If you long for the sounds of silence, even on social media, then Twitter's new mute button may be for you. Of course, an account feature that allows users to shush a user — or a brand — creates some new marketing challenges. But back to that in a minute.
In a blog post yesterday, Twitter Inc. announced a new option to personalize your user experience on Twitter.com, as well as on iPhone and Android apps. The mute option lets you quiet people without unfollowing them. "In the same way you can turn on device notifications so you never miss a Tweet from your favorite users, you can now mute users you'd like to hear from less," the post explained.
Users won't know that you've muted them. Their tweets and retweets will simply vanish from your timeline when they're muted. And you can unmute them whenever you want — if, for example, you suddenly find them less annoying.
But be forewarned. The muted user will still be able to favorite, reply to and retweet your Tweets. Simply put, you're just blocking the noise, not eliminating it.
So what's this new option mean for marketers? Here's what Juliana Nicholson, marketing manager at Boston-based Brand Networks, a provider of integrated social software solutions and digital marketing services, had to say. In a company blog post today, Nicholson offered several strategies:
- Stop Tweeting for Tweeting’s Sake: Flooding your followers’ feeds with dozens upon dozens of tweets will be one surefire way to annoy fans into muting you.
- Give a Little: Make sure your tweets provide something of emotional, educational, entertainment or economic value.
- Short is Still Sweeter: According to Twitter, tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17 percent higher engagement rate.
- Pictures Tell a Better Story: Include visual aspects occasionally to engage your followers and bring your content to life.
- Use @replies Effectively: Beginning tweets with the handle of the user you want to mention keeps your tweet out of the feed, and reduces unnecessary content for your followers.
"Brands need to make sure their content is valuable," Nicholson told CMSWire today. "This has always been the case, but now it is more important than ever. Think quality content, promoted carefully."