Is anything unmentionable on social media?

Social Media Marketing

Mentions are a cornerstone of social media so take the time to use them, and take care to get them right.

A mention – identified by a preceding ‘@’ – is an integral component of social media. To quote Hootsuite, “mentions are a key part of what makes social media ‘social’.”

First used on Twitter in 2006, the mention was adopted by Facebook in 2009, and Linkedin in 2013. With many of the other most popular platforms having subsequently followed suit, the mention is now entrenched as part of the social media lexicon.

Mentions are important for three reasons:

Firstly, mentions allow marketers to measure and monitor interest in a particular keyword such as a company name or brand name (theirs or their competitor’s). Whether manually, or with the aid of a social media platform (such as Mention), we can track the size of a conversation at a moment in time, and over time.

Secondly, mentions are a way of paying respect. When sharing someone else’s content, it’s polite to give credit. The author or publication will appreciate the gesture and your audience will too.

Thirdly, by providing what’s called ‘social proof’, mentions aid search engine optimisation (SEO). Put simply, if your company or brand is mentioned by high authority sites or publications, Google pays attention.

Mention – The act of tagging another user’s handle or account name in a social media message. Mentions typically trigger a notification for that user and are a key part of what makes social media “social”. When properly formatted (for example, as an @mention on Twitter or +mention on Google+), a mention also allows your audience to click through to the mentioned users’ bio or profile. (credit Hootsuite)

Now that you have a better understanding of what a mention is, and why it’s important, it’s equally important is that you get your mentions right. On social channels, that means:

  • Taking care to mention the correct person, brand or company.
  • Using the right handle on each channel so the mention pulls through as a link. Not every company, brand or individual has the same handle on every channel. For example, on Twitter my business is @MarketExpertise whereas on LinkedIn we’re @Market-Expertise. Unlinked brand mentions are not without utility, but they’re inferior to the linked variety – at least for now. On sites like LinkedIn, you’ll know you’ve achieved a link if the keyword turns blue. That blue text signals to your audience that a link is present, and that you’ve included it for a reason.

If you’re a marketer, or are simply interested in examining this topic in more detail, check out this blog by Neil Patel.