Chatting on Twitter is a bit different from chatting on other social media sites. For instance, when you want to direct a comment toward a certain user you would use the @ symbol before their username:
In the above example you have just said hello to someone with the username “TwitterUser”. This is called a mention. Keep in mind though that mentions are not private; everyone can see them. To send someone a private message you must send them a Direct Message (or DM).
Hashtags are used before relevant keywords in order to categorize your tweet so it will show up more easily in a Twitter search. Hashtags use the # symbol before the keyword. For example:
I’m looking forward to my trip to #Chicago
Because of the # symbol, the word Chicago will become clickable and when clicked on will show all other tweets in that category. How is this beneficial? Let’s say you wanted to invite people in Chicago to a special event at your bar. You could write a tweet that looks something like:
All day drink specials today at ABC Bar, 222 Main Street #Chicago. Dollar martinis and more!
In an 88 character long tweet (still room to spare!) you just let everyone who may look at #Chicago know exactly what’s going on at your bar. This is real-time advertising at its best.