Why Marketers Should Not Ignore This New Twitter Feature



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Twitter just released a feature that, if you’re a social media marketer, you might not want to ignore. The social network now allows anyone to send you a Direct Message (DM), even if you don’t follow them.

This article originally appeared on Simply Measured and is written by Kevin Shively.

This seems like it could get “spammy,” but there’s a caveat: it’s an opt-in feature. In order to receive DMs from users you don’t follow, you have to flip the On switch.
Twitter DMsAs an individual Twitter user, I likely won’t activate this feature on my personal account (I don’t want just anyone slidin’ up in my DMs), but for community managers and customer service teams that operate on Twitter, this is a valuable feature that should definitely be considered.

Previously, if you wanted to send a Direct Message to the ice cream shop down the street about how much you love their salted caramel flavor, you’d have to ask them to follow you first. With today’s changes, the ice cream shop can opt to receive Direct Messages from anyone; so you can privately send your appreciation for the salted caramel without any barriers. – Nhu Vuong, Senior Software Engineer at Twitter

In our recent study of Customer Service on Twitter, we found that among the 43% of top global brands with  dedicated customer service handles,  the number of inbound mentions has grown by 41% year-over-year.

Screenshot 2015-04-20 13.37.05Giving users the ability to send DMs without having to follow and be followed  is important for three reasons:

1. It’s less frustrating and time-consuming for the  user requesting  help if they can immediately engage in a direct conversation.
2. It’s less time-consuming for your customer service team if they don’t have to request follows and wait for the ability to assist.
3. It gets the conversation offline quicker, limiting negative exposure for your brand.

The feature is easy to activate by simply navigating to the Security and Privacy tab in your Twitter account settings.

Screenshot 2015-04-20 13.43.53

For more information about how other leading brands in your industry use Twitter for customer service, download our full 2015 Twitter Customer Service Study by clicking the link below.

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