Maximising Twitter Exposure

Getting Our Message Out There

As businesses using Twitter we all want to reach our target audience and get our message out there. However some of Twitters rules on who sees what, may not be know to us, or even if we know the rules they may not be very clear.

Twitter says that a reply only appears on the timelines of people following both the sender and the recipient. Obviously as businesses trying to maximise our coverage we want as many people as possible to see our tweets so I'd just like to clarify here what a reply is and who sees it.

What Is A Reply And What Is A Tweet

A reply is any tweet beginning with an @username. Anything with something, even a single character before the @username is a tweet.

This means that of the three tweets below A and C are seen by all the tweeters followers, but B is only seen by people that follow both the sender and the recipient.

A)Hi @Sales_Hws hope you're having a great day.
B)@Sales_Hws Hi hope you're having a great day.
C)Hi hope you're having a great day. @Sales_Hws

Maximising Exposure

If you're Tweeting relevant material to your business, whether you are making a statement or clarifying a point for someone, it would be beneficial for as many of your followers to see it as possible. Consider a situation where you are describing your products or services to someone with whom you have very little follower overlap. In this instance very few people will see the tweets if you begin them with an @username. Also if one account is bigger than the other and you start your tweet with an @username then the tweets maximum audience will be at most, the number of followers of the smaller account.


There are situations where you may want to begin a tweet with an @username. If you're not actually describing your products and services it may be beneficial to use the reply format and thus reduce the amount of people that see that tweet. If you're chatting to a friend, then it is highly likely that it won't be relevant to people who don't follow you both so by using this format you decrease the load on your followers timelines.

On follow friday if you indulge in a few group mentions and don't use the reply format then this could possibly start to look spammy, however if you use the reply format then the tweet will only be seen by those that follow you and the recipient. To me this later method is preferable and has much more of a flavour of a personal recommendation from one account to another.

In Summary

In summary then don't begin with an @username if you're mentioning your products and services, but do begin with an @username if you're chatting about non business related topics or if you're recommending other accounts to friends.