Friday, December 7, 2012

1 Mistake People Make with Direct Messages on Twitter

I keep seeing something on Twitter that just cannot be effective.

Direct Messages on Twitter are great--when used properly.  I don't want to see an autoresponder from you on Twitter!
I think that Twitter has a great function with the Direct Message feature.

When used properly, it can take a public conversation that is beginning to cause people to write too cryptically and continue that conversation in a more private setting.

Direct Messages allow people to send personalized messages on Twitter, even if you can only send 140 characters at a time on those.  Twitter is mostly for public conversations, but there are times when you want to be more intimate, and Direct Messages pretty much let you do that.  (It allows you privacy before giving out your email, if that concerns you.)

However, I see something that is NOT ANY GOOD.

When I Follow people on Twitter, there are a lot of people who have autoresponses in the form of Direct Messages.

I appreciate the efficiency, but once I realized what was happening, it is just as "warm" as an autoresponder on email.

Do you ever take those seriously?  Vacation autoresponders make sense, but there are few other things that scream a personalized message like an automated message to the tune of, "Hi, (fill in person's name here)."

We're even getting smarter (actually more experienced) with receiving "customized" automated emails from Customer Response Management (CRM) programs as a way of "staying in touch" with us, but I get those.  Those help keep their name in front of our faces--potentially good branding.

However, what can you write in 140 characters that is going to deliver warmth?  Even something like, "Thank you very much for Following me.  I look forward to getting to know you better." is annoying too open, even if it has a "nice" tone to it.

See Also: 4 Ways to Use Twitter Constructively

Wouldn't you rather receive a message like, "Hi. Thx for Following me. I see you're a skier. How long have you skied?"

That Direct Message indicated that you took time to get to know something about me.  (By the way, I do not ski.  I was just creating an example.)

Hopefully, people use automation tools in ways that encourages efficiency without losing effectiveness.  Automated Direct Messages really just forces a tradeoff that really is not very social, even if they try to make it seem that way.

Am I the only one who feels this way?  Do you really enjoy opening automated Direct Messages on Twitter?

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  1. Great post as Always Chris, I look forward to new posts from you!

  2. Thanks for all of your recent support, Whitney.

    I'm still pretty new to all of this. So I really appreciate what you've done.

  3. I agree with you Chris. In a world of mass and mediocrity, automating a DM to a new Twitter follower is status quo.

    An automatic DM never gets a response from me, where if someone takes the time to DM me in a genuine, personalized way, I always respond. Then I usually take the time to go to their website, download their ebook, etc.

    That action is what starts a real conversation that can lead to a beneficial connection. I believe too many are singularly focused on click through rates, follower numbers and metrics. Not enough are focused on truly connecting.

  4. Hi, Steve...Thank you very much for taking time to read my post, even more impressive that you left such a thoughtful comment, also.

    Connecting means more work, and even I can be guilty of trying to sidestep some of THAT. Thank you for YOUR reminder about how important it really is to PERSONALLY CONNECT with other people.

    BTW...Thank you for the Southeast Michigan Marketing shoutout! :)


Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

Let me know if you would like for me to address a topic by sending me an email at

Thanks, again. I look forward to seeing you soon.