My 3 Favorite Twitter Secrets

twitter iconHere are three of my favorite Twitter secrets that when followed, can help improve your Twitter presence and help deliver your tweets to a wider audience.

1. Don’t start tweets with the Twitter handle of another user. Starting a tweet with an ‘@’ makes it a reply. When you start a tweet with another user’s twitter handle such as @joehertvik, Twitter considers that tweet a reply and it will only be seen by the people who follow both your account and the account you are recognizing in your tweet.

So a tweet  like this:

@joehertvik that’s a good point but what about…

Will have limited reach and will be visible only to those users who follow both you and @joehertvik.

But if you embed the ‘@joehertvik’ handle in the middle of your tweet or simply put a ‘.’ in front of the twitter handle like this:

.@joehertvik that’s a good point but what about…

That tweet will become visible to all of your followers.

So don’t limit your tweet’s reach by putting a Twitter handle in the first position of your tweet. Check out this blog post for more information on this topic, including a link to Gary Vaynerchuk’s slide show about putting Twitter handles in a tweet’s first position.

2. Use the favorite tweet feature to get noticed by those you want to add to your Twitter circle. I like following Lissa Duty (@lissaduty) on Twitter because she sends out valuable LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter tips in an easy-to-digest 140-character format (not an easy task). In this tweet, Lissa talked about the psychology of favoriting other people’s tweets:

lissa duty--favorite tweets to get noticed

Lissa Duty’s value of favoriting tweet (click to enlarge)

On Twitter, favoriting a tweet does two things: 1) it bookmarks the tweet for you so you can go back and reference it later, creating a Twitter reading list of sorts; and 2) it sends a notification to the person sending the tweet that you have favorited it.

It’s the notification function that has value in expanding your circle of Twitter followers. Many Twitter users check their notifications on a daily basis. When someone sees you’ve favorited their tweet, several things can happen, including:

  • They may check your Twitter account to see if they want to follow you
  • They may read some of your tweets, possibly increasing traffic to your Web site
  • They may contact you via a direct tweet
  • They may mention your Twitter handle in  a Thank You (#TY) tweet for favoriting their tweets, giving you additional exposure
  • They may mention your Twitter handle in a #followfriday or #ff tweet, where they recommend other accounts their followers might be interested in checking out

A lot of Twitter interactions come from noticing and being noticed by others. Favoriting a user’s tweet (and having others favor your tweets) is a great way to find others on Twitter.

3. You can embed Twitter search strings in URLs to automatically launch a Twitter search. This allows you to embed a specific Twitter search in your Web sites, cell phone apps, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other apps. All of which comes in extremely handy when pointing users to valuable information or to promote specific tweets, people, or links.

There are lots of good Twitter tips out there. If you run across any good tips you want to share, send me an email at


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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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