This is so obvious, yet little known – and although Mark Suster warned us all right here at CloudAve, I keep on falling in the trap. Just today as I wanted to announce yet another great post by Mark, I tweeted this:
Big mistake. Had I written “great discussion by @msuster”, a lot more people would have seen it. Why? I’ll just quote the key chapter from Mark’s original tutorial:
This is important … If you send somebody a message and you START it with an @name then the only people who will see your message are people who follow you and people who follow the person you replied to. Most people don’t seem to know this. For example, if you follow me but not @deblanda an I send her a message starting with an @ then you won’t see it at all. Anyone who follows both of us will see the message. If you precede the message by anything, even a dash and a space like, “- @deblanda nice to see you” then everybody will see it.
When does this come into play? Sometimes I’ll see people who want to make people aware of a blog posting. They’ll say “@msuster provides great insight into VC valuation discussions – see http://bit.ly/C5t6O” . They might have 2,000 followers. I have 1,200. Only the small subset who follow both of us, say 100, will see the message.
So if you’re really responding to somebody and you don’t want all your followers to see it (but you don’t necessarily want to send a private message via DM or you can’t because they don’t follow you) then start with an @. Otherwise make sure it has text in front of it.