What Twitter’s Mute Button Means for Small Businesses

twitter mute button

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 favorite 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 unmute 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 favorite, 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.

Twitter Photo via Shutterstock

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Adam Root An intelligent, passionate, and articulate tech entrepreneur with an old-school gentleman’s flair, Adam Root is the Co-Founder and CTO of SocialCentive, a patented SaaS platform that utilizes social listening and marketing automation to help businesses find quality leads on social networks, share offers, and incentivize referrals.

10 Reactions
  1. It just means that you should share more valuable tweets if you want to get more valuable returns out of it. It is their right to choose who they listen to and this just makes them more targeted as a market.

    • Agreed. Businesses who are already owning it on Twitter probably have nothing to worry about. Others should probably rethink their social media plan to become more valued as opposed to being seen as an annoyance.

  2. Sharing valuable contents & important tweets, makes every writing an important one.

  3. So, how do you use the mute button? 😉

    • Hi Martin, It’s actually very easy to learn how to use the mute button in Twitter.

      (1) Make sure you are logged in to Twitter.com

      (2) Go to a tweet from someone you don’t want to see again. Let’s say someone sends off-color pictures and you don’t want to see those anymore.

      (3) In the lower right corner of the tweet is a “more” link. Click the “more” link and you will open up a drop-down menu. One of the choices will say “Mute @______”. Just click that mute link.

      Voila! You won’t see tweets from that tweeter again.

      That is how to use the Mute feature in Twitter!

      – Anita

      • Anita: Thanks for the instruction on how to use the mute feature in Twitter! 🙂

        How do you remember to un-mute the user again? 😉

      • Good question, Martin!

        It’s easy to “unmute.”

        To unmue a muted account, log into your profile on Twitter.com. Go into your Account Settings.

        In it, you should see a nav item down the left side, called “Muted Accounts.” https://twitter.com/settings/muted

        Next to each account you’ve muted, you will see a little red megaphone icon with a slash through it. You click on that to unmute the account.

        This article also has more about how to mute using mobile devices: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20171399

        Hope that helps!


  4. Anita: Thanks for your help! 🙂

    Do you think that many users have used this feature so far, e.g., during sports events and Twitter chats?

    I don’t see the mute feature on my iPhone, so maybe I have to update the Twitter app.

  5. Adam same here, I mute the commercials and unmute when the show/series I am watching resumes. But I always watch new ads because some times I learn a lot about marketing from some creative ads 🙂