What Everybody Should Know About Twitter’s Dirty Little Secret

By Marci Liroff
Oh, you’re gonna thank me for this one! If you’re a Twitter freak (read = addict!) like me and you don’t already know this, you’re gonna love this one.
When you use twitter usernames at the beginning of a tweet it will ONLY appear in the twitterfeed (of your followers) to that person you’re tweeting to AND all those that are following BOTH you. OK, read it again because this took me awhile to actually grok.
Example – if you tweet:
@marciliroff you are such a great social media teacher thnx SO much 4 2day!
The ONLY people (of your followers) that will see this tweet in their twitterfeed are ME and all the folks that are following BOTH you and me.
BUT – if you want ALL the people who are following you to see it (so that it helps ME – because social media is all about connectivity and helping promote thru tweets and this is a form of promotion; it also shows what a smart person you are by thanking someone publicly and letting your followers know that you are a good twitter citizen)….you’d tweet:
Thanks SO much @marciliroff 4 being such a great social media teacher! Loved our session 2day!
You can also say:
.@marciliroffyou are such a great social media teacher thnx SO much 4 2day!
If you put a “.” BEFORE the @username, everyone who is following you can see it.
Now, here’s the important part, if you and I were just goofing around back and forth and bantering – I’d reply to your initial tweet and put your name FIRST so that it wouldn’t end up clogging all my followers’ twitter feed with mundane crap. It drives me absolutely crazy to see people using Twitter like their email or IM and having a chat back and forth. If I’m following BOTH of them, I have to see their ENTIRE conversation which should be reserved for their personal space.
I see a lot of people lately, responding to people and RTing the original tweet with their comment first – thus we get to see every friggin’ thing that they’re responding to while they’re doing their “replying housekeeping”. Oh joy!
It was great! RT @JoeBlow so @MrRockStar how was your show?
Get it? Got it?! Good!
I’d love to hear your comments!
Glad you’re here!


  1. Haha, I love how passionate you are about this, Marci! I had no idea that others (in addition to only followers of both people in the convo) couldn’t see the tweets if your name is put first! Definitely noted. And I did have to re-read that to get it 😉 Thanks for the tid-bit! I’ve noticed it’s the specifics that make the biggest difference. Much appreciated 🙂

  2. You’re welcome Anne! I keep trying to explain this to people because I don’t think most people on Twitter even know about this. Glad I have a blog now so I can reach even more folks! Thanks for your comments.

  3. Wow, thanks for the info.
    I’m not a huge tweeter, but this is nice to know so that I am respectful of other people’s time.
    Thanks again!

  4. I had no idea!! I can’t believe I had never heard of this before. Thanks for the info!:)

  5. thank YOU! keep ’em coming @marci!!

  6. I was guilty of doing just this, but you very kindly corrected this newbie, and for that I thank you!

  7. Wow. I’ve been schooled! Great tips and boy could I use ’em! Thanks, Marci!

  8. Marci, that was very good info. Newwbie salute abd drum rolls 🙂

  9. Thanks for the tips. Could you also precede the username with a single space, so officially it is not first in the tweet? Thereby getting the effect of the tweet going to all followers, but it looks like the name is first.

  10. I am proud to say that Marci single-handedly has helped me become a stronger Twitter-phile. I’m also very glad to see that she has shared this great tip with everyone else via her great new blog. If you’re looking for any social media advice, you have to keep following Marci’s blog and remember that she coaches as well! Thanks again Marci!

  11. This was great…wondering why you didn’t mention the “d” before the user name which I use often???

  12. wow great stuff marci. I have noticed now who is a twitter freak and who is doing successful promo. Thank you so much 1love Niki

  13. Thank you so much!! While I am not new to Twitter, I am still trying to figure out how to use it properly.

  14. I’m not sure if you’re right about this. If I look at tweets from people I don’t follow I see their tweet starting with @username as well

  15. OK Marci, here is a ? because I can’t tell when I hit send. Do I type the ” sign then the . then the other ” OR do I just “.” OR do i type the .@personsname then click on Send tab? Thank You for your wisdom 🙂

    • If you want all your followers to see your post you’d write :
      .@marciliroff great blog post today! Thnx
      Does that make sense?
      If you want just me to see it (and all those that are following BOTH you and me) you’d write:
      @marciliroff great blog today! Thnx

  16. I am so glad I discovered your blog. Useful information and invaluable advice. I can’t wait to read and learn more. Thank you Marci.

  17. Very awesome blog one question though how the heck do you remember all your lines for Soaps seems almost impossible ? :0/

  18. I didn’t know that either, way to go!

  19. Great post! I was wondering what the . was for with some Twitterers (is that a word?). I also tend to read people’s Tweets more when they put @username at the very end of a Tweet. I tend to not read back & forth conversations & sometimes, even with the . before @username I’ll assume it’s a conversation and I keep scrolling. Maybe just a quirk of mine. (According to Breakdown descriptives, I am “quirky”) Thanks for this!

  20. I knew about this some time ago, just by reading Twitter’s info that’s out there. I never use the period though and certainly got “lax” on the rest. I think I may start using the period on just certain things that I may find valuable to share with others. Thanks Marci, GREAT information!

  21. Thanks a lot Marci for that info.

  22. Excellent!

  23. Thanks for the insight Marci! aka @marciliroff … navigating twitter can be confusing and appreciate your guidance!! You rock!!


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