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By Lowell Brown

Using The @Mention Function on Twitter

Twitter speaks its own language, one that can be baffling to new users. However, I would argue that Twitter is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the social media sphere. With that being said, if you’re on Twitter or considering joining for that matter, it’s absolutely crucial that you understand the basics of Twitter.

One commonly used function on Twitter that is poorly used is the @mention function. Learning what this function is used for, when to use it, and how to use it is important to get the most out of your Twitter marketing efforts.

What is the @mention function used for?

The @mention function is used to ‘tag’ users in your status updates, typically at the beginning of a tweet.

Mentioning a user on Twitter is an effective way to grab a user’s attention, quickly.

When to use the @mention function?

Generally, you’ll want to ‘mention’ someone in a tweet if you’re referencing their content and/or replying to their message.

How do you @mention a user?

If you’re referencing a user in your tweet for example, you’ll want to use their Twitter handle somewhere within your tweet, typically placed at the beginning your tweet. If you want to reply to a user’s message, you can also press the ‘reply’ button that appears under the tweet.

It’s important to note that you do not have to ‘follow’ a user (or that user does not have to ‘follow’ you) to mention them on Twitter. Each time you mention a user on Twitter it will show up in their ‘@mentions tab’ on their profile page, so they’ll be able to see that you’re tweeting about them.

For example, I found a great quote by Jay Baer, a NY Times bestselling author, marketing consultant, and keynote speaker. When I share this quote with my followers, I will want to include Jay Baer’s Twitter handle (@jaybaer) to maximize my reach. A tweet that begins with a @mention is seen by you, the person you mentioned, and users who follow both of you.

For example, @jaybaer “Social media creates kinship between companies and customers, and kinship equals purchase intent.”

To find a user’s Twitter handle, simply type in Twitter search the user’s first and last name (or the company name) and the handle will show below their page name within their profile.

What if I want to reach out to a user privately?

If you’d like to tweet someone a message and do not want others to see it, you can send a direct message to that person. This message will only show up in their message page and the only people that will see it are you and that person. It will not be shared on your profile or show up within their newsfeed.

It should be noted that you can only direct message your followers. I cannot send a direct message to Jay Baer, for example because he does not follow me on Twitter.

To send a direct message to a user, go to the ‘Messages’ tab at the top of your Twitter page, create a ‘New Message’ and type in the handle of the person you’re privately messaging.

How do you share tweets with ALL of your followers?

Now the @mention function will only show your tweet to mutual followers – meaning the users who follow both you and the recipient you are mentioning.

If you want ALL of your followers to see your tweet that includes this function, simply add a period in front of the @ symbol.

For example, .@jaybaer “Social media creates kinship between companies and customers, and kinship equals purchase intent.”

It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t abuse this function as it can begin to annoy some people.

Were you aware of this @ function trick? Have you used it before?

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