Right from its launch in 2006, mentions on Twitter have been a great way to refer to someone or catch their attention on Twitter and in April, LinkedIn introduced mentions that can be used in status updates.
When someone mentions you, it’s flagged up so you don’t miss it. On Twitter your mentions can be found under the Connect menu under both Interactions and Mentions. I find it helpful to have a column in TweetDeck containing mentions. On LinkedIn you’re notified by email which is also an option for Twitter users.
On LinkedIn, mentions only work for personal LinkedIn status updates. At the time of writing (28 October 2013) the feature is not available for Company Page status updates or in LinkedIn Group discussions, which is a shame. Read about 10 other things that bug me about LinkedIn.
Here’s how to mention: On Twitter add the @ symbol before a person’s or company’s account name to mention them in your tweet. Twitter.com has recently introduced a dropdown of account names which appears as you start to type a user name. It’s a bit hit and miss though.
On LinkedIn you can mention when writing a status update. Just like on Twitter, use the @ symbol and then type the name of a connection in the status update box. You can also mention Company Pages. Select your desired LinkedIn connection or Company Page from the list of connections that appear in the dropdown box. Only first-level LinkedIn connections appear in the dropdown box but you don’t need to follow a Company to mention them; all are listed.
Calling someone by their first name shows that you remember and have an interest in them. It’s personal and helps conversation both face to face and online. Using mentions is a great way to establish or build a relationship with someone.
On Twitter and LinkedIn, the person or company you mention is notified straight away of the mention, so you’re immediately put on their radar in a positive way. Mentioning encourages a person or company to reciprocate in some way, as people naturally feel obliged to continue the conversation. You’ll get to know them better especially if the mention prompts a Follow or a ‘invitation to connect’. You might receive a retweet or LinkedIn share or they could post some positive feedback about you or your products or services. By mentioning, you’re not only drawing attention to the person or company mentioned but you’re also raising awareness to others which will help them get more connections and business.
Here are eight ideas for using mentions on Twitter and LinkedIn:
Conversations – When replying to a tweet or status update mention the person you are talking with.
Testimonials and feedback – Recommend a product or service and include a mention of the person or company who’s providing it. If you’re doing a ‘follow Friday’ tweet then best to mention just one person rather than a list.
Highlighting – When highlighting a great blog post, website or white paper make sure the author and/or company is mentioned.
Thank yous – Thank someone for sharing useful information, retweeting you or sharing your LinkedIn update.
Statistics and quotes – When publishing stats and quotes don’t forget to mention the source.
Events and conferences – Get to know speakers and attendees before an event and connect with them afterwards by mentioning them in your tweets and status updates.
Sharing – When retweeting a mention is included as part of the process on Twitter, but not on LinkedIn so don’t forget to mention the author when sharing updates. On both Twitter and LinkedIn you can mention relevant useful content to draw it to their attention. Just like an email you can ‘cc’ them in.
Congratulations – Congratulate a person for landing a new job or a business for winning an award, being in the news or obtaining a new contract.
Mentions are part and parcel of Twitter but you can create tweets around a mention. The feature is still new on LinkedIn but it’s worth making the most of it. On both Twitter and LinkedIn using mentions will increase conversations, help you develop stronger connections and create more business opportunities.
If you have other ideas for using mentions please let me know if the Comments below.