2 minutes reading time (459 words)

Should you auto direct message all new followers and fans?


Short answer ... I don't think so!

First of all what is an automatic direct message or auto DM?

Twitter has a private messaging facility for sending direct messages to other users. An auto direct message is one that is sent automatically, usually triggered by a new follower.

Social media is just that ... social!

You should definitely be interacting and engaging with your followers so why is a message welcoming a new follower not necessarily a good thing?

Think about how you interact with someone who you've just met face to face:

  • Do you dive straight in and talk about yourself and your services? Probably not.
  • Do you ask them to do something for you, like recommend your services to a colleague? In social media speak follow you on other networks or re-tweet for you? Again, unlikely.
  • Do you immediately start to sell to them? I doubt it.

With the above in mind you can imagine my reaction when I recently received the following message:

"Hey Ann Warne, fancy a top of the range website with no upfront costs? Our design team could create you a cutting-edge, pay monthly website from just £39pm. Packages include: - Bespoke Expert Design - FREE Domain Name - Website Hosting - Content Management System (CMS) - Desktop, Tablet & Mobile Responsive - On-site SEO - Social Media Integration - Business Email - Ongoing Support If you like I can arrange to give you call to discuss things a little further? Many thanks, Amy"

This message is quite clearly sent automatically to every new follower with no consideration as to who those followers may be.  Not too damaging in this instance and it did give me a bit of a giggle, but it did get me thinking about some of the reasons why an auto DM can be a bad idea. This example is not dissimilar to most of the DMs that I receive and below are a few reasons why I now tend to dis-regard DMs:

  • Auto direct messages clog up my inbox and I'm quite possibly missing some important ones that aren't automated
  • They're impersonal and the polar opposite of what social media networking is about
  • Requests to click on other links are just spammy
  • They can be annoying and actually trigger an 'Unfollow'

So what should you do instead?

Acknowledge your new followers and thank them. If you want to direct message, make it clear that you have actually bothered to read their bio and you've found out a bit more about them. Try to make it personal and demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in nurturing a relationship.

If you're a small business and new to social media and could do with some help why not get in touch on 01494 537612.

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Thursday, 27 February 2020

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