So, I just did an online Twitter training with a client who had a lot of questions about “mentions” and “tagging”.

In this post, I will talk with you about the difference between a “mention” and a “tag” on Twitter — and show you how to do both while tweeting.

To put it simply, a “mention” is like having a conversation with someone only the conversation is via a tweet. Just as I might say to you in person, “Jan, you look very nice today.” On Twitter I would type the person I am talking to’s Twitter handle (also called user name) and then say what I wanted to say to them in the tweet. For example, “@Jan you looked very nice @WholeFoods today.”

In the “mention” example above, I mentioned Jan and I mentioned Whole Foods. So what will happen is, both Jan and Whole Foods will receive a notification from Twitter that I mentioned them. They then will have the opportunity to comment/reply, retweet or like the tweet that I shared mentioning them. These are, by the way, a few of the reasons why you would want to “mention” or tag someone. It can bring awareness to the content in your tweet.

A mention is a Tweet that contains another person’s username (handle) anywhere in the body of the Tweet. ~ @Twitter

“Tagging” on the other hand is done when you upload a photo, and you either want to identify someone that is in the photo or you want to draw someone’s attention to the photo(s) that you have posted. The “tag” will link back to the person that you tagged’s profile — and just as with “mentions”, Twitter will send the person a notification that you tagged them in the photo.

While you “mention” people in the actual text portion of your tweet, you “tag” people when you upload a photo, and the tag (user name/handle) actually shows below the photo(s) that you have tagged.

You will see an example of “tagging” in the screen shots below. *NOTE: These screen shot examples were done on my mobile phone, but this can also be done on a laptop or desktop computer.

Are you ready to start mentioning and tagging? Here we go:

In this example you will see that I used both features in my tweet — “tagging” and “mentions”. I started with “tagging” first, but you can compose your tweet first. It does not matter what order you do this in just as long as you follow the method below.

Step 1: Click on the big blue circle with the feather in the center to compose your tweet. This is the tweet button. (On desktop click on the big blue ‘Tweet’ button.)

Step 2: Click on the square image icon (looks like mountains with a dot above them) to upload a photo. Upload a photo from your phone or desktop if that is the device you are using. You may upload up to four photos.

Step 3: If you’d like, you can click to add a location such as the location where the picture was taken (City & State). Click on ‘Add Location’ then select the location you wish to tag. If you do not see the location, type it in the ‘Search locations’ box then click on it in the populated list. Now, click ‘Done’.

Step 4: Click on ‘Who’s in this photo?’ and start typing the names of the people you wish to tag. A list of people will populate. Click on those that you wish to tag. If you’ve typed someone’s name and it is grayed out, that means they have the “tagging” feature turned off. You will not have the ability to tag them.

Once you are finished “tagging” everyone you’d like to include, click ‘Done’. By the way, you may only tag up to 10 people or organizations.

Step 5: In the ‘Add a comment’ box, type in the tweet text. Type the username/handle of the person or organization that you want to “mention” in your tweet. When you start typing, a list will populate with similar names. Choose the one you wish to “mention”.

Step 6: You should now have a tweet that includes a “mention”, “tagging”, a photo(s), a location, and as a bonus, I threw in a hashtag. 😉 That’s the anatomy of a good tweet.

So, what do you do next? Click on the Tweet button, so the world can see how you have mastered “mentions” and “tagging” on Twitter!



Here is more about what Twitter has to say about mentions:

  • Twitter collects the messages containing mentions, as well as all your replies, in your Notifications tab.

  • If you include multiple usernames in your Tweet, all of those people will see your Tweet in their Notifications tab.

  • Visiting another account’s profile page on Twitter will not display Tweets that mention them. However, you can search Twitter for Tweets mentioning their username.

Twitter provides the following information about tagging:

  • Tags CANNOT be applied to animated GIFs.

  • Location Tags CAN be applied to GIFs.

  • To remove the image file you selected, click or tap the x on the image thumbnail (or next to the file name). To remove a tag, tap the tag and then the backspace or delete button. You can only do this before you Tweet the photo. You can’t remove tags from a photo once it is tweeted.

Do you want to learn how to start using Twitter in your business? Schedule a one-on-one or group workshop with me by clicking here >>





Author: Romona Foster

Romona Foster is the Social Media Trainer and Consultant at Social Media How To’s with Romona. Romona teaches small businesses and nonprofits how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google My Business — and the best practices of Email Marketing, Online Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, and Personal Branding. She is a featured contributor with Business2Community and is a Constant Contact Community blogger.