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Three Good Reasons to Tag Others in Tweets

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Years ago, before I was to deliver a farewell address at my last meeting as president of an industry trade group, a friend gave me some advice I remember to this day.

Mention lots of people in your speech, he told me. Name names. The more people, the better.

I couldn’t have agreed more. I took his advice to heart and rattled off as many names as possible. I thanked people for their help. I acknowledged them for their contributions. It felt good to be singing their praises.

20130404_132843Dale Carnegie certainly would have approved. After all, one of his “Six Ways to Make People Like You” in his classic book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” is to “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

I think of my friend’s advice – and Dale Carnegie’s book – when I write tweets, too. People like to both hear and see their names. In person. In print. And on Twitter.

Here are three good reasons to tag others – that is, to include their Twitter handles – in your own tweets.

1. It’s good form. You don’t want to talk too much about yourself on Twitter. You want to be a good conversationalist and pay attention to others. Ask people about their backgrounds and interests. Praise them for their accomplishments. Thank them for their feedback. Share third-party content more than your own, giving credit where credit’s due by tagging the author and source whenever possible.

2. It’s more credible. Some people are hesitant to click on a link if they don’t know its origin. Adding “via,” “from,” or “by” and a Twitter handle when you’re promoting other people’s content builds both trust and respect among your followers as well as those whom you tag.

3. It’s often reciprocated. One good deed leads to another. It’s the golden rule. Mention someone’s name on Twitter and chances are you’ll receive a reply. Tagging others in your tweets is not only the right thing to do, it’s a smart thing to do. It leads to more engagement, more followers and more influence over time.

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