properly. Image (c) Kerry Hyndman Pre / Ikon Images / Getty Images

Retweeting is a way of sharing something that someone else has written, while simultaneously letting them know that you have done so.

Twitter users see posts that have been retweeted under their "Notifications" tab (Twitter clients like Tweetdeck will also display your retweets).

Many Tweeters appreciate Retweets, since they help spread their message to a broader audience: your followers.

Retweeting is often a requirement for entering Twitter contests, because that's one way a brand can spread their message effectively.

Example of a Retweet:

RT @ContestsGuide Want to win cash prizes? More

What Does @ Mean on Twitter?

The @ Symbol Lets You Respond on Twitter
Use an @Reply to Respond on Twitter. Image (c) Peter Booth / E+ / Getty Images

On Twitter, you use the @ symbol to reply to another user's Tweets. This is called an @reply.

If you want to reply to a Tweet that someone else has posted, use an @reply by using the @ symbol followed by the other Twitterer's username, followed by whatever you wanted to say. This lets you participate in a conversation with the original poster.

When you use an @reply, the other Twitterer will see your post, even if he or she doesn't follow you.

On Twitter, you can follow an entire conversation carried out through @Replies by clicking on the "follow conversation" link.

You can enter some Twitter sweepstakes by sending an @Reply to a Tweet about the sweepstakes.

Example of an @Reply:

@ContestsGuide, thank you for posting about today's new sweepstakes!

What Is a Hashtag on Twitter?

Image of a cell phone showing a hashtag symbol.
Hashtags make it easier to find the conversations you want to follow. Hashtag Image © Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images.

Hashtags are how Twitter users indicate that their Tweets are about a specific topic. People can search for that hashtag to find all of the posts on that topic.

For example, if I Tweet about a new sweepstakes, I might tag it with the #sweepstakes hashtag. That lets people who are interested in sweepstakes find my Tweet easily.

A hashtag is made by putting the number symbol in front of a word or combination of words with no spaces between them.

Using a specific hashtag is a requirement to enter many Twitter sweepstakes, because it's how the sponsors track who is entering.

Example of a Hashtag:

To enter, follow @AcmeInc and send a Tweet using the hashtag #IWannaWin!

What Are Followers on Twitter?

Followers are listening to hear what you have to Tweet.
Followers Are Waiting to Hear What You Have to Tweet. Image (c) Myillo / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images

Followers are the people who have agreed to receive your Tweets through Twitter. If you add someone else to the list of people you read, you "follow" them. If they do the same to you, they become your followers.

Popularity on Twitter is often measured by the number of followers a person has.

In order to enter Twitter contests, you often need to follow the sponsor. One of the benefits for companies

Example of How to Use "Followers":

Offering Twitter contests is a powerful way for sponsors to gain more followers.

What Are Tweeple on Twitter?

Tweeple: The People Who Follow You, and Whom You Follow
Tweeple: The People Who Follow You, and Whom You Follow. Image (c) Roy Scott / Ikon Images / Getty Images

Tweeple are the people who make up your "tribe" on Twitter - the people who follow your Tweets, who retweet your posts, and spread the word about things you are interested in reading about.

The word Tweeple comes from combining "Twitter" with "people."

Also Known As: Tweeps

Example of How to Use "Tweeple":

I have to let all of my Tweeple know about this great new contest!

What Are Twitter Parties?

Join Twitter parties from your own computer for chances to win. Image (c) Stockbyte / Getty Images

Twitter parties are conversations that are hosted by companies, usually with a topic that is related to their business.

For example, a diaper company might host a Twitter party about dealing with diaper rash while a car company might offer a Twitter party focusing on safer driving tips.

To encourage people to participate and to build excitement, prizes are usually given away. Prizes may be offered for spreading the word before the party, for Tweeting using a specific hashtag during the party, etc.

Read my full article, how to participate in Twitter parties and win prizes, for more details.

Example of How to Use "Twitter Parties":

Join our Twitter party at 8 pm EST to chat about your best travel tips and win great prizes! #travelsmart

What's Next? Find and Enter Twitter Contests

Tweet to Win: All About Twitter Sweepstakes
Image (c) Simmosimosa / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images

If you're ready to get started with Twitter, this article will give you all the information you need. More