Cultivating New Connections on Twitter With or Without Auto Direct Messages
“Hi! Thanks for following me! I’m glad to meet you! Find me on Facebook!”
Sound familiar? It’s an Auto DM. We’ve all gotten them. Love them or hate them, they’re here to stay. There are myriad free and easy programs out there that will send automatic direct messages on your behalf whenever someone follows you. Poorly worded, ill-conceived Auto DMs can come across as annoying and drive away your new followers before you’ve even had a chance to get to know them. They can seriously hinder your ability to increase your audience, successfully engage in the social media community, and make business and personal connections with others in your field hard to come by.
The fact of the matter is Auto DM tools are great time savers, especially on accounts with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers. With some clever writing, and a little knowledge, Auto DMs can be utilized in a manner that is professional, inviting, and decidedly non-spammy.
Here’s the stance of Twitter on Auto DMs, straight from the little bird’s beak:
Automating Your DMs (Direct Messages)
Including an automated “thanks for following” message to your new followers might be annoying to some users. We do not recommend this behavior; if you receive a DM you don’t like, you can unfollow that user and they will no longer be able to send you messages.
What makes a quality, professional Auto DM?
- Friendly, Succinct, Interesting
- Include an Invitation to Connect Elsewhere
- NOT Sales-Driven
- Utilize Proper Punctuation, Spelling, and Grammar
- Avoid Abbreviating “Thanks” (tnx, Thanx, Tnks … etc.)
- Avoid ALL CAPS and !!!!
- My good friend, Robert Caruso (@Fondalo) Founder/CEO of Bundle Post wrote an excellent article about proper use of Auto DMs.If you wish to avoid using an Auto DM tool altogether, here are 3 suggestions of what you can do to welcome/thank your new followers.
Engage Them in Conversation Using @Replies
Pick out one or two of your most intriguing new followers and send them a message with an @Reply. Don’t do this for every new follower. Limit yourself to a few per week. Used properly, @Replies are a wonderful way to begin a conversation and nurture a new connection. (Learn more about @Replies)
Retweet Something of Interest That They Shared Recently
Scroll through their recent tweets until you find something you feel worth sharing. Acknowledge why you like it, and thank them for sharing it, and share it with your other connections.
Do a Weekly, All-Encompassing “Welcome” to New Followers
It really is as simple as it sounds. What it does not mean is you should list each and every one of them in a tweet or multiple tweets (You’ve no doubt seen people who do that.) It’s obnoxious, and unprofessional, and is another quick way to be unfollowed.
In the end what matters is that a connection is made. Cultivate that connection with thoughtful, professional DMs and @Replies. Don’t smother it with sales pitches and spam. Be straight-forward, honest, friendly, and professional and you can’t go wrong. The personal touch goes a long, long way toward making lasting connections on Twitter.
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.
CEO of WePost Media