The DM Dilemma: Personal or Automated?

  • Sumo

I love getting a personal note on email. Or, Facebook messaging. Even a short, sweet sentence on Twitter’s direct messaging (DM) makes me smile.

Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1215930
As a writer, if you use automated DMs, keep it personal. Start a conversation. Build relationships. Don’t include a link to the page where you can buy your latest book or training seminar. Just don’t. Your followers will dwindle quickly.
Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1215930

But, if there’s one type of communication that makes my skin boil, it’s the automated DM on Twitter. Some creative marketing software programs allow this automation as an option to “personally” reach out to new followers.

Here’s what happens:

  1. You follow a new business or person on Twitter
  2. You get a DM a few minutes later thanking you for the follow
  3. A day later you get another DM which dives into a sales pitch

Hey, I use marketing tactics daily so I have no problem with the idea behind this method. But, please, If you want to reach out to me, talk to ME.

Today I received an automated DM asking how this content marketing company can help my team. Um, I don’t have a team. And, I’m the one writing marketing content. Your message is backwards and doesn’t target me at all. Fail.

As a writer, if you use automated DMs, keep it personal. Start a conversation. Build relationships. Don’t include a link to the page where you can buy your latest book or training seminar. Just don’t. Your followers will dwindle quickly.

How do you feel about automated DMs? Please comment below!

Note: Today’s post will be my last submission for the 2014 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I’ve had multiple blog subscribers comment that I’m posting too often (daily) and have chosen to unsubscribe from my blog. I’m also learning that when I reciprocate comments on blogs integrated with Google+, the multiple “comment posts” on my G+ page appear spammy. I write for my readers, and am choosing to respect their feedback. I will resume publishing on my regular Thursday schedule on April 17th. Thanks for visiting!

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22 Replies to “The DM Dilemma: Personal or Automated?”

  1. I am not really a fan of any random contact I receive…phone/email/twitter suggestions. Stopping by from a-z (so this does NOT count as random) πŸ˜‰

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone! And on here? Oh, I love to hear from everybody! I just hate the automated, not targeted to me, mass messages. You’re very real and not a robot! Comment as much as you like!:) ~Angela

  2. I don’t like them, either! Of course, I once did some work for a client and manually thanked new followers once a day. Someone accused me of doing that automatically, too – but it was genuine. *shrugs* Oh well…

    1. Well, heck! I guess sometimes you just can’t win! But YOU know you were being sincere! πŸ™‚ ~Angela

  3. I deleted my twitter in 2011 after it was hacked. Not sure if twitter increased security, but it doesn’t make me want to sign back up. Daily dozens of invites wanting to take me to porn sites all over the internet and yes like you describe business who spams daily. I got out of there. Great post on the direct messages!

    1. Oh, darn! I’m sorry you had such a bad experience on Twitter! I’ve never been hacked, so I guess I’m lucky! And thankfully I can simply ignore the spammy direct messages! ~Angela

    1. Yes! I really don’t mind unsolicited messages, as long as they are actually intended for me! Relationship building is key! πŸ™‚ ~Angela

  4. I can see the appeal for some businesses, thinking “This is so easy! We reach out! Aren’t we cool? ”

    But I hate auto DMs. They just feel incredibly pushy most of the time. I think the only kind I don’t mind are the “thanks for following. I look forward to [connecting, hearing what you have to say, that sort of listening language].”

    1. We see eye-to-eye for sure! The thank you notes are just fine. It’s the spammy sales pushes (that don’t even fill my needs!) that tick me off! LOL! ~Angela

  5. Any DM request to follow something I ignore. I assume they’re automated, but even if they were personally sent I figure I’ve already followed on Twitter and there’s not even a relationship established when they’re asking me to follow something else. It may be done with best intentions, but if looks the least bit spammy and impersonal I don’t have time for it.

    Now a DM that is obviously directed to me I don’t ignore πŸ˜‰

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  6. Because Twitter is so limited (140 characters or so) I can’t imagine wanting to DM someone who is specking to me in such brevity in the first place. I like it’s use for sharing snip-its of information, but to DM (personal or automated) just take the time and really make it meaningful…

    1. HI Jamie, I also unfollow those sorts of DMs. By the way, I am no longer participating in the A to Z. I’ve had subscribers drop me because they feel I’m posting too often and when I comment on blogs integrated with Google+, the “comment posts” appear spammy. I don’t want to lose fans, so I’ve stepped down. Thanks for visiting though! ~Angela

  7. I don’t always ignore DMs. Anyway, I guess I don’t feel like sweating the small stuff.

    Precious Monsters

Let me know your thoughts!