This whole #unfollowdiddy thing is quite interesting from a branding perspective. For those of you with your head in the sand, I'm talking about the recent explosion of Twitter use by celebrities to "connect closer with their fans," i.e. build up their brand empires and grow their celebrity status. Hello @aplusk and @oprah, et al. After the "race to one million followers," there seems to be a little bit of back lash by the general public about celebrities crowding the space that we at one point seemed to own.
Twitter is now populated with more content and more "hey look, follow me" type people than it was when I joined nearly two years ago. I'm guessing the #unfollowdiddy backlash comes from the huge turn off Twitter can be if used by people that are all about themselves, the hey, look at me crowd. I'm guessing Diddy is one of those types of users. His updates are now protected so only his followers can read what he says. Good move? No. Diddy has to understand that no matter what he does, there will be a set of consumers that don't like his music, don't like his clothing line or just don't like him period.
This goes the same for brands on Twitter. You can't make everyone happy. What you can do is address specific concerns of your audiences in a professional manner. If a particular consumer takes it to another level and turns it into an attack, you can either let it go (depending on the type of attack) or you address in some way shape or form. The key is professionalism, courtesy and staying on message. The key for brands on Twitter is using it to build stronger communities. A larger group of happy brand ambassadors will continue to champion your brand and drowned out the naysayers. If you're naysayers are larger than your champions, then you have a whole other PR issue plaguing your success and one that can't be address by simply replying to angry Tweets on Twitter.
So, my advice to Diddy. Don't totally ignore the haters, just watch and learn. There are some that will never be followers, but I'm guessing there are some that are in the grey area. Those are the ones you can convert. Same with brands. Focus on the ambassadors, building communities, and then develop strategies and tactics that address the concerns of those audience segments who could be converted.