I don’t like automated direct messages. I do not like them in a box, I do not like them with a fox. To me, they are along the same lines of publishing posts from FB to Twitter. It’s just so not social. I have to guess that it works for somebody out there. I just don’t see how. There are few things on social media more annoying to me than receiving an automated direct message from someone I just met trying to pitch me on something, or get me to do something. We just met! There’s a courting phase that has to happen before we get personal enough for direct messages, right? Besides, this is an automated message. You say this to everyone.
Here’s an example, I recently followed someone back who is also in digital marketing. Great. I like connecting with others in my field. I’m always interested in seeing content from a new source that I can perhaps share with my audience or just having someone to connect with that share the same professional interests. Then, I get a direct message from this person asking me if I am interested in social media marketing strategy services. What?? That’s what I do! I have to conclude that you did not even bother to read my profile, my tweets and probably send this message out to everyone regardless. That is so not social. The whole point of social media is getting to know someone. You didn’t even bother to do research on me before approaching me. Here’s another message I found odd, “great tweets, can we find 5 minutes to connect?” Nope. We can’t. I already feel like you’re pitching me. We just connected. It’s already weird.
I also find that some of these offenders, don’t do much engaging on Twitter. They’re simply broadcasting and firehosing. If I go to a profile and click tweets & replies, I’m hoping to at least see you thanking someone for a share, a retweet or chatting in a tweetchat with others at some point. Where is the conversation?
Automated direct messages come off as impersonal and self serving. With Twitter, and social media in general, you should show some interest first, genuine interest, in people that you are connecting with. Check out their tweets. Retweet what you find is valuable. Look at a person’s bio and see if you have something in common that you could start a conversation about. Visit their website, or blog, and share their content. Be a friend to make a friend. In all the automated direct messages I’ve received recently, I am very happy that it’s been a few years since I’ve gotten the direct message saying, “let’s take this beyond 140 characters” with a link to their Facebook page. Ugh. Gross.
I’m not saying direct messages are not okay. I am referring to the generic automated direct messages sent to the masses.If direct messages are organic and natural, and have purpose, they can work.Click To Tweet Social Times lays out a few great examples of how direct messages can work with the purpose of introductions, getting feedback, testimonials, quotes or addressing customer service issues.