Twitter is one of the fastest and simplest microblogging websites. Whereas Facebook’s strength lies in connecting with people you know, Twitter’s strength is capturing the buzz of the moment using tweets, links, trends and hashtags.

Twitter Basics

  • Tweets must be 140 characters or less, which includes all links, usernames and hashtags.
  • Hashtags (using the # symbol with a word directly following it, such as #CalPolyProud or #LearnByDoing) automatically creates a link in Twitter that compiles all of the tweets mentioning the topic.
  • Hashtags count toward the 140-character limit on Twitter so keep it concise and related to Cal Poly.
  • Tweets that begin with another user’s Twitter name (@), also known as “Replies” or “Mentions,” will only appear in your feed, the mentioned user’s feed, as well as the feeds of anyone who follows both you and the mentioned user.
  • If you wish to start with a mention or reply (@), make sure to put a period (.) in front of the “@” symbol so that all users can see the Tweet. For example, .@CalPoly is the best school.
  • For a full list of terms, use the Twitter Glossary.

Best Practices

  • Develop a flexible posting schedule that complements your target audience. Two to three tweets per day is optimal for a smaller organization.
  • Utilize curated content as your audience may not have seen your tweet the first time. Recycling material is highly recommended.
  • Retweets (RT) are one of the easiest and most popular ways to spread information through Twitter. Simply click the “retweet” link under a tweet you would like to share with all of your followers. It will appear in your feed regardless of whether other users follow the user who posted the original tweet.
  • Studies from SalesForce revealed that tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21 percent higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. Do not #overuse!
  • Don’t forget about photos with Twitter, as tweets with photos receive the highest engagement.
  • When uploading an image in your tweets, be sure to optimize them for the actual Twitter Activity Stream.

Tools & Resources

• Always use a URL shortening tool when linking to an outbound Web page. Cal Poly uses, which features its own analytic services, making it very appealing.
• Use a social media content management system such as Hootsuite or Buffer to help your team schedule tweets in advance.
• Utilize the full list of terms from the Twitter Glossary.


• Twitter offers basic analytic tools for all customers which can be found under the Twitter Ads section.

Twitter Policy

Click here for Twitter Policies & Violations.