Sometime around 2016, the (dot) became a great social media tool to brand yourself better while replying to other profiles on Twitter. It created a significant growth and was a best kept secret for years before it became mainstream because of a few influencers. However, you can still benefit from this feature and get more impact from your tweets if you adjust your focus.
You shouldn’t focus on pure-reach-per-tweet, but rather focus on community building. This way, you don’t want to game the system, rather reach as many members of your community as possible. Intent matters, because otherwise people can easily read between the tweets and figure out how you’re using this tool as a corporate branding technique.
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For many journalists, authors, brands, and spokespersons, this tool is a godsend as it requires little oversight but has great ROI per tweet. For example, if you tweet reads –“@maheshmurthy loved your latest piece on women’s rights, I compiled some data that might add to it”, it will only reach a small audience, unless Mahesh retweets it or favorites it. However, if you tweeted “.@maheshmurthy loved your latest piece on women’s rights, I compiled some data that might add to it,” then Twitter will consider it as a regular tweet and not a conversation between two people and will push it out to more of your followers. This works great when you’re a brand and you have a larger audience size than most. Therefore, the impact per tweet or content shared needs to be greater than a simple conversation.
Twitter etiquette has changed and has become a more public forum, while private conversations belonging on direct messages. Therefore, mostly all the tweets you see going out that tag other popular accounts make it to the front page of your feed. You can also tag others (friends, colleagues, influencers) to join the conversation by using the (dot) technique while tweeting about a hashtag or a popular trend. You can, therefore, involve a greater sense of community in your tweets and they have more power than a simple tweet that only three people can read on Twitter.
When other people chime into the conversation, more impressions are generated for your tweet and it has a greater chance of going viral. You can even have campaigns of popular brands having a conversation with each other to launch a new product or create online PR value.
When the greater community can participate in your conversations, it’s a thing of beauty. That’s what Twitter was meant for. It was meant for greater change in your industry, talking about the latest trends, and involving the influencers in a healthy debate about the landscape of your area of interest. Fashion bloggers can reply to their fans with the (dot), thereby giving their fans more personal branding opportunities. Industry leaders can use the (dot) to talk to players from across the globe. Even students can make changes in their industry by (dot) replying to research houses, sharing important papers with (dot) replies, and impacting a greater generation after them with this simple technique.
The dot can be replaced with normal conversational content structure, for example, “Hey @maheshmurthy, just saw your piece on women’s rights. Here’s my two cents on it”. However, it looks unprofessional and doesn’t appear too clean on the timeline. It’s always recommended to use the dot carefully, but to use it for most of your conversations.
A little tweak can become your entire strategy. The (dot) technique is powerful and can be utilised to its fullest by marketers, journalists, bloggers, brands, etc., across the globe. When focusing on good twitter etiquette, a (dot) has more impact than any tweak available in 2017.