What is Twitter, what is it for and how does this microblogging network work?

what is twitter

It is possible that, on more than one occasion, you have asked yourself “what exactly is Twitter”, given the social repercussion that it has today and a large number of mentions that are made of this platform in all the media.
Without a doubt, this being a network with more than 350 million active users all over the world, it is not surprising that, at least, you have been curious to know about it and also to know how it works inside.
In addition, this is an almost essential channel that you must include within the Social Media Plan of your company or digital business.
For this reason, and without further ado, today you will come out of doubt because in addition to its exact definition, I will show you exactly what Twitter is for and what things you can do in it.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging social network, which allows you to send messages of 280 characters, which can be seen by other users and you can follow other accounts of your interest, as well as get followers who, in turn, follow you.
These messages are called “tweets” and, although these are specifically public, it is also possible to start private conversations, where these messages are called DM (Direct Messages or “direct messages”).
Twitter is, in other words, one of the social networks with the most users in the world and which has the most active users (as mentioned above, already surpassing the 350 million barrier).

How was Twitter really born?

If we go back to the origins of this digital platform, we can say that it was founded by Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams and Biz Stone in 2006.
In the beginning, they were clear about the concept they wanted to create: a platform that “inherited” the original essence of classic mobile SMS and that, in turn, allowed users to be permanently connected, as well as being aware of updates from other users.
The first dilemma was motivated by the name of Twitter, which began as “Status” (stat.us). However, Dorsey and company wanted to capture in their denomination the essence of being able to tell our thoughts to our friends, from wherever we are.
Then, they had the great idea of bringing out a new name: “twitch” (tick).
It came to simulate the vibrating sound of smartphones when they received a short message from this social network. But it didn’t convince them much either.

All this, until they finally thought about “Twitter”, name that appears to date, because according to them (and the dictionary), means something like “small burst of irrelevant information” and “the sound of birds communicating with each other.

Hence, in addition to the figure of your pet, the essence of why this platform is called that today. Besides, it was an easy name, short and in tenths of seconds, it was recognizable by everyone who heard it.
And now that you know how it was born, maybe you’re wondering what its main virtues are:

What exactly is Twitter for?

With the use of this platform, we can achieve several beneficial effects for our brand and to generate a reputation in line with our institutional values:

Create brand image

As I have just mentioned, this social network allows us to make our company known on the Internet and the values we want to promote in it, making it known every day more people around the world, given the international scope of the platform.
Having this way a constant activity and being present in events Online of our commercial sector, we will reach every time a better Positioning of Brand in the mind of our potential clients.
Corporate Image Guide

Promote products

We can use “tuits” to promote our products, although we should not abuse the commercial nature of these messages, if we want to get recurrent followers in it.
The best thing, as in all social platforms is undoubtedly to provide valuable content to the user, although from time to time we occasionally mention our products or services and their benefits.

Communicate relevant facts

If we make a relevant change in the company, such as the creation of a new division, we can use this channel to make it known in an agile and useful way.
Its marked informative and journalistic character means that any evolution in our company may be of interest to the users who are there and who follow us.

Analyzing the competition

Just as we can communicate important things, so will our competitors and we can monitor the messages and conversations of other companies in our sector, so that, based on the relationships they strengthen, we can make business decisions.
Hidden lists are a very useful tool for this purpose and, in addition, are widely used by businesses that do not want their conversations are public.

Customer service

This social network can be a powerful channel for customer service, for its immediacy and closeness. Many companies provide this service through a robot or “ChatBot”, something that helps in a correct and above all, fast, attention.
Nowadays, despite the fact that the most common way of contact between users and brands is still e-mail, it is becoming more and more widespread to offer Twitter as a channel for them to send their messages and suggestions.

Know more about our client

Given the incessant conversation that is generated almost 24 hours a day in this social network, this allows us to talk with our customers and potential buyers about issues that concern them and are related to our company or sector.
For that reason, we must take advantage of each one of the comments of our followers to transform them in a business opportunity and to know, therefore, who is our target or buyer persona.


We can also take this wonderful offline marketing technique to the online terrain thanks to Twitter, since it allows us to relate at company level with influential people in our sector, who we can turn into ambassadors of our brand or simply that they know us.
In this way, they will be able to recommend us in the future.
In addition, by networking “at the same level”, we can also establish “win-win” relationships with other professionals or other businesses, which can lead to joint actions beneficial to both parties.

