Stop Sending Automated Direct Messages on Twitter

Should I setup an Automated Direct Message on Twitter? It’s a question that we get asked a lot. The answer, quite simply, is NO. For all of the small businesses out there who use Twitter and have an automated direct message set up, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE turn it off. There is no faster way to irritate a new Twitter follower and potential new customer than by sending him/her an automated direct message.

There are a lot of great Twitter tools out there. Most of them are very beneficial for small business. With that said, automated direct message tools are not one of them. Usually, Auto DMs are designed to send a direct message to someone who starts following you on Twitter. It’s understandable why some business owners might think that Auto DMs are beneficial. Automated Direct Messages allow business owners to send a customized message to new Twitter followers. Marketing is all about getting your message in front of your target audience, so naturally, business owners look at Automated Direct Message tools as valuable. However, if business owners read this blog then they know that success with social media usually comes from knowing how to properly use online tools.

Should I use Automated Direct MessagesSocial Media tools like Twitter allow small business to connect, and build real relationships with, their customers and prospects. Businesses that have success with Twitter use it in this way. Those who use Twitter as another microphone to shout their marketing message to followers usually don’t see results. By sending an Auto DM to a new follower you’re essentially shouting at him/her right off the bat. Many people don’t like being shouted at and this might entice that new follower to stop following your business on Twitter right away.

A few of our favorite Automated Direct Messages on Twitter are:

  • “Thanks for following us on Twitter, please connect with us on Facebook as well” – If I want to connect with you on Facebook, I will. I don’t need an Auto DM to tell me to.
  • “Be sure to follow our other 3 Twitter Accounts” — No thanks. One is plenty…
  • “Please retweet this message to your followers” — Once you have something informative to say, something that I think will benefit my Twitter community, maybe then I’ll retweet it.

If you are currently using Automated Direct Messages on Twitter please consider shutting it off. If you have something you want to say to a follower, then send him/her a personal direct message. You will get more out of Twitter by using it in a more personal way instead of using it as your own personal advertising microphone. People don’t like being shouted at or told to do something.

Are you using Auto DMs? Do you find them beneficial? Please leave a comment below to share your opinion of using Automated Direct Messages for small business.

14 Comments

  1. I absolutely agree with you! It still surprises me that businesses – especially those in the social media/marketing realm (I’ve gotten those before) – use automated DMs. For me, it’s a major turn-off. I’d appreciate a personalized tweet thanking me for the follow much more, which shows that you’re taking the time to monitor your account and actually connect with your followers.

  2. Brittany – Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment. Much appreciated