Here’s Something You Probably Don’t Know About Visibility For Twitter Replies

My friends Cindy Ronzoni, and dynamic duo Darin & Lisa McClure (and the renowned social media up-and-comer StumbleBaby) do a great job explaining some tactical uses for Twitter "hashtags" in the interview above.  In fact, the ideas they give are a great complement to the Twitter portion of the Social Media 101 Orchestration training series; it's well worth taking the four minutes to listen in.

But, the key learning point I want to share in today's post is the clarification Lisa gives in the Bonus Tip at about the 3:12 timecode in the video.  (BTW, here's how I insert timecode links in YouTube videos.)

Did You Know This..?

In the Bonus Tip, Lisa gives a little more tactical insight about the Replies function in Twitter.  Here's the low-down:

If you begin a tweet by mentioning somebody's name with the "@" symbol in front of their name, then only those who follow BOTH you and the person being replied to will see that reply message.

For example, if I were to post:

@LisaMcClure, thanks for sharing that tip on that clarified how Replies work on Twitter

Then, as it turns out, that post will be seen only by those who follow me and who also follow my friend Lisa.  (Note the "and".)

In that sense,  by beginning your tweet with the "@" symbol as I did above, you will be limiting visibility to your message to a much smaller subset of followers who could otherwise have seen and benefitted from your message.

What's the Business Impact?

Most people -- as many did in our mastermind group -- believe that any tweet you post on Twitter will be seen by all your followers.  In fact, that's not the case in this instance.  In other words, if you have 500 followers, but only 10 of them follow both you and Lisa, then only those 10 people will have seen the reply above.

On the other hand, if your goal is to have your message shared with as broad a swath as possible across all your followers, then what you want to do is change the message slightly.


(Choose the image to go to the reference on Twitter Help.)

The idea is to begin your tweet with some character other than the "@" symbol.  Like in this example:

Thanks, @LisaMcClure for that great bonus tip on about how Replies work on Twitter

In effect, by not starting your tweet with "@username" as the very first set of characters, you can get wider visibility to your tweets -- and give more people an opportunity to join the dialog.

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About Mel

Mel is the online training architect and screencasting wizard at Kareo, one of Forbes' 2013 list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America. He's also the creator of Digital-Know-How, a training website devoted to developing learners' skills for screencasting and web video course development. Mel is also the chief blogger of; Mel's personal blog. The comments and opinions you read here are Mel's and not associated with any other company.
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2 Responses to Here’s Something You Probably Don’t Know About Visibility For Twitter Replies

  1. Thank you Mel for providing an extended explanation of how to gain greater exposure for our tweets. All your blog posts provide such tremendous value. Thank you for sharing your insights so freely with us. We are all smarter because of you.

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