Following the redesign of Twitter’s browser layout, the social network has taken a lot of flack for imitating Facebook too closely. Well if you were mad at Twitter for the new layout, get ready to get peeved all over again. The company announced last week that they’ve begun rolling out a new “mute” feature that might remind you of the follow/unfollow button on Facebook that allows users to hide the activity of their friends without having to un-friend them. Because who needs that awkwardness, right?
With Twitter’s new mute function, users can choose to mute or unmute someone directly from the Twitter feed, or from that user’s profile page. If you tweet for your business, you may have had the same two thoughts that I first had about this:
1. Oh, thank god. Now I don’t have to hear any more tweet-rants.
2. Hey wait, does that mean someone might mute ME?
Yes, the mute feature is a bit of a good news/bad news situation for brands on Twitter. But by and large, which side of that fence you fall on can be up to you.
The bad news:
While people have always had the option to unfollow a brand if they didn’t want to hear from them anymore, the unfollow has such finality to it. Followers were less likely to click through all the way to someone’s profile and intentionally unfollow them. Also, the “unfollow” link is in a really intimidating shade of red that makes you feel like you might be about to make a big mistake. The mute button, however, has no such deterrent effect. You can access it right there in the news feed via any user’s individual tweet, and it’s a nice, non-committal shade.
The good news:
First, the mute button will save you time as a personal user of Twitter. You can curate your news feed more thoughtfully in order to make sure you don’t miss the important tweets from your favorite tweeters. Second, as the users who follow you start to pare down their own news feeds a bit, your brand messages have a better chance of cutting through the noise. Getting a new follower on Twitter is great. Getting a new follower who will actually see your tweets? Even better.
What you can do:
If you aren’t already doing so, make sure that you are diligently posting the very best content for your followers, at the very best time for them to engage with it. If you use a posting service like Pagemodo Posts, you can dive into your analytics to see what kinds of tweets do best with your audience, and at what times of day. By tweeting only the cream of the content crop to your followers, you increase the chances of being one of the voices your followers choose to keep turned up to full volume.