Feb 252014

Twitter is an extremely powerful social media tool used by 241 million people monthly. There's definitely an art to creating interesting and engaging "Tweets".  I'm going to share with you a quick Twitter Tip that quite surprisingly is known by so few people.

twitter tip reply or mention

Twitter tip: Should I use @mention or @reply?

The @Reply

Pop quiz - Who sees this Tweet?

@somecoolmonkey you're like the coolest monkey ever. I sure hope all of my followers follow you!

If you said, "Everyone", well sorry to say that you'd be incorrect. In fact, not even everyone who is following you will see it either.  Why is that? When you start a Tweet with @UserName, Twitter assumes this as being part of having a conversation. Twitter will only shows this tweet to yourself, the @reply name and those who follow you both; that's it. But what if I want everyone to see my tweet to @somecoolmonkey? Consider using an @mention instead.

The @Mention

By contrast the @Mention is not seen by Twitter as being a reply, which means that everyone who is following you plus the person being @mentioned will see your tweet. Simply put, placing the @twittername anywhere that isn't at the beginning changes who sees the Tweet.

How do you compose an @mention?

Literally, you place the @twittername anywhere other than at the beginning.  You can either rewrite your tweet, like this:

"I sure hope all my followers follow you, @somecoolmonkey, you're like the coolest monkey ever!

Or keep your original post in tact, and just precede the starting @ with something as simple as period or even a word(s).

.@somecoolmonkey you're like the coolest monkey ever. I sure hope all of my followers follow you!

Features of an @Mention - Provides direct attention to the @twittername - Not a private message - @mentions are used to start conversations So there you have it.  An @mention and @reply - Two completely different ways to Tweet, Two completely different audiences will see. I hope that you learned something about Twitter from this little Twitter Tip.  Let us know below in the comments, and by sharing it to your friends.