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How to use the ‘@’ on twitter to your best advantage

At @ on twitter Twitter is a great tool for marketing, promoting and advertising if you are using it right. It offers you an opportunity to deliver crisp messages and your listeners or followers are not over burdened; and if they feel so all they have to do is a simple unfollow.

Well, it isn’t as simple if you are the one losing followers, hence here are a few tips to use the ‘@’ reply in an engaging manner to create conversations and retweets.

The traditional use of the ‘@’ symbol is to reply to someone’s tweet. For e.g.

My Tweet thru @freya3377: Trying to figure out Linked In to see how I can use it for marketing and promoting myself and my work. Anyone have tips?

Reply by @devakishor: @freya3377 The best tutorial/guide as to how we can use Linkedin

However this reply can only be viewed by the recipient and those who follow both of you. It does not show on the public timeline. But if you put the @twitterID anywhere but at the start of the tweet or just added a character like ‘>’ at the start of the tweet, it would show to everyone.

E.g. – Hey @freya3377 The best tutorial/guide as to how we can use Linkedin
> @freya3377 The best tutorial/guide as to how we can use Linkedin

This is a good way to reply and yet involve more people in your conversations. Remember though that this is best done only for conversations that you think would be relevant to people else use Direct Messages to avoid overloading peoples streams.

Another way to engage your audience and also let people know you are talking or sharing about them is to include their twitter ID’s in your tweet. So when you are tweeting about a blog or article you are reading, use the authors or company’s twitter handle in your tweet.

E.g. – Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn by @guykawasaki This post was a great help!

This does multiple things –

1. It connects your followers with interesting people and your tweets become referrals.
2. The people whose blog or article you have shared knows you did so and you make friends!
3. The author or writer retweets your message to their followers.
4. Your followers can ask questions or reply directly to the author or writer with ease.
5. Most importantly you have become an initiator of conversations.

Twitter is not just about ‘What you are doing?’ but rather about creating a comfort space where people can share and interact. Do you use the ‘@’ in other ways?

Photo credit: Jeff Turner

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