Don’t make this mistake on Twitter

Twitter is a powerful social media tool, no doubt. And I keep meaning to get better at using it. More consistent, more strategic. But I often feel like my grandmother trying to run a PC for the first time. This is me: “Direct message? What’s that?”

A while back, I stumbled across a post by Angela James telling me 10 things authors should know about using Twitter. Relevant, right? Indeed! Already I discover in item #1 something that I’ve been doing wrong:

1. When you start your tweet with the @ symbol, your whole tweet stream doesn’t see what you’re tweeting.

Starting with the @ creates a reply. Not a broadcast to your tweetstream. So only the person you “replied” to and those who follow both of you will see it. In other words: starting a promotional tweet with an @ is ineffective and wrong.

@angelajames taught me something new about Twitter today (only I and people following both of us will see this tweet. Sad. I want people to know how awesome I am!)

If you absolutely want to start with that person’s name, you can get around this by simply adding a period at the beginning of the tweet.

Really?! Who knew? Not me… Oops. For more dos and don’ts, read the whole post here. There’s also a cute poster here that explains some Twitter basics for the unsaavy.

I think I need to sign up for a remedial course in Twitter. I’m slow but willing to learn. 


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