Manage Those Tweets to Avoid the “Mute” Button

You’re watching your favorite show on TV when it goes to commercial break. There is a noticeable increase in volume and you look around, wondering if the remote got stuck between the couch cushions. Nope—the advertiser (or the TV station) did it automatically and intentionally to catch your attention. You search for your remote and hit the mute button.

Sometimes the clamor of modern life also demands to be muted. Whether it’s because you don’t really need to know when your colleague has posted another latte photo on Instagram or because you’re on a break from email tonight when you get home—sometimes it would be really nice to be able to hit “mute” and tune it all out.

As part of Twitter’s redesign, which was recently covered by our CEO on Wired, they are giving customers that option. Users can be “muted,” which means their tweets and retweets won’t appear on your timeline and you won’t receive SMS or push notifications from that user. This gives them more control over their interactions, which is great for users. It might be dangerous, though, for brands.

Brands will need to be even more careful about managing their Twitter accounts, including what is posted on their account and how often posts appear so as not to drive customers away. They also need to consider putting the right technology in place to handle customer interactions on this channel. By leveraging a multichannel contact center that includes applications, such as LiveOps Social, brands are able to better manage customer engagement, whether it be a customer compliment seen only by the brand or a customer complaint seen by thousands of their followers. For instance, during the London Olympic Games, Royal Mail, had to manage inbound demand on Twitter upwards of 7,000 tweets, all stemming from one single tweet. Through LiveOps Social, they were able to filter and identify the messages and close them down quickly and automatically. Every customer felt “heard.”

Other elements of the Twitter redesign will have an impact on the brand-customer relationship, too. Perhaps the biggest change—for both users and brands—is tweet management, which is more important now than ever before. “Best Tweets” will appear in a larger font, so user-determined best content is easier to find. Tweets can be pinned to the top of a profile to encourage more views and engagement. And tweets can now be filtered based on content, so users only see the content they are interested in. Now, tweets that users like and want to promote (perhaps one that prompted a flood of positive engagement for a brand) can remain front and center. The flip side is that negative tweets can also remain front and center, if a user pins a negative interaction with a brand to their profile.

Remember when British Airways passenger Hasan Syed purchased a promoted tweet to complain about the airline’s customer service? He not only reached a global audience but started a new trend — “complainvertising.” Customers no longer need to pay $1,000 for a negative tweet to get noticed. Now they have the power to pin tweets, and brands must keep this in mind when they see a negative interaction come through. Address it up front and resolve the issue; otherwise, that tweet can live at the top of a customer’s Twitter profile for days, weeks, months, even years at a time, highlighting their negative experience with a brand.

Brands are finding that social customer service is a great way to strengthen the brand-customer relationship. With that, though, comes a commitment to adapting to and leveraging design changes; otherwise, they’ll fall behind, especially with the rate at which social channels change. It’s increasingly important to stay on top of Twitter by matching its own speed of innovation with equally strong state-of-the-art social customer service technologies.

How are you currently managing your brand’s Twitter account?

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