Hashtags, Handles and Check-ins – Oh My!

Hashtags, Handles and Check-ins – Oh My!

Terms and lingo to navigate the social media sphere

Whether you are new to social media or consider yourself an old pro, you may hear terms or jargon that is foreign to you. Below is a list I have compiled based on the questions I am asked the most. Please feel free to add and/or comment to this list below.


  • Friend – Connect with someone on Facebook (person to person)
  • Page – Like a website homepage on Facebook. Can be created by a person, organization, business, etc.
  • Wall – Electronic whiteboard on a Page. Place where you can post content and your Fans can post their comments.
  • News Feed – Where your friends’ and “Liked” pages’ posts/activity is shown on your homepage.
  • Like (Fan/Follower) – When someone Likes a Page. The Page’s post shows up in their timeline.
  • Like (Post/Update) – When someone (or Page) Likes a post or something shared (image, article, etc.)
  • Tag – Add names (people) to photos, articles, status updates, or videos. Can only Tag people you are Friends with. Shortcut: When typing status update or photo comment insert @ then type person’s name.
  • Status Update – Sharing what you are doing or to share something of interest (article, video, etc.). Your Status Update shows up in your Friends’ timeline.
  • Timeline – List of your recent activity and your Followers’ activities.
  • Check-in – You can “Check In” at places. This is a geo-coded location based Status Update. You can Tag people in your Check Ins.

Facebook Tips:

  • You can link your Facebook to your Twitter account. This means that all of you Facebook Status Updates and Photos will show up in your Twitter feed. I personally do not recommend this.
  • Privacy and Notifications – You can set your privacy (who sees what) and notifications (how often or any at all) in the Settings area.
  • Classifying Friends – You can create lists and/or label your “Friends.” Facebook has default list of “Close Friends” and “Acquaintances.” If you take the time to label your Friends, then you can control who your posts, photos, etc. can be viewed by. I recommend that you do this immediately, especially if you have photos of friends and family in your account.


  • Tweet – Message posted via Twitter handle. Limited to 140 characters.
  • Follow – To friend someone (or follow their updates).
  • Follower – Someone who follows you.
  • Handle – Username proceeded with @.
  • Direct Message (DM) – Email-like message to someone following you. Private.
  • @ (At) Reply – Call out username in Tweets. Becomes a link to a Twitter profile.  Public. (@LindsayDiven)
  • # (Hashtag) – A kind of tag or description to mark keywords or topics. Great for search. Can be created by anyone.
  • Lists – Curated groups of other Twitter Users. Do not have to follow the user. Can subscribe to other lists.
  • Mention – Mentioning another user in your Tweet by including their handle. (@LindsayDiven)
  • Retweet (RT) – Forwarding another’s Tweet to all of your followers.

Twitter Tips:

  • # Hashtags (from the Social Biz Buzz at http://www.thesocialbizbuzz.com/blog/2011/11/making-sense-of-twitters-hashtag-technology/)
    • Using a hashtag before a keyword creates a hyperlink to other tweets around that subject, allowing your tweets to show up in other peoples’ searches—whether they are following you or not.
    • Clicking on a hashtagged word in a message will show all of the other tweets (and people) who have used that hashtag.
    • Hashtag Basics
      • Find out if your organization and/or event are using a hashtag. Then use it to promote the event (when you signed up, before go, etc.), during the event (memorable quotes, pictures, etc.) and after the event.
      • Don’t spam with hashtags. No more than three hashtags per Tweet.
      • Follow discussions that are centered around #yourinterest. (Examples include #AEC, #SMPS, #AECSM, #AIA, etc.)
      • The #keyword is delimited after the first space. Twitter stops reading it as a hashtag after the first break. So, if you want to call out American Idol with a hashtag, you would use #AmericanIdol not #American Idol.
      • Use Hashtags to Post to LinkedIn – To make your Tweet show up in your LinkedIn profile simply use the hashtags #in or #li in your Tweets and it will post on both places.
  • Saved Searches– You can search on any topic, keyword or hashtag. I would recommend that you save those searches and check frequently. Common saved searches should include:
        • You – To make sure there is nothing negative (and to find the good stuff!)
        • Your Firm – same reason as above
        • SMPS
        • AEC
        • Other client markets
        • Lists – You can and should create lists. They are can be around topics, geography, markets, etc. You can add people to the lists without following them. It is a great way to keep your Twitter Feed from getting unreadable. At the minimum you should create lists that have:
          • Current Clients (can even break down by target market or discipline)
          • Potential or Targeted Clients
          • Colleagues
          • Media (local and/or industry related)
          • Industry Organizations (I have one for SMPS members nationwide)

These are just a few terms and lingo that will hopefully better equip you to navigate the social media world. Please share others that you have discovered below. Also, if you have any specific questions, please either post below or contact me directly.

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