Courtesy in 140 Characters or Less

by Kerry Martin

My favorite thing about Twitter is how it is designed to be courteous.  Retweets give credit to the original thought creator and user “@” handles allow you to talk about an organization while sharing their information with your own audience.

But for those who don’t know the way Twitter functions, their attempts at kindly mentioning your company may not be so helpful after all.

Case in point:  when someone writes a tweet about your company that is meant to be shared with everyone, yet they start it with your company’s username.

On the one hand, the person sharing your information is doing you a favor by speaking about your company and giving you legitimacy by including your official username.  However, their kind gesture is wasted on only the few users who follow both of you (

So in keeping with the notion that Twitter is meant to be used for considerate conversation, how do you recommend thanking them for mentioning your organization, but delicately explaining that not as many people saw the tweet as might have been intended—all in 140 characters or less?

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