Social media marketing is an excellent way for businesses to connect with current customers while reaching new interested audiences. However, when speaking to a global audience, marketers have to be prepared for dealing with people who disagree with a company or a particular industry. This problem is exacerbated on Twitter, where everyone can reply to something that’s posted. Twitter is expanding the test of a feature that could help this situation by hiding all replies from a conversation.
It’s not easy to take a stand on an issue when using Twitter. It seems that no matter what a business says, there’s always someone there to make a negative comment. Worse still, the discussion a Tweet generates can quickly get out of hand. Twitter is making it possible for users to hide the replies from a Tweet so they have more control over what appears under the Tweets the write.
Users can choose to hide a single reply from a Tweet or hide all of the replies under a Tweet they created. This feature is good when a company needs to make an announcement that they know will be unpopular or when there is a random troll that’s ruining the environment the marketer is trying to create by hijacking the conversation.
Twitter first tested these hide reply features in Canada, and the tests are now being expanded to the U.S. and Japan.
While some may argue that this change makes Twitter less authentic, it does make it easier for marketers to build a presence on Twitter that matches their expectations. Furthermore, the early results from the Canada tests suggest that the features had an overall positive effect on Twitter conversations.
Twitter noted that many users hid replies they felt were irrelevant, abusive or unintelligible. Most users agreed that using the tool was a helpful way to control the content they saw or that other people would see when looking at their Tweets.
It could also have the beneficial effect of teaching people not to be jerks online. Twitter found that users were more likely to reconsider their interactions as a result of the new system. More than a quarter (27 percent) of people who had their tweets hidden said they would reconsider how they interacted with other Twitter users in the future.
It’s not guaranteed that feature will have the same reception in the U.S. and Japan, but Twitter believes that the new feature could have a significant impact on the usefulness of the platform for consumers and businesses.
As the company said in an announcement, “We’re interested to see if these trends continue, and if new ones emerge, as we expand our test to Japan and the US. People in these markets use Twitter in many unique ways, and we’re excited to see how they might use this new tool.”
Marketers should familiarize themselves with the hide reply tool, and use it to clean up the comments on their page. Going forward, it’s also a good idea to use the tool as soon as an inappropriate reply shows up. This prevents a second conversation from forming around the unwanted reply.
For more recent news about social media marketing, read this article about the latest updates from Facebook.