February 23rd, 2011
by Amy Dunn
Anyone who uses Twitter probably has one of three responses to this question:
1). No. Twitter Auto Direct Messages are NEVER ok to use. I hate them and I will unfollow anyone who uses them.
2). What are Auto Direct Messages?
You have probably seen these auto direct messages (aka Auto DMs) that sometimes go out when you follow someone in Twitter…..you know, something like “Hey, Thanks for Following me, now go look at my Webpage”. Over the years, this feature has become a turn off for many and some will even regard this auto message as spam and “Unfollow” you.
So I am putting the question out there: How do you feel about Twitter Auto DMs? Is it ever ok to use?
Here is my take (and many of you may disagree with me). In an ideal world, the best bet is take the time to get to know your new followers and greet them with a personal message. It really just take a few minutes a week to look at their profile, see if you want to follow them back and strike up a conversation.
Having said that, I think it is ok to occasionally use an Auto DM service when you are genuinely providing a service to your new followers, like informing them of an opportunity or event. For instance, @Webtherapist used this feature to inform people of her free Webinar: Innovative Online Marketing Ideas on a Shoestring Budget- and the result was overwhelmingly positive (had over 900 people participate!).
Now, if your Auto DM is as a way to tell people to ‘Like’ your Facebook page or check out your Website- your message will probably not be heard among the dozens of other people doing the same exact thing.
Still in favor of using Auto DMs? Before you set one up:
1) Carefully decide on what you have to say. Is it is really unique enough to stand out among the dozens and dozens of Auto DMs people get in Twitter every day? Be honest with yourself on this.
2) Be prepared to have some people unfollow you just because you sent an Auto DM. Just being real.
You can set it up by going to sites such as Social Oomph – formerly TweetLater.com (who now charges a small monthly fee for the Auto DM). There could be others out there, but this is the one most people use.
Do you (or know someone) who uses Auto DMs? Are you for it or against it? I would love to hear your take!
Learn More! See these Additional Resources:
Twitter – How To Auto-Reply And Auto Follow
How to Create an Auto DM (direct message) for Twitter Followers
The Secret Art of The DM
Twitter Auto-DM = Social Media #Fail
Are you talking to me? 6 reasons why using an auto DM to thank a new follower is a BAD idea