Twitter Replies versus Mentions: You’re Missing Out!!

I decided to write this brief tutorial to show you how to get the most power out of your Twitter replies. Because even though we’ve all been tweeting for so long, I continue to see time and time again examples not of wrongdoing, but simple missed opportunities from using Twitter replies versus mentions. This specifically refers to when you REPLY to someone on Twitter, not RETWEET. Here we go.

super power twitter repliesSome people think that when you reply to a tweet that all of your followers see it, and that is not the case. Only the person who you replied to and people that follow you BOTH will see your reply.

For instance, let’s say I’m having a Twitter conversation between the @OmniHotels handle, and my friend @BobJones.

# of people following @BobJones – 2000
# of people following @OmniHotels – 19000
# of people following both handles- 400

If @OmniHotels send a tweet, a max of 19000 people see it. (Of course, not all 19000 people are going to see it, 19000 are able to see it if they are watching for it.)

If @BobJones sends a tweet, a max of 2000 people will see it.

If @OmniHotels then replies to Bob’s tweet, like this:
“@BobJones Nice tweet, Bob!”
The number of people that can see it? Not 19000…… only a max of 401 will see my reply: Bob and the 400 people that follow us both.

But if @OmniHotels replies to that tweet in a different structure so the “@BobJones” is not at the VERY front of the tweet, that reply will get full exposure for my 19000 followers. So how do you change the structure of your tweet? Just put a period (.) in front of the @BobJones, or move the @BobJones to a different part of the tweet, like these:

“.@BobJones Nice tweet, Bob!”
“Nice Tweet, @BobJones!”
“Nice Tweet, Bob! @BobJones”

This now turns your “Reply” into a “Mention” instead. In doing so, you will get the full exposure of your reply to your whole following. You should use your own discretion as to when to use this. For example, if I were replying to an unhappy guest who only has 100 followers, I probably wouldn’t restructure my tweet to let all 19000 of our followers know that the guest had a complaint!!

Let’s look at a real world example. PaigeHCooper has been promoting a @BeTheMatch event (a wonderful organization!) at the Omni Fort Worth with a variety of tweets. Take a look at the structure of the tweets themselves.

This tweet went to all of her 229 followers,

But this one, because she put the @BeTheMatch right at the front of the tweet, went to only @BeTheMatch, @OmniHotels, and probably the few twitter users that follow both @PaigeHCooper and @BeTheMatch.

See the difference? It’s not that Paige did anything wrong here, it’s just that she could have gotten so much more exposure on her second tweet by putting something before the @BeTheMatch reference at the beginning.

Similarly, we LOVE when our Omni fans give us shoutouts like this one. But at the risk of sounding like a complete ingrate, we would have REALLY loved if she had MENTIONED us rather than REPLIED to us, so we benefited from the exposure to her whopping 9500 followers!! Greedy, I know…shoot me.

Here’s a link that explains all of this in more detail:

I hope this tip helps… Feel free to forward this to whom it may help, and please let me know if you have any questions, or if you have any other nagging social questions I can answer.

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Jay Cooney

I'm Jay. Married to Shay. Eleventy-gillion kids. Social media strategist for Omni Hotels & Resorts. These are my HalftimeLessons.


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