When looking at Twitter best practices, how to utilize direct tweets is an important topic! It is easy to get lost in the array of tips and tricks that seem to over-complicate the fundamentals of creating a successful Twitter account. Although links, hashtags, retweets, pictures, memes, and other practices are an important part of building a profile, countless businesses miss out on the simple rules which provide instantaneous results. This week I will be talking about the benefits of the direct (or reply) tweet.

Before I start discussing how to utilize direct/reply tweets, let’s make sure that you know exactly what they are and to what extent companies take advantage of this feature.

What is a direct/reply tweet?

A direct\reply tweet is different than simply sending someone a tweet because it is in direct response to another’s tweet, and is accessed by pressing the special hyper-linked button on twitter called “reply”. This function has different viewing rules than a standard tweet which we will discuss later on.

First, let’s take a look at the statistics of some very successful twitter accounts, and how much they are actually using these to their advantage.

The following stats have been taken from Twitonomy.com from some of the most successful Twitter brands.

Percentage of replies in total amount of analyzed tweets (monthly average):

  • @Lululemon: 82% Reply
  • @Nike: 95% Reply
  • @Jetblue: 100% Reply
  • @Starbucks: 97% Reply
  • @Honda: 82% Reply

As you can see, nearly every tweet sent by these brands are directed at another user using a direct/reply tweet – and this is very important. When customers receive direct communication from a brand, they are more compelled to participate in conversation, they feel valued, and they are more likely to become an active participant online.

Why do brands use this function so much?

As an active brand, you are probably weary of the total amount of tweets you send out on any given day – and that’s okay. Due to the fact that your followers don’t want their timeline bombarded with your tweets, you have to find a way to reach out without worrying about posting to much – this is what makes the direct/reply tweet your best friend.

When using the reply feature, your tweet will only show up on the timeline of the person you replied too, if they are following your twitter account. Also, for other users to see this tweet in their timeline, they must be following you as well as the recipient of your direct/reply tweet. Finally, if the recipient of your tweet is not following your account it will only show up in the connect tab of their profile.

So what does this mean?

For companies who want to reach out to hundreds of people per week, or even per day – a direct/reply tweet will allow you to do this without being hated by the twitter community. Try using this function as a part of your next Twitter campaign!

This important Twitter function used alongside other Twitter best practices is a very important part of managing a successful Twitter profile. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or email me at john@likeavosssm.com!