I decided to write this article after my very dear friend Tina @CtKscribe and I were talking yesterday about how we are seeing more and more people on Twitter that seem to not understand how the @ replies work. We thought a quick refresher course might help a lot of newcomers to Twitter as well as be a nice reminder to people that may have forgotten.
Don’t feel dumb if you don’t know this information. I was giggling because when I sat down to write this post I realized that even though I’ve been on Twitter for a year and have over 25,000 followers; I didn’t know this information for sure either. I had to consult my friend Calvin @mayhemstudios, and he very patiently walked me through it, so don’t think you are alone if you don’t know! We can all benefit from the “get back to basics” kind of information every now and then.
When you send a tweet on Twitter that begins with an @ symbol, the only people who will see that tweet are the ones that follow you and the person you are sending it to. That is all.
The reason this is relevant is because @CtKscribe and I (and probably many others) have noticed more and more people sending RTs and their #FollowFriday recommendations, etc… with tweets beginning with that @ symbol, and those people probably do not realize that the majority of their followers are not seeing that information.
If you want all of your followers to see the tweet, you must begin the tweet with something other than the @, which can be a word, an RT, a hashtag, a period (have you seen the little dots in front of the @ sign sometimes?) – there are all kinds of creative ways to send a tweet that include an @ symbol that will get to all of your followers.
The same goes for your #FollowFriday recommendations and any other tweets that you send. I thought this tweet below was so nice and I wondered if the person that sent it knew that the only people that would see it would be people that were already following me anyway because it began with an @ symbol. If she began the tweet with the #FF, then all of her followers would have seen it.
The question you are probably going to ask next is what if you RT someone that has protected (private) tweets. Who exactly will see those? I don’t have the answer for that, I’ve heard conflicting information. Maybe someone that knows this will leave a comment here with the correct answer. I RT my very funny friend, @sc430girl, who has protected tweets and I have no idea who can actually see them.
The important thing to remember is that as we grow our visibility on Twitter, it is important that we also grow our knowledge for how to effectively communicate with our followers. I hope this little reminder was helpful and please let everyone know your tips also in the comments below. I’ll see you on Twitter! w00t!