Automated Twitter Direct Messages – Good or Bad?

This week we are focusing on Twitter and automation more specifically those automated direct messages so many people send out to new followers. This is something we receive a lot of questions about. First I want to share what this is, many people use 3rd party programs to automatically send a pre-written message as soon as someone new follows them.

This of course has many positives in theory, you are able to send out a message from you, each time someone follows you.  These messages traditionally include a link to a website or Facebook.  Some people attempt to personalize these further with a question in hopes of cultivating an actual conversation.

Of course there are also a lot of cons, these messages are not actually personal since a generic message created by you goes out to every new follower. Also with the increase in account hacking people are very aware of what links they are willing to click on in a direct message.

With that said I decided to pose the question to the Hit the Mic social media network, hear it from the people so to speak.  I received some great feedback all were very much on one side though – against.

“I equate automated DMs with calling a business and getting an automated answering service. Sure, you can eventually get to a real person, but it’s not very personal. When it comes to Twitter, I want to know I’m talking to a real person, not an automated DM. If Twitter is about networking, following someone and then responding to their tweets would be a much better way to establish a real connection with them. More work? Yes. But it’s real and genuine. I also know that there is a lot of DM spam from accounts being hacked. I’m much more likely to ignore a DM from someone who I’ve never tweeted with before.”

– Amanda Shofner from Language Management, LLC

“I don’t like them. They seem impersonal. Also links seem too pushy and like a sales pitch instead of recognition.”

– Vernetta R. Freeney from Women Are Gamechangers

After receiving only comments against the automated direct messages when first asking, I asked again if ANYONE was for them and this is what I got back.

Not really! I find they are generally ‘pitchy’ and don’t feel genuine. I found it was really common a few years ago and see much less of it now.

– Sandy Siduy from SidekickPM

  I wouldn’t mind so much if they responded to me when I respond to their auto-DMs but every time I’ve tried they don’t.

– Erica Lee Garcia from Erica Lee Consulting – www.ericaleeconsulting.com

I agree with the wonderful feedback I received from our network.  I think Sandy hits the nail on the head when she says they often feel ‘pitchy’.  I’m a big believer in not losing the social part of social media, it’s something I talk about again and again both here and with clients.  Social Media marketing is a lot like in person marketing, it is about building relationships more than anything.  You would never consider handing a business card with your website on it and walking way after you were introduced to someone new at an event.  You would stop, listen, and share with that new contact.

**Edit**

After reaching out to several users of automated direct messages during the process of putting this post together I did finally receive one response.  Pamela Schott uses automated messages and was quick to respond when I reached out to her to ask her about her success with it.

I use Auto DMs to thank folks for following & to introduce them to my weight loss journey. It helps for referrals.

Like I said, Pamela is using this tool, but not alone.  She is also following up with it which is what adds the social part back in.

I’d love to hear your feedback, do you use automated direct messages? If so have you had any success with them, do you follow-up when someone responds to you via that direct message?
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Penelope @ Penelope Says

I’m firmly in the “no auto DM” camp. I fully understand the pros, but to me it feels a bit desperate. I know it’s not, but it feels like it to me, like a bit of playground kid coming up to you and saying “will you be my friend? Please?” Anyway, just my two cents!

    Stacey Harris

    Great perspective, thanks for sharing.

Social Media Pet Peeves

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Social Media Pet Peeves

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