Don’t Touch That Remote! 3 Ways to Keep Twitter Followers From Hitting “Mute”May 21, 2014
Every experienced Twitter user knows the feeling: you’re following all the right people, but suddenly your timeline overflows. It could be Tweets discussing a game you don’t care about, the latest celebrity scandal you’ve heard about non-stop, or, worse, Game of Thrones spoilers (seriously people, STOP!)
Well, Twitter has introduced a solution (depending on how you look at it): a new “Mute Button” that lets users temporarily hide all Tweets and Retweets of someone they follow.
But what really makes this ‘social blackout’ sneaky is that the other person will have no idea anything has changed. This spells D-A-N-G-E-R if you’re a brand or a social media marketer, because you could be soon talking to an empty room, never knowing that your audience has jet-packed outta there.
(sorry Jaden, consider yourself #MUTED)
So, mute is great for us as users, a little scary for us as businesses. But it does force brands to step it up when it comes to social media engagement. The trick is to keep people from wanting to mute you in the first place, which can be done by following a few key rules:
1) A-B-E. Always Be Essential
The best solution is always the simplest: to make people want to hear from you, make them need to hear more. Send out original content that helps your audience know your market better and empowers them even when they’re not directly communicating with you. When people can apply best-practices or deals you’ve recommended, it makes them think of you as a knowledge expert. And that trust builds long-term customer relationships.
2) Channel Your Overachiever
You know that girl in high school who managed to get straight A’s and bake cookies for the whole class? Take a page out of her book and don’t be afraid to go above and beyond for your audience. For example, Tweet back fun and personal responses to individual fans. If someone mentions your product in a cool and new way, try filming the team putting that idea into action as a thank you. The point is that social media success is measured in relationships—and when you take the time for your followers, they’ll take the time for you.
We’re willing to bet that the first muted accounts will be those who don’t know the difference between ‘engagement’ and ‘spamming.’ While the intentions are in the right place, make sure to Tweet responsibly to individual people. This means never harassing audiences with persistent begs to Retweet, favorite, follow, whatever.
Summed up, it’s just like having genuine conversations with people; when your audience gets tired or thinks you have an agenda, they’ll tune (read: mute) you out. But no need to cry over Twitter’s new feature. If anything, the mute button is a #GREAT thing for brands, because it puts more pressure on us to have real relationships with audiences, rather than commercially-superficial ones. And that is a challenge you’re now ready for.