Until recently I had no idea how replies and @mentions really worked on Twitter. Yup. And I wrote a book on Twitter. See, there is no such thing as and expert when it comes to social media.

Here’s what you and I need to learn to tweet, reply and @mention like a pro:

#1 when you reply to someone on Twitter with and @reply only people following both you and the person you are replying to or mentioning will see the tweet. This way if you’re having a long and detailed discussion about which Star Trek Captain was the coolest (Kirk) with someone it won’t show up in everyone’s Twitter stream unless they know and are following both of you. So get social!

#2 If you RT a Tweet and add comments it will break the conversation threat. Twitter and many third party apps will let you follow a conversation so you can see the back and forth discussion. Many people choose to reply as a RT which has two negative effects. First of all it starts a new conversation so people will not be able to see your tweet if they are following the original conversation. Second, your reply will be visible to your entire Twitter following which you may or may not want to happen (especially if you’re arguing for Picard).

#3 If you start a tweet with a Twitter handle i.e. @kevinamagee you’re just swell, Twitter thinks you are sending a reply or @mention and will only display that tweet to people following both you and the person you are tweeting about. If you want to start off a tweet by mentioning someone and your want your tweet visible to everyone, then all you have to do is stick a dot in front of the Twitter handle like this .@kevinamage you’re super awesome!