15 thoughts on “The Biggest Misconception About How To Use Twitter

  1. Andrew Hall says:

    No doubt you are correct. The problem is that having conversations on Twitter takes a few minutes to do, as against simply doing a series of tweets about gigs, etc. Just like anything else, I put some time aside and try to nurture Twitter relationships. This is difficult because I have two accounts, one for each of my blogs (very different demographics for each blog – and one of them is really, really new).

  2. Josh Spector says:

    Yeah, it can take a little time, but it doesn’t have to take that much time. There’s also a bunch of services out there like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck that make it easier to manage multiple Twitter accounts and in some cases schedule your Tweets to post at a certain time in the future.

  3. Derik Boik says:

    What I hate is sometimes I do ask questions and nobody answers so it just sort of sits there, lonely. I check back later and there it is, mocking me. And with Twitter, they have to respond right away really or else they’ll never see it. Commenting and asking questions about the main trending topics is the only way I seem to get any hits at all. If you go to Reddit (I know you did a post on Reddit), it says that if you submit more than you read, then you’re definitely a spammer. You can take that advice with Twitter too, I guess.

  4. Josh Spector says:

    Sometimes people will respond to your questions and sometimes they won’t. The other approach is to start by responding to other people’s statements and questions if you want.

    Reddit’s great, but the “rules” for Reddit and Twitter are completely different so I wouldn’t necessarily approach them the same way.

    Also, with all of this stuff there’s a lot of trial and error involved in order to find the right mix for you.

  5. Natasha says:

    The only problem with Twitter is that if person A begins a tweet with person B’s user name, only people who follow both person A and B already will see it in their timeline. In other words- any of A’s followers who don’t already follow person B (ie. you) won’t see any of A’s tweets made in direct reply to you. In the OP, the first 2 examples are the ones you want.

    I still agree with the overall point of what you’re saying though!

  6. Josh Spector says:

    Hey Natasha, that’s not true. If I follow you, I see every one of your tweets – even if they start with you posting @ somebody who I’m not following.

  7. Joy says:

    This is a surprisingly popular misconception! I’ve had some big names DM me trying to explain to me what I’m doing wrong. I try to tactfully correct them, but it’s a little awkward nonetheless. Do you think it’s better to ignore than correct?

  8. Josh Spector says:

    I’d guess it’s probably better to correct than ignore – even though some people will probably still insist you’re wrong anyway.

    As great as Twitter is, they don’t do the best job in the world of explaining to people how it all works. That’s probably why so many of the people that sign up for accounts bail in the first month – I forget the exact number but I think it was something like 75%.

  9. Natasha says:

    Are we talking about your timeline or the person’s actually Twitter page? If the former, I still disagree. Some people I follow have little conversations with people I don’t follow, and that doesn’t come up in my timeline.
    However, if I go their home page, I will see (their half of) the conversation. Is that what you’re saying?

  10. Natasha says:

    And by ‘my timeline’ I mean the default way I experience Twitter, not my Twitter page.

  11. Josh Spector says:

    Are you sure you’re not just “missing” those tweets because they’re happening at times that you don’t happen to be checking your timeline? Usually, if you follow a lot of people, you’ll miss a lot of stuff in your timeline.

    Can you show me an example of what you mean?

  12. Natasha says:

    How about this: We follow each other on Twitter, and the next time I tweet a response to someone (who you don’t also follow), I’ll DM you and you can see what I mean?

  13. Natasha says:

    I started following you last week! http://twitter.com/NatashaMuse

  14. Tim says:

    I found this page by experiencing the same thing Natasha is describing and googling. Certain @ tweets to other people I see in my timeline, others I don’t, regardless if I am following just one or both people in the conversation. I thought it might be a setting certain users have set but couldn’t find anything. It’s very confusing…

  15. Josh Spector says:

    Ok, I think I’ve sorted this out. It turns out we’re both kind of right – which explains all the confusion.

    It appears that at some point Twitter changed the way @replies work – it used to be that you saw every one, but you’re right Natasha, that’s no longer the case.

    It looks to me like you will not see somebody else’s @reply if their tweet begins with @PersonA and you are not following Person A. You’re correct about that.

    However, if @PersonA is mentioned in the tweet but not at the beginning of the tweet, then you will see it even if you don’t follow Person A.

    This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen sometimes. For example, some people reply to other people and put their comment before the person it’s directed at – you would see that in your feed.

    I know this is all confusing, but hope that helps explain it. And thanks for pointing it out initially guys!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *