Direct Messages (aka DMs) on Twitter can be a great way to connect with people. They can also be super annoying and do the exact opposite of what you’re hoping for! I’m especially talking about the automated DMs. If you’ve been on Twitter any length of time, you know the ones I’m talking about. You find somebody interesting, click ‘Follow” and . . . WHAM! You’re hit with an automated message.
Many of them go something like this:
- Thanks for the follow. I need your help on my Kickstarter / GoFundMe / patreon Indiegogo . . . (or some other fundraising website)
- Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or _____ (fill in the blank)
- Hi, can you donate to my charity, _____? (again, fill in the blank)
- Buy my stuff!
- Thanks for commenting. Be sure to comment on our blog, too.
I just followed somebody and I’m being asked for my support, my money, or my eyeballs? Ugh! Messages like these are totally one-sided and leave me feeling really disappointed, especially if they’re from someone I was really interested in.
Automated direct messages can backfire
We follow people for a number of different reasons, but most people don’t follow others with the desire to be pitched at immediately. It’s usually pretty obvious when direct messages automated. You’ll get one right after you follow someone, it’s usually all about them, and will sometimes include a link to the service they use to send the message. And since it’s all done automatically, a lot of people don’t pay attention to who follows them. They’re more interested in the numbers than in making real connections.
Many people consider automated direct messages to be spam” quote=”Many people consider automated direct messages to be spam and not worth their time or attention. In fact, a lot of people will unfollow people right away if they get an auto DM. And quite a few people I’ve talked to never check their direct messages anymore because of the amount of spam they get!Many people consider automated direct messages to be spam.Click To Tweet
Do this instead of sending automated direct messages
We all like to be acknowledged, but if you want to acknowledge a new follower, do it in a way that makes sense, is social, and will help build a relationship. Tweet them, respond to one of their tweets, or retweet them. These are all great ways to show your appreciation for them following you. You’re also giving them a shout out, which makes everybody feel good.
Beyond that, it’s important to interact with people on your twitter feed. When you interact with your community in a non-spammy way it shows your followers you understand the ‘social’ part of social media. You’ll start to develop honest-to-goodness relationships and people will want to know more about you and the products or services you provide. If you’re interacting, and providing good content, they will be happy to retweet you, click on your links, and possibly even contact you about your products or services. In other words, over time people will get to know, like, and trust you, and will be more interested in what you have to say than if you start out with a spammy message.
If you must!
If you just can’t bear the thought of not sending automated direct messages, do it as a way to start a conversation. Make it more about your follower. You might ask for a link to their Facebook page, Snapchat, etc. so you can follow them (and then do just that!). Perhaps you’re looking for guest bloggers or have other ways you include people in your community. If so, let them know. Or simply ask a question – and be ready to answer if they respond! Do this and you’ll have much better results than if you’re just blasting out your message.
What do you think?
Do you feel strongly one way or another about Twitter direct messages? Do you use them? How do you feel when you get them? I’d love to hear your thoughts.