Twitter - Do you know when to use a hashtag vs. a @mention?
  v5.0 Posted at 22/04/2020 8:48 AM by Tiago Araujo
​#Hashtags are used when talking about something – a topic or keyword. Using a hashtag creates a link that leads to a page displaying an aggregated list of posts about that thing. 

On the other hand, @Mentions are used when talking to or about someone (the user account of a person, brand, group, etc.). The link created by a mention goes to that user account. The user is notified when they have received a mention in a post so that they can respond.​

The best tweets will use a combination of @mentions and #hashtags where appropriate to properly leverage the platform – that way readers can check out the people involved OR join the conversation about a topic.

Figure: Figure: This tweet utilises @mentions, #hashtags, and an external link, which will create higher engagement and let the reader further explore the topic

Small companies:
If the brand is not big you don't need it diluted. So find the profile and use the @ not the #
E.g. @firebootcamp is preferred over #firebootcamp 

Large companies:
If the brand is big, you will see a difference between the @ and the #. So if you want to tweet about a subject that is also a username – such as #VisualStudio / @VisualStudio - then the content of your tweet will decide whether to use a hashtag or a @mention: 
  • If you are talking to someone directly, or mention a specific user in your tweet, you should use the @mention.
    E.g. Thanks to @visualstudio for the map to Bill Gates’s house – I’m looting his safe right now!
  • If it is about the topic, then the hashtag is the way to go.
    E.g. Microsoft releases #VisualStudio 2013 Update 2

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