A Twitter "mention" occurs when your twitter handle (your username preceded by the "@" symbol) appears in a post, or tweet. A mention is similar to a reply, but your Twitter handle may appear anywhere in the post, not at the beginning. A mention acknowledges that you are part of a conversation or your presence is noted or desired. There are several ways to locate and count mentions.
Search For Mentions
The Twitter user interface has tools that help you find mentions. You can use the "Search" function, for example, located in the menu bar. To Search, enter your Twitter handle and you will see every tweet that contains a mention (along with all of your tweets and replies and more). You may also use the "Notifications" function to find mentions.
The Mentions Tool is Found in Notifications
Click "Notifications" to reach the Notifications screen, which shows all activity related to your Twitter account, including mentions, replies, and more.
The Notifications screen provides a sub-menu with two selections -- "Notifications" and "Mentions". If you click "Mentions", you will see posts that start with your Twitter handle (a reply) or contain your handle in the body of the post (a mention). The Mentions screen eliminates all other information and presents only mentions and replies.
Why Mentions Are Important
Mentions provide you with a metric by which you can measure your popularity in Twitter. Understanding how you are gaining attention and engaging your audience can be an important metric for certain Twitter users, especially those who manage social media campaigns.
Social media campaigns strive to be popular. Mentions can be used to identify possible new followers and more. When large numbers of mentions are collected it can be time consuming to go through them manually, so many social media professionals use third party tools to analyze Twitter data.
Popular Third-Party Twitter Tools
Hootsuite and TweetDeck are two popular Twitter applications that can be downloaded at no charge. TweetDeck is a Twitter product. Hootsuite is a third-party application with many free functions and advanced functions that are fee-based. Both programs have tools that analyze Twitter activity.
Hootsuite and TweetDeck look and operate in a similar manner. Each program has a "Mentions" function that filters mentions based upon user criteria. Hootsuite users can take advantage of advanced functions, for a fee, that are popular with social media campaign professionals.
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