When you join twitter, it can feel like you have to learn a whole new language. Here is a list I've compiled of what I think are the top 5 most useful Twitter terms and features to give you a jump-start on your tweeting education.
1. Hashtag You have probably read tweets where people have jumbled words together preceded by the pound sign (#). For example: #britneyspears, #advertising, #deathlyhallows (for all you Harry Potter fans like me). These words are similar to blog keywords; they link your tweet to related tweets with the same hashtag. It is a great way for other users to find your tweets, and a great way for you find out what the 'buzz' is on a topic of your interest if you search or click on a hashtag.
2. Retweet Twitter is all about sharing information. A retweet is a republication of the tweet of another user, and is usually preceded by RT@(username of original tweet) if you add something to the tweet (like a response). Or, you can just click 'retweet,' and Twitter will take care of attribution and tweet it to your followers for you.
3. #followfriday (#ff) Any post preceded or followed by this hashtag will list usernames that other twitter users are suggesting their followers follow. It's polite, and a great way to find and build relationships with potential followers.
4. Trending Trending means that a tweet with a certain hashtag has become 'hot,' or is being tweeted about often at the current moment. Looking at what is trending can help you keep up with the buzz and join the conversation on topics relevant to your twitter account.
5. Lists If someone 'listed' you, that means that they have added you to a list of followers that they have grouped together. It works similar to a blogroll in that it is a great way to recommend and find other users, but it has one other advantage. You can create multiple lists, and put the usernames you follow in organized groups, so that when you click on one of your lists, you can view all of the most current tweets from just those users. It keeps you from having to sort your way through the hundreds of tweets you might be following to get to the information you want.
Hope you find this helpful!