Twitter's New Direct Message Feature a Plus for Small Business
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Passionate repeat customers are the lifeblood of any small business — and now, a new Twitter feature will connect you with your customers more directly.

It could also help your business manage complaints in a more private and efficient manner than before.

The new feature lets users opt in to receive direct messages (DMs) from anyone. Previously, users had to mutually follow one another to exchange DMs.

Unlike a regular tweet, DMs are private and viewable only by the sender and recipient.

The new DM system is opt-in — users must check a box in Twitter’s settings to activate it — and it has huge potential to help your small business connect with customers and push promotions. As Mashable points out, small businesses could send out exclusive coupons to top customers without announcing the action to the entire Internet, for example.

And it could transform the way your business responds to complaints. Customers can finally send grievances your way over Twitter without needing to be followed back. More importantly, customers can now choose to voice their frustrations privately, rather than tweeting publicly about complaints.

Since small businesses receive far fewer messages than large companies, Twitter could be a highly manageable way to address frustrated customers — particularly as more people adopt the social media platform as their preferred channel for online communication.

In general, small businesses should use DMs sparingly. The public nature of Twitter is what makes it such a lucrative communication and marketing tool in the first place.

But if certain customers prefer tweeting privately, it might benefit your business to open your account to accept DMs from everyone.

But beware: Enabling the new DM system could also open the floodgates to heaps of spam in your Twitter inbox. But the upsides of making more direct, personal connections with customers could outweigh any drawbacks.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.