We love using Twitter as a way to make and maintain professional connections. It’s also a great place to give people virtual “props” and shout outs.
I also see people making this one mistake over and over again.
Here’s a Twitter fact most people don’t know:
If you start a tweet with a username, like @FindSpark, your followers will NOT see that tweet, unless they follow that person.
Let me explain what I mean.
Amy Wong is one of our amazing community members who came to our last conference. You can see below a tweet she wrote that begins with a username. Obviously she wanted her followers to see the tweet, as she was saying something nice about one of our speakers.
Unfortunately, because the tweet starts with the username, it didn’t show up in the newsfeeds of most of her followers – only those who already follow @SELFMagazine.
@SELFmagazine‘s Brittany Forgione is killing this panel. Master moderator. I want to Insta-stalk her now. #findpassion
— Amy Wong (@amykywong) November 9, 2013
Why? Because starting a tweet with a username is actually called an “@ reply”, and it’s meant for back and forth conversation between two people, that you don’t want or need your followers to see.
It prevents your followers from seeing one side of a conversation, because that’d be annoying (in the same way it’s annoying to hear one side of a phone call).
Here’s an example of when you’d start a tweet with a username / an “@ reply”:
@FindSpark Check your DM – any question, just DM me. TY I look forward to recommend more students your way.
— T. Ngoc Tran (@prof_Tran) February 2, 2014
We don’t need or want our followers to see a conversation with us and a supporter on twitter asking for contact information. That’d be annoying, right?
In the case below, we could have “@ replied,” but because the response is beneficial for all our followers to see, we re-structured the tweet as a normal tweet, as opposed to an “@ reply.”
Yes, @skywlkrp, we do! Check out our free virtual events :) http://t.co/Dy9AZyTGCR
— FindSpark (@FindSpark) January 18, 2014
If you’re set on starting a tweet with a username, one thing you can do to make sure your followers see it is to include a “.” before the username.
.@AlliedIM works with clients like Disney, FOX and ABC. Apply as their Movie Studio Promotions Intern: http://t.co/ghFduilGat — FindSpark (@FindSpark) February 7, 2014
.@emilymiethner @FindSpark Much love, I tell EVERYONE about you. A @BrandeisU senior also caught the love bug: pic.twitter.com/h8m6wJsgSW
— Haemee (@hemikay) January 26, 2014
Are there are any other Twitter secrets out there you’ve learned? Share in the comments!