Twitter has brought back the “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone” option. If you would like your audience or customers to be able to send your direct messages – even if you don’t follow them – please pop into your Twitter.com options and turn on this feature.
Normally, Twitter users can only send Direct Messages to other Twitter users if you both follow each other. Twitter follower-followee relationships are not necessarily two way – just because I follow you doesn’t mean you have to follow me and there isn’t a notification if you decide to unfollow me at some point. I might be happily following your tweets and then try to ask you a private question (maybe to share a sales lead, a question about your product/service, or maybe I’m a customer or community member with a complaint that I don’t want to make a fuss about) – if you don’t follow me, Twitter makes sure to tell me that you’re just not that into me and my only option is to send my message with a public tweet.
Turning on this feature takes the awkward away and lets your community reach you no matter what, just like a 1-800 line or email address. Allowing your audience to contact you privately can keep potentially damaging complaints out of the public eye. I highly recommend this feature for all Twitter accounts.