Big news! You can now opt-in to receive Direct Messages (DMs) on Twitter from anyone, whether you follow them or not. In the past, Twitter users could only send a DM to someone if they followed them first, and both would need to follow each other for a two-way chat to occur.
What does this mean for businesses on Twitter?
By opting in to receive DMs from anyone, you make it easier for customers to initiate a private conversation with you - great for customer service issues that demand it, and stopping some negative interactions from being broadcast in the public Twitter feed., where everyone can see them.
And since customers don't need to be following you in order to receive a DM reply, you can avoid interactions like the following, often seen on Twitter:
Interactions like this are jarring to a streamlined customer service experience, and are a waste of time and money for your business. It's only small, but it soon adds up!
Alternatively, should you want to reach out to a Twitter user in private - to surprise them with something nice or to nip a customer service issue in the bud, for example - you now can, assuming they have opted-in:
How to op-in to receive DMs from anyone
Enabling DMs from anyone takes two seconds to setup:
- Login to Twitter on your desktop.
- Click on your profile photo at the top of the page and choose Settings from the drop-down menu.
- In Settings, choose "Security and privacy" from the menu bar.
- Scroll down to the Direct Messages section and check the box next to "Receive Direct Messages from anyone."
- Save changes.
- From the Me tab, tap the gear icon
- Choose Settings from the menu that pops up, and tap the account @username you’d like to opt-in from.
- Under Privacy, tap "Receive Direct Messages from anyone."
- In the top menu, tap on the overflow icon (three vertical dots).
- Choose Settings and tap the account @username you’d like to opt-in from.
- Under Other, tap "Receive Direct Messages from anyone."
How to make customers aware
Once you opt-in as above, a DM ("Message") button will appear on your Twitter profile, both on desktop and mobile:
If you require customers to DM certain types of issues to you due to matters of privacy, let them know that they can do so via the Message button - spell it out clearly with text in your bio or cover photo.
Over to you
Will you be opting in to receive DMs from anyone on Twitter? Do you think it will impact your business positively? Let me know in the comments below!
Andrew Macarthy is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips.