One of the best parts of social media sites is that you are able to connect with different people instantly through shared interests. Over time, you can build upon these relationships and really get to know your online peers. The key to a good and well-respected online presence is to be genuine. Your followers saw something they were interested in and have signed up to get to know you. The worst thing you can do in return is have an automated response sent out every time you get a new follower.
I’m not even sure why people still use Automated Direct Messages on Twitter any more. The DM is rarely used to begin with, so combining that with a canned text that’s sent out to every new follower, you are now using anti-social media. Here are 3 reasons you should never send an Auto DM.
1. It’s extremely impersonal. I would imagine the people using the Auto DM’s think the opposite. They probably view it as a one-on-one, private message where they can personally welcome their new followers. However, nothing makes me want to unfollow someone more than a DM that I know is just a set feature from a site like SocialOomph. The majority of Auto DM’s I receive are from people with over 20k followers, which makes me feel like I’m just another drop in the bucket to you. Either take the time to acknowledge them yourself, or don’t bother sending something to every single person.
2. It’s super lazy. First of all nobody is asking you to acknowledge every new follower, but now that you have taken it upon yourself to do so, you’re being lazy about it. Personally, I don’t find it necessary to interact with every new follower I get and they seem to be OK with that. However, if you feel you need to say a quick hello, try publicly responding to them via an @mention or replying to one of their own tweets. This is obviously more work, but that person will respect the fact that you took the time to personally seek them out.
3. It’s a touch unprofessional. I’ve had multiple people send me a DM claiming they would love to connect via LinkedIn or other personal sites. I’m not sure if they got the memo, but LinkedIn should be used for real contacts–or at least people you would like to grow a professional relationship with. This also applies to other personal sites; even inviting me to view your blog in a DM is a bit presumptuous. It makes me feel like you only care about pageviews and not the viewers themselves. I’m on Twitter to interact with people on a personal and professional level, if I wanted to view your site, I would seek it out and find it.
At the end of the day, Twitter is one of the most public platforms. Just as you shouldn’t be setting your tweets to private, you shouldn’t be sending many private messages as well. To add insult to injury, the private messages are actually automated responses sent out to every other person that followed the culprit. Let’s put a stop to this impersonal madness together. Join myself and @Jess_Wooldridge and start the #NoAutoDMs movement!
Need to rant about your hatred of Auto DM’s? Or are you one of the few who still use them and want to defend your position? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @SimplyEricaR.