You Don’t Have To Know How To Use Twitter To Be A Social Media Guru

Somehow, they seem to be the top offenders of people who don’t understand how to use Twitter.

Why are people whose Twitter bios claim to be “social media gurus” always the worst at actually using it? A lot of these so-called experts keep making a rookie mistake: beginning a tweet with a username, not realizing that means only mutual followers can see the tweet.

While I’m very sympathetic to accidental typos, this is more of a fundamental misunderstanding of how Twitter works. For those cases where you need to begin a sentence with a username, the typical trick is to toss in a period first, i.e. “.@BuzzFeed is my favorite site.”

Tweets with this misunderstanding are sent all the time, but I just couldn’t escape them today as I was browsing through responses to this morning’s scandal with the official @sweden twitter feed. Sheesh!

Here are tweets made by people whose bios claim to have some fluency or skill in social media, that will only ever been seen by the few (if any) of their mutual followers with @sweden:

Bio: Social Networking Guru, Discussing Social Media & Marketing Strategies. Successful Online Marketer since 1994 willing to teach you his methods

Bio: To Share Online Biz Opportunities. Interests - affiliate marketing, SEO, online marketing methods with little investment and effort

@Sweden hands over keys to its Twitter account to a new citizen each week. This week has not gone well. #swedentweets

— demetria_g (@Demetria Gallegos)

Bio: Community Editor of The Wall Street Journal and Juggle on Sunday columnist.

@Sweden Twitter Account Stirs Controversy

— mrcashguru (@Dean Barnard)

Bio: Hi guys, I love to help other people find the best online business opportunities to help them quit there day job!!!

@Sweden Twitter Account Stirs Controversy

— itsverarich (@Vera Rich)

Bio: Ladies and gentlemen, I love to help other people make the best use of TWITTER,looking forward to seeing your tweets

@sweden Twitter Experiment Goes Painfully Awry: via @mashable #nationbranding

— brandingplaces (@Daphné Kakaiya)

Bio: Bringing together news, events, and blog posts on place branding and public diplomacy in several languages.

@sweden twitter experiment blows up But click thru to her blog & they didn't see that coming!?!

— brandedbyhuys (@Billy Huys)

Bio: Social marketing @possible, Designer, Photographer, Returned @peacecorps Volunteer + Constant Digital Disciple. Opinions are my own.

@Sweden Twitter account - has it been hacked? No, its Government sanctioned! #socialmedia

— DevInDigital (@Michael Sharp)

Bio: Digital Development Manager for Publishing Company, sharing web, mobile, video, social media, augmented reality and search news, plus insight and predictions

@Sweden #Twitter Experiment Goes Painfully Awry via @mashable

— AleUmpaLumpa (@Alessandro Rigato)

Bio: Online Reputation & Social Media at @AboutYou_TSW by #TSW

@Sweden Twitter Account Stirs Controversy

— Bruce_Remington (@Bruce Remington)

Bio: I’m indifferent to most items on the planet. Some people call me a Social Media Guru. I don’t correct them. #TeamFollowBack

@Sweden Twitter experiment sparks controversy - Tech Talk

— chendangak (@Chenda Ngak)

Bio: technology & lifestyle blogger. I like beautiful things, quick wit, technology, and video games. Opinions are my own.

@Sweden Twitter experiment sparks controversy

— CBSTechTalk (@CBS News Tech Talk)

Bio: Follow Tech Talk for all the latest technology news.

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Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about the intersection of tech and web culture.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at
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