Are You Guilty of Making the Most Common Mistake on Twitter?

There is one major mistake that’s being made all the time on Twitter!

The culprit is evident right at the very start of a Tweet.

Starting a tweet with someone’s Username  (ie: their @ Twitter handle) is a big no no!

For example if we tweet: “@BOBSthebook says…” without something in front of it, Twitter sees this as a reply and the tweet will only be seen by a limited number of people.

Starting a Tweet with the @handle – who sees what?

If you start a tweet as outlined above with the @handle – eg: @carvillcreative – then only the sender and the person mentioned and those who follow both you and the @handle you are sending the tweet to – will see the tweet.

Of course, if that’s your intention – then great. It may be that you are intentionally being ‘niche’.  It’s often a good workaround to send a direct message to someone when they are not following you – where you can’t do an ‘official direct message’.

In order to turn such a closed tweet into a regular public tweet, (for all to see) you simply have to add any character in front of the “@” symbol. This is commonly done by adding words such as “Hi there @BOBSthebook…” or “Great post @BOBSthebook…“

Simply adding characters prior to the @handle means that your tweet is then visible to all. And the people you have ‘mentioned’ will be notified in the usual way.

If you’re already pushing 140 characters, you can simply put any punctuation at the beginning. People often choose a  fullstop – probably because it’s small, simple and most eyes are likely to pass over it – eg: .@michellecarvill

So from now on, if you’re going to tweet with a Twitter @handle– make sure that the “@” sign is not the first character of the tweet, so that all your followers can see it in their timelines – no matter what the tweet is about!

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.