8 tips for PR pros to avoid being muted on Twitter

This week, Twitter rolled out its new ‘mute’ feature to selected users. It enables people to remove someone’s tweets from their timeline without having to block them.

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• Muted users can follow you and interact with your content. • You can follow a user you’ve muted. Muting a user will not cause you to unfollow them. • @ replies and @ mentions from muted users you follow will still appear in your Notifications tab. • Muted users you follow can still send you a direct message. • When you mute a user, their previous Tweets will still be displayed; only Tweets from the point you muted them will be hidden.

From the receiving end of managing brand Twitter accounts, this feature could be useful. You can silence someone tweeting in a manner you don’t like while still leaving communication lines open. They can still message you (unlike blocking), and they can still send you a direct message (unlike unfollow). The situation is not so appealing from the other end. People could mute your brand and simply forget about you. You’ll think you have a lot of followers listening, but you might be wasting resources better spent elsewhere. So how can you prevent your brand from being muted—or even unfollowed? It occurred to me that I should ask the PR Newswire audience what would drive them to hit mute, so I posted the following question on Twitter and Facebook:

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