Let’s review a bit of Twitter 101 this week, shall we? Today I’d like to talk about three common Twitter mistakes. What are some others you have noticed? Share in the comments!
1. Putting a space between the @ and the username.
I see a lot of automatic Tweets like “Hey @ soandso, thanks for following me!” But you know what? @soandso may never see the Tweet because that space between the username and the @ sign effectively eliminates the tagging the person was trying to do.
Never put a space between the @ sign and the username you’re mentioning.
2. Leaving out spaces between text, usernames, and links.
It’s hard to fit it all in 140 characters. It really is. But you won’t be helped by squishing it all together and saying “check out thisgreatpost [email protected]://link.com” Either the whole thing will appear as a link or the link will be completely broken. A few smarter clients will still display the link, but don’t count on it.
Put spaces between links and @mentions even if you have to abbreviate or leave out other words.
3. Putting @username at the beginning of the Tweet when it’s not a reply or direct Tweet.
I love Lisa-Jo Baker’s #FiveMinuteFriday link-ups. But when I want to Tweet about them, I don’t say: “@LisaJoBaker has the greatest link-up ever! #FiveMinuteFriday” If I formatted my Tweet that way, only my followers who already follow Lisa-Jo would see my Tweet. It would look like a conversation between myself and Lisa-Jo, rather than a Tweet where I’m telling everyone they ought to be following Lisa-Jo.
Of course, if I wanted to tell Lisa-Jo something directly, but not as a private direct message, I’d say “@LisaJoBaker I’m having issues getting the #FiveMinuteFriday linky to find photos in my post—anyone else having the same problem?” Then the people who are already likely to be having the same issue would see it, but it wouldn’t look like I was trying to complain to the whole world.
Always Tweet in the format of text first, then @mention, unless it’s a reply or direct Tweet.
4. Using all 140 characters when you really want Retweets.
If you fill up all 140 characters of a Tweet, it means people have to edit it before they Retweet it, to make room for “RT” and your @username, not to mention their own comments. But if they have to edit your Tweet, they’re much more likely to just cancel the Retweet rather than take time to edit it to be readable and Retweetable again.
If you really want your Tweet Retweeted, keep it to 120 characters or less.
The last “common Twitter mistake” is going to get a post of its own tomorrow—can you guess what it is? What other Twitter mistakes have you noticed?