Human resources management

Like any social network, it leaves a footprint for people who use it, so it is a powerful source of inquiry of potential candidates to join our organization, if we are recruiters of a company or we are managing such tasks.
Thus, we can monitor and investigate any candidate who has previously left us his Curriculum Vitae in our offices.

Knowledge Transmitter

Our company must demonstrate that it has sufficient knowledge of our sector of activity for customers to trust us.
One way of transmitting this knowledge is through social networks, where we can disseminate articles from our own blog or share other valuable content.
I’m sure that, after knowing the great amount of utilities that this social platform has, you will have felt like starting to use it.
If so, you’re ready to learn how to create a Twitter account, both for yourself and for your own business.
In addition, once you open your profile, you will be interested in knowing these concepts of the network:

Basic Twitter terminology, do you know them all?

Once you have fully understood what Twitter is, to better understand how it works, it is necessary that we master some terms that are basic and essential to understand:

  • Twitter: is a user of this social network is usually represented by his username preceded by the @username.
  • Tweet or tuit: these are each of the 140-character messages in which images or links to other external media (videos, blog posts, etc.) can be included.
  • Time Line: is the place where we can see chronologically the messages that a user has written.
  • Retweet or RT: when we share the content of another user that we find interesting, so that our followers can see it.
  • Follower: is the user who has decided to follow us to see the messages we publish.
  • Following: the action we take when we start following a user.
  • List: we can create lists of users grouped by themes to follow them in a unified way, these lists can be public or private.
  • DM or direct message: these are messages that can be sent privately to a user.
  • I like it: representing by a heart, we indicate that we find interesting a tuit.
  • Hashtag: it is represented by a pad (#) followed by some characters, it allows to group the tuits that are produced in the social network with a common theme. In addition, hashtags are a necessary and essential label in Congresses and Online Events, in order to organize all the conversation related to it.
  • Trending topic: it is a ranking that groups the most commented terms, they can be grouped by cities, countries or in the world-wide scope.

How does Twitter work and how can I use it within my Social Media strategy?

Many and varied are the objectives that we can set ourselves within our social networking strategy, the first thing is to have these objectives clear to define how we are going to achieve them.
Some of the most common uses are:

1. To be a channel for capturing Web traffic

Twitter can be used as a means of disseminating the content of our website, just as important is to create quality content as to reach as many people as possible.
In this way, we will get more and more Web traffic and, therefore, people interested in visiting our website in search of content of their interest.

2. Build customer loyalty

As there is a degree of interaction it is easier to maintain contact with the customer, both before and after the purchase and thus be present in future purchasing decisions.

3. Brand recognition

We can increase the branding of our brand by being present in it by the high number of users who use it daily.
Thus, the more mentions and interactions with positive connotations, the better.

4. A sales channel

Although both this and other social networks have not been designed to sell directly, if we introduce links to our product cards in the case of having an eCommerce, we can take advantage to give exclusive discounts to our followers.
In this way, we will increase some of the other factors mentioned above, such as loyalty or recognition of our trademark.

How can I send a tweet?

At the point that we have already decided how our strategy is going to be in it, it is necessary to be clear how you can send a tweet.
Once created our user, first click on the “Tweet” button, and it will open an advantage for us to write our message, always thinking that it should have 280 characters maximum.
twitter alfredo
In addition, we can include, something that is recommended, a link to our website, blog, to a product sheet, etc..
We can also add images, gifs, conduct surveys and use the famous emoticons. Just press the “Tweet” button again and that’s it.
If we link an article that adds value to the user, we have more chances that a content is shared by influencers and get the attention of a much larger audience than your followers suppose.
This is one of the most important benefits of the microblogging network: you can talk to any type of user, have many or few followers and become an ambassador for our brand in the future.


Like any social network, finally knowing what Twitter is should serve you to initiate an effective and productive communication with your customers and those interested in your products.
And this communication cannot be unidirectional, because it loses all sense of the utilities of this social network. Speak and listen to your users. In this way, you will obtain very valuable information for your company and its future.
Have you understood what Twitter is and why you should consider including it in a Social Media strategy?