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Should you Auto Direct Message Your Twitter Followers?

Recently I was asked “We are thinking about using ABC product to automatically direct message everyone who follows us on Twitter. What do you think about that?”

In a word, NO!

Auto DM your Twitter Followers? No Way!


Actually, I believe two words say it better: NO WAY!

Why such a strong reaction?

Let’s forget this is social media. Instead pretend you’re at a networking event. You meet someone who seems to be very interested in your conversation. They don’t say much, but they smile and nod and give you all the signs they’re interested.

And so you ask them “Hey, do you want to go steady? I mean really, I think you’re great. I know I just met you, but here are 5 great reasons why you should go steady with me.” You hand them your business card and you walk away from them. Or rather, they run SCREAMING away from you.

Why does this happen? Because there’s no trust yet. You haven’t established yourself as someone worthy of going steady WITH – not yet anyway.

Instead of asking them to go steady, why not ask them for THEIR card, and set up a date where the two of you can have coffee?

Sending someone an automatic direct message on Twitter is asking someone to go steady immediately after meeting them.

So how does a coffee meeting translate on social media?

Start by following them back so you can listen to what THEY have to say.

Then, participate (lightly) in the conversations THEY’RE participating in.

Share THEIR posts – if they’re good.

Spend some time with them. Bid them good morning. Good day. Good evening.

Please, for the love of marketing, do NOT auto direct message your Twitter followers.

Don’t ask new followers to go steady with you after the first date. Spend some time having coffee with these new followers, and make sure they’re really interested in you, and your business. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache – and a lot of wasted time.

And no tool is going to help you get people to go steady with you after the first date. NONE!

PS This company still decided to go with automatic direct messages to their customers. Let’s see if they get any results.

5 Responses to “Should you Auto Direct Message Your Twitter Followers?”

written by Alli Polin On 18 February 2013

Thank you for this post! Not only do I ignore most DMs from new people that I just followed but the majority of them are really annoying suggesting that since we’re now best buds on Twitter, I should like their Facebook page and connect on LinkedIn too. Really? No thanks.

written by Mark Etinghchap On 19 February 2013

Although we do not use the term ‘going steady’ on this side of the Atlantic, I still found this a remarkably astute analogy. Sums the situation up quite nicely in fact. Bravo, chap!

written by Aaron @Biebert On 19 February 2013

I hate auto-DM’s so much!

written by Melissa Cooley On 20 February 2013

I have had a long-standing disdain for auto-DMs. My biggest beef with them is that there is no substance behind them, no forethought whatsoever to spitting them out to new followers. There is no shortcut to developing relationships with a target audience. Taking the time to truly engage people is always worth the effort.

written by Phil Gerbyshak On 1 March 2013

I totally agree Melissa. And it’s not personal.

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