The Most Common Mistake Made When Using Twitter! – By Bob Milliken

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Bob Milliken
Bob Milliken

Modern marketing is made up of a number of increasingly complex functions and systems, with one of the most important elements being social media, including the popular microblog Twitter. While Twitter is fairly easy to use, there is actually a really common mistake that many users make that has unintended consequences.

Social media is an always evolving idea, so what works one day won’t necessarily work in the near or foreseeable future. Combine this with the various changes and features of the different social media platforms and it is nearly impossible to master every service.

When it comes to Twitter, one of the most popular features is using @username to bring the tweet to the attention of the user and to tweet about them.

What Is The #1 Mistake Twitter Users Make?

The problem is, many people put the @username at the beginning of the tweet. What this does, as we stated above, is only make the tweet visible on your feed, to the user and their followers. Why is this a problem? Well, it comes from how most businesses use Twitter. They use it to share content, e.g., a blog article or a video, etc.; to essentially tweet about the person, not at them.  You see this in many tweets, for example, “@microsoft’s new blog is great. Read it!”

While you want to share the content with people other than those who created it, putting @user at the front of your tweet actually limits the audience to the person who created the content and their followers – in other words the opposite of what you intend.

twitterHow Do I Avoid Mistake Tweets?

If you are looking to tweet about someone or the content that user has created, using the @user is still a good idea because it will bring to the content-creator’s attention that you are sharing their content. This is a great way to form relationships and even have these individuals and businesses share your content. In turn, this can help increase the potential of your content being seen by a wider audience.

So, for many tweets it makes sense to put the @username first as it helps make the overall tweet easier to read.  In this case use a period before @username e.g.,” .@microsoft’s new blog post is great. Read it!” whenever you want to be sure that the tweet isn’t addressed only to the user, but can be seen by everyone.

Here’s a look at exactly who sees what kinds of tweets:

Your Tweet: Who Sees IT:
@Bob is the best YOU, Bob & your followers who also follow Bob
.@Bob is the best YOU, Bob & all of your followers
My favorite is @Bob YOU, Bob & all of your followers

Bob Milliken is the TheITGuy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com and specializes in helping businesses with their IT needs. Connect with him at 604.270.1730