How Twitter mute button has further highlighted questions about the value of your followers

This week Twitter launched a new feature allowing you to mute those pesky users who Tweet too much or sporadically at a time that is just not working for you. Useful right? Probably not so much for brands…

Bieber MuteDisclaimer: I followed @JustinBieber to illustrate the muting of someone who could be irritating РI do not actually follow him. 

The mute feature is secret, the user you have muted will never know. So as a brand, how do you know whether you are fully engaging your users? Equally, how do you know whether you are tweeting too much and annoying users? And vitally, what value do you place on your Twitter following?

Whilst the number of followers on your Twitter profile (or Likes on Facebook etc.) gives you an indication of the performance of your content through the channel, it should be no more than that. Better to have a concise following of users that are real customers, influencers and/or advocates of your brand than to have a big volume of under engaged users.

Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO, also made comments during an interview with Bloomberg this week about the potential of a whisper mode which would allow users to have private conversations in larger groups. He denoted “there are frequently public conversations that you would like to grab hold of and take into whisper mode. Being able to move fluidly between that public and the private conversation is something we’ll make simpler”.

This is both an opportunity and a threat for brands as conversations on Twitter syphon off into private little corners. The threat is that potentially damaging or negative conversations can happen and swell in pockets that go un-detected making it even harder to steer or influence these conversations. But the opportunity is that brands can enter into or instigate private conversations to isolate negativity, foster positivity, work with brand advocates, generate feedback and more.

Community managers take note!

Image sourced from Bloomberg TV:

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