Social Media Courses: How to use @Replies on Twitter
Looking at @replies in depth to see where they are and aren’t seen on Twitter
By this point, most people on Twitter know what @replies and #hashtags are. But while you may know how to replay to a tweet, do you know who sees these replies, or how to broadcast them to a wider audience? In this Social Media Courses tip, we’ll look at how @replies work and share some tricks you can use when replying on Twitter.
Who can see your tweets when you @reply?
When someone sends a message or a reply to @YourName, you are alerted in your Interactions section under the “@Connect” tab. Any @replies that you send out will similarly notify the person who you have mentioned. But do you know how these @replies appear on your Twitter feed, or the feeds of those that follow you?
In most cases, tweets that start with @replies will not be seen by people following you. The only time a tweet starting with an @reply appears on someone’s feed is if they are following BOTH you and the person you are mentioning. When someone is looking directly at your feed, Twitter defaults your feed to “No Replies”, meaning your reply tweets will only be seen if the person chooses to click on “All” instead.
This is a handy feature by Twitter that keeps feeds from becoming overwhelmed by conversations.
Make your replies visible to everyone
But in some cases, it is helpful to have your @reply seen by everyone. For example, if you are answering a question that you want other people to see the answer to.
There are multiple ways to make your @replies visible to everyone. The easiest is to simply add a period before the @Name. For example, the tweet “@Customer The sale starts tomorrow, can’t wait to see you there!” will follow the visibility rules above, but by adding a period before it, “.@Customer The sale starts tomorrow,” it becomes visible to everyone.
Another option (for shorter questions and answers) is to work them into the tweet. So for example, if @Customer tweets to you “When does the sale start?” you could tweet: (“.@Customer: When does the sale start?” At 3pm, see you there!). Now people can see the question you were asked as well as your answer.
Remember that whichever method you use to reply, no tweet is invisible to everyone. If you need to address a personal matter, use direct messages or ask the person for their information so that you can handle it off of Twitter.
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