The Number One Mistake Everybody Makes on Twitter
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I can't believe that so many people misunderstand a super fundamental piece of Twitter's functionality. It's shocking.
- Twitter has been around since 2006.
- And what really frustrates me…
- Is that so many people still screw up a really basic piece of Twitter’s functionality.
- Allow me to explain:
- I have something I need to get oﬀ my chest, something I need everyone to know !
- so I head to Twitter and I tweet this:
- @Patriots I hate all of you.!
- But there is a problem. !
- I want everybody to know. !
- But because the tweet started with an @ sign… !
- ONLY the traitors people who follow BOTH me AND the Patriots will see this tweet. !
- NOT all of my followers (and I have a lot)
- Which is EXCEPTIONAL for certain situations.* *But that's another Slideshare for another day.
- But not this one.
- So now a tweet like this: !
- So now a tweet like this: ! The @Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since they were caught cheating. #Justsaying #Truth
- Will show up to all 1,000,000+ of my followers
- Because @ is not the ﬁrst character of the tweet: The @Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since they were caught cheating. #Justsaying #Truth
- When that happens, all of your followers see it no matter what else is in the tweet.
- Let’s take a look at another example:
- @wilfork75 really really really really really really really really annoys me
- Again, only going to the LIMITED number of my followers who ALSO follow Vince Wilfork. !
- NO GOOD !
- EVERYONE MUST KNOW !
- But it’s an easy ﬁx: ! .@wilfork75 really really really really really really really really annoys me
- See that period at the beginning? ! .@wilfork75 really really really really really really really really annoys me
- . That is the most misunderstood piece of punctuation on Twitter. !
- Now that I tweeted starting with a period…
- ALL of my followers can understand just how much Vince pisses me oﬀ.
- So clearly this is a really important mechanic.
- And to be honest, I am shocked that Twitter hasn’t done a better job explaining it to new users.
- If I ran things, here is what I would do.
- The ﬁrst time you used the @ message, this would appear:
- Pretty cool right?
- Hey one last thing.
- I’m actually not all about people using this mechanic all the time.
- I would prefer that you just change the content up a little.
- Just ﬁnd a diﬀerent way to structure the sentence. ! The @Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since they were caught cheating. #Justsaying #Truth
- It looks and feels a lot more natural.
- But if you absolutely have to start a tweet with someone’s handle.
- Now you know what to do.