On Twitter, @Replies Are Different Than Mentions

So apparently I’m not the first person to notice this, but on Twitter, there’s a difference between @replies and mentions. It’s a simple concept but many seem to be unaware.

Here’s a very recent post from @PRNews which describes itself as “The public relations professional’s resource for ideas, strategies and tools to maximize communications and social media efforts”. In order to maximize your social media effort, you may want to allow everybody to see posts you want everybody to see.

@PR News Twitter Mistake

@PR News Twitter Mistake

The above post clearly isn’t meant as a message just for @BrianSolis or something only for people who follow @PRNews and @BrianSolis. (If you follow @BrianSolis, you should already know the definition of engagement).

If you don’t believe me visit the official Twitter Help Center article “What are @Replies and Mentions?”, which clearly states “People will only see others’ @replies in their Home timeline if they are following both the sender and recipient of the reply” (bold in original).

Twitter @Replies and Mentions

If you’re having a conversation with just one person, use an @reply (starting your post with @BrianSolis). Only he and people who follow both you and @BrianSolis will see it in their feed.

If you want all of your followers see a post referencing another account, use anything but “@name” to start your post. Most start with “.@name” when they are referencing another Twitter account.

For example when @CondeNastCorp wanted to let all of its followers know that @Selfmagazine was showing a significant increase in ad pages, it began the post with “.@Selfmagazine” to ensure all of its followers, not only those following both it and @Selfmagazine, would see it.

@CondeNastCorp Knows the difference between @replies and mentions

@CondeNastCorp Knows the difference between @replies and mentions

There’s even a great > 2 minute video explaining it. Please, take two minutes out of your day in order to maximize your reach on Twitter.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgf1DU5aN3A]

Side note: Yes, I realize it would be silly for a PR pro to not follow @BrianSolis, the above post is for sample only.

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About Geoff Campbell

Geoff Campbell is an Assistant Director, Communications & Marketing at American University.

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