twitter-logo-officialTwitter is ideal for building communities, promoting events and projects and engaging with others. But many Twitterati still don’t fully understand how to get the full benefits from this popular social medium.

Replying to Tweets

You might think there was nothing more straightforward. Then think again!

When you hit ‘reply’ on a tweet it will add the incoming tweep’s @TwitterHandle to the start of your reply tweet (and other people mentioned in the incoming tweet). Here you the your two main options:

  • ‘reply all’ hit the reply icon and leave all the @TwitterHandles in situ then add your reply. Sometimes your reply might not be relevant to everyone so you might want to edit some tweeps out.
  • ‘reply to sender’ hit the reply icon and delete all the other @TwitterHandles (if there are any) and just add your reply

These two options go to the tweeps included at the start of your reply tweet (they will receive a notification that they have been mentioned in your tweet). But they don’t go out to all your followers (they can be seen on your account’s timeline if people look).

Tweet reply no stop 2
Example of a reply starting with @Twitterhandle. This reply is seen (live) by the @Twitterhandle at the start but is also posted to the sender’s timeline

The incoming tweet says:

From @IBIS_journal

  • Check out @RSPBScience’s new #seabirds and island predators blog #ornithology

Your reply might be something along the lines of:

  • @IBIS_journal @RSPBScience Wow! What great science. Shame so many islands have introduced predators impacting on #seabirds

This reply is seen only by those mentioned in your reply and those viewing your timeline – it doesn’t get sent to all your followers. If you want all your followers to see your reply, then you simply add a ‘stop’ before the first @TwitterHandle, so your tweet becomes:

  • .@IBIS_journal @RSPBScience Wow! What great science. Shame so many islands have introduced predators impacting on #seabirds

Tweet reply with stop
Example of a reply starting with a ‘stop’. This reply is seen by all the sender’s followers

Next time . . .

. . . retweets, quotes and mentions.

Further reading

Twitter – a great glossary of dozens of different Twitter terms View

More social media blogs and content from the BOU

Twitter #masterclass 1 – #hashtags and retweets
Twitter #masterclass 2 – stop using auto-generated tweets
Twitter #masterclass 3 – editing and structuring your tweets
Twitter #masterclass 4 – organise your incoming tweets
Twitter #masterclass 5 – content is everything
Twitter #masterclass 6 – #hashtag best practice
Twitter #masterclass 7 – using images – best practice
Twitter #masterclass 8 – conference tweeting (for delegates, presenters and organisers)
Twitter #masterclass 9 – Twitter basics 1: terminology
Presentations from the BOU’s ‘social media in ornithology’ workshop at #EOU2015
Making social media and the web work for you
Social media is relevant to your research
The benefits of blogging about your research
What is Altmetric?
What do you mean you ‘don’t know how to optimize your paper for SEO?!
Twitter – building an online ornithological community
The global ornithological online community
Ornithological Twitterati, Tweetie-pies and #birdieluv

Blog with #theBOUblog

If you want to write about your research in #theBOUblog, then please see here.