Friday, June 01, 2012

Social Networking Symbol Primer

I've been asked this a few times lately over the past couple weeks so I thought I would give a short primer on special symbols on Twitter and Facebook.

The @ Sign:
Facebook - Tagging  -->  On Facebook when typing in your status @username where username is someone you know - as you type @, no space and then the first character, your friends names that match will start to populate as a drop down.  As you continue to type and the auto complete finds the friend in question, just mouse down and click the appropriate name.  The "@" symbol will not be displayed in the published status update or post after you've added your tags.  Friends you tag in your status updates will receive a notification and a Wall post linking them to your post. They also will have the option to remove tags of themselves from your posts.

Twitter - Reply -->  The @ sign is for replying to a tweet.  If you receive a tweet from someone you are following you can reply to them by typing @username comment.  No space between @ and username.  An @reply is "heard" by followers of both you and who you replied to.  If you want your reply to be private then that would be a DM (direct message) - from your SMS client - d username - yes, there is a space between the d and the username.

The # Sign:


Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.  Here are some general guidelines courtesy of Twitter Help:
  • People use the hashtag symbol # before relevant keywords or phrases (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. 
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets in that category.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.
Facebook - What # sign?  There is none....unless Google+ adds it, then maybe there will be.

I hope that helps!