Monday, 13 October 2014

What Twitter’s Mute Button Means for Small Businesses

My remote’s mute button and I are best buddies. We tag team the task of watching a show and muting the commercials — all from the comfort of my favourite recliner. Why do I mute commercials? It’s simple: They’re usually annoying or irrelevant. When the program I’m interested in returns, I’m able to un-mute my TV, and life is good once again.
This May, Twitter caught on to the beautiful idea of muting and introduced a new Twitter mute button feature to its users. Basically, muting on Twitter hides an account’s tweets and retweets from your Twitter stream so you’ll no longer receive push notifications from that user. However, muted users can still favourite reply to, and retweet your tweets. You just won’t see any of that activity on your timeline.
While this mute feature is great for blocking your overly opinionated cousin, it’s not so great for businesses. If a business is muted, its engagement will be hindered because customers won’t see any live tweets of industry events or responses to questions or complaints.
So what can you do to prevent your small business’s account and tweets from being muted? Below are five key tips to consider:

How to Avoid Being Muted

Tell Followers When You’re Live Tweeting an Event

Live tweeting an event is a fantastic way to gain followers, showcase your knowledge, and offer tips and tricks. However, live tweeting overwhelms certain followers. To avoid this, announce the times you’ll start and stop live tweeting beforehand so users can mute and unmute as they see fit.

Keep Your Content Focused

Identify the content that attracts followers to your account and track the activities that also may have caused a drop in followers (like frequent event tweeting).

Use Analytics

Turn to your Twitter analytics to see follower growth and user engagement. Build on the messages and the activity that drive growth and engagement, and cut out those that hurt it.

Have a Defined Twitter Personality

The Twitter mute button makes it easier for followers to silence your voice. So it’s even more important to pay attention to the narrative of your tweets. Make your followers want to read your tweets.

Create Visual Content

Tweets with visual content are read, shared, and liked more frequently than text-only tweets. Add meaningful images such as screen shots, photos, infographics, or videos to complement the rest of your tweet.
Businesses can begin to determine whether their tweets are being muted with link-tracking tools, such as Bitly. While these tools won’t tell you directly whether you’re being muted, you can deduce that if your clicks had a 3 percent CTR and then dropped to 1.5 percent, you may have been muted and should adjust your strategy.
Likewise, if you’re seeing “unfollows,” you may have been muted prior to being unfollowed. Businesses should track the number of unfollows to see what types of content are driving followers away.

How to Win Back the Muters

Though being muted is an unfortunate occurrence, there are ways to win back the muters. Businesses can reach these audiences via Promoted Tweets, Twitter retargeting, and email marketing.
One retargeting tool, Perfect Audience, allows businesses to deliver ads to users who have visited their website. Businesses should also tap into the power of email marketing in concert with their Twitter ads to remind followers of all the great tweets they’re missing out on.
Although the Twitter mute button is successful at cutting out the excess “noise” on Twitter, it can be harmful to businesses. However, small businesses can avoid being silenced by posting relevant and engaging content — but not excessively.
If you do find yourself on someone’s muted list, remember that you can always work to win them back via Twitter or email marketing.