Twitter Tip: Replies and Mentions are not the same

I was inspired to write this post after presenting on “Twitter & Recruiting” at The FIRM’s Social Media event yesterday.

We all know that referencing someone’s twitter username with an @ symbol infront creates a link to their profile in your tweet.

Did you realise that where you place that @username can have a big impact on the visibility of your tweet?

When a tweet begins with @username Twitter interperates this as a Reply. Only those following both you and the person you are refernencing will see the tweet in their timeline.

If you go and check out my twitter profile, you will probably see me talking to a bunch of people you don’t know in tweets you’ve never seen. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to see me chatting about the weather to a total stranger?

Here’s an example of a reply:

When you mention someone – referencing their @usermane in the body of your tweet, everyone can see it.

This is why you sometimes see people putting a full-stop in front of a reply – so that it is visible to all of their followers.

Here’s an example of a mention:

(Thanks Wendy *blush*)

So, if you’re just shooting the breeze with your friends and colleagues on Twitter, use replies as normal.

If you’re trying to spread content far and wide, make sure you reference @usernames in the body of your tweet, not at the start, so that all your followers see.

Related posts:
5 things not to do when you join Twitter
20 things for recruiters and sourcers to tweet about