Managing Mentions in Your Tweets

November 14, 2018
Handing holding mobile phone with twitter login on the screen.

When posting a tweet on Twitter that contains a mention (where you tag a handle like @HHSgov), follow these tips to avoid having your tweet treated as a reply.

So, what's the difference? A reply is a response to someone else’s tweet. They are only seen by the sender, the receiver, and people that follow both handles. Replies from people with protected tweets will only be visible to their approved followers. Mentions, on the other hand are part of a public conversation that anyone can see and can contain the @username anywhere in the tweet.

The "Tweets and Replies" tab contains not only tweets, but replies or mentions. Replies are not shown on your Twitter feed so fewer people will view those tweets. If you're actually replying to someone, this isn't a problem, because the handle you mentioned will receive a notification that you've tagged them.  But if you're merely mentioning another username in your tweet, such as @HHSGov, this means it gets buried in "tweets and Replies" rather than standing on its own in your timeline.

There's a simple way to keep this from happening.

Start Your tweet With a Name, Not a Mention

THIS: The Department of Health and Human Services @HHSGov honors the recipients of the 2018 Adoption Excellence Awardees! #Adoption

NOT: @HHSGov honors the recipients of the 2018 Adoption Excellence Awardees! #Adoption

  • If you start your tweet with a mention, it will automatically be sorted into "Tweets and Replies," because Twitter assumes you're replying to someone.
  • An easy way to prevent this is to start your tweet another way. Write out the name of the organization, use the acronym, or rephrase the post without the mention.

Troubleshooting: Use Special Characters In Front of the Mention

THIS: .@HHSGov honors the recipients of the 2018 Adoption Excellence Awardees! #Adoption

NOT: @HHSGov honors the recipients of the 2018 Adoption Excellence Awardees! #Adoption

  • If you choose to start your tweet with a @mention (pronounced "at mention"), put a period (“.”) before the Twitter handle.  This will keep your tweet from being labeled as a reply and allow your followers to see it in your timeline. Twitter changed the way replies function Visit disclaimer page in 2017, but you may find you still need to add a period so your tweet shows up in the right place.

Learn more about mentions and replies on Twitter Visit disclaimer page .

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