On twitter a reply is when you want to answer or reply to one specific tweet to one specific person. It’s not private, for a private reply you want to DM (Direct Message) the person. Replies are public, but they only show in the timeline of people who are following both you and the person you are following. To reply, you need the @ to be the first character of the tweet.
A tweet that starts with anything other than @, but still contains an @ is a mention. If you want everyone who is following you to see the reply, you need to use a mention, instead of a reply. To turn a reply into a mention, you can just put a period (.) in front of the @.
If you are discussing a site instead of talking to the site, you probably want to use a # (hashtag) instead of an @.
A retweet is a way to forward great tweets to your followers. Retweets start with RT and include the username of the person who originally tweeted it.
Reply: @username I use #goodreads
Mention: Are you following @goodreads?
Replying with a Mention: .@username Anyone can add books to #goodreads
Retweet: RT @username Check with @snopes before forwarding something that could be a hoax.
Do you have more twitter questions?
- Twitter Tutoring #whoknew? (alliehansen.wordpress.com)
- Twitter Chat series Part 1: How to Participate in a Twitter Chat (jtdabbagian.com)
- Four subtle Twitter tips (sciencetext.com)
- Talking Back with Twitter (ogilvypr.com)