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33 billion Tweets are sent each day, making Twitter the most efficient global information network in existence. Though initially the twitterverse may seem overwhelming to new users, as you spend more time on the social network you’ll pick up best practices and slowly learn how to navigate the world of 140- characters. However, while mastering hashtags, re-Tweets and @ mentions may separate the experienced Twitterers from the novice, there’s one technical tip that separates the pros from the experienced.

Twitter Pic

When you have a conversation with someone on Twitter, it only displays in the feeds of people who follow both you and the person you are having the conversation with (since Twitter doesn’t want to bother everyone who follows you with your personal conversations). Twitter considers a conversation any tweet that begins with a username, or an @reply.

For example, if I were to say: “@Boiseskier Will you pick me up a coffee if you stop?” – that tweet would only appear in the feeds of people who follow me and @Boiseskier. I would consider that a good thing, since the majority of my followers probably wouldn’t care to see my personal conversation with @Boiseskier about coffee. However, there can be some instances in which Twitter limiting conversations to mutual followers is actually a bad thing.

What if I want to start a tweet with a username and it’s not a conversation – it’s something I want everyone to see? For instance:

“@Briansolis is talking about “the end of business as usual” in #nd of business as usual”t see?ne to see my tweet, regardless iy a bad thing. versation with.  SMSS12. Has anyone read it?”

Even though I’m trying to update all my Twitter followers on what’s happening in #SMSS12, and involve them by asking questions, Twitter doesn’t discriminate the difference between this update and my earlier conversation with @Boiseskier. Twitter sees this tweet as a conversation with @BrianSolis, and it will treat it as such; thus only showing my tweet to people who follow us both. Therefore, the majority of my followers won’t see it. #Fail

However, there is a way around this. If you want to start a tweet with a username, but want all of your followers to see it, you have to trick Twitter’s algorithms into thinking it’s a regular tweet – rather than a conversation. How? By putting something before the username! Perhaps you’ve seen tweets that begin with a period? Now you know why: it tricks Twitter.  Here’s an example:

[email protected] is talking about “the end of business as usual” in #SMSS12. Has anyone read it?

While my first Tweet would only get pushed to my followers who also follow @BrianSolis, this tweet will get pushed to everyone following me (even if they don’t follow @BrianSolis).

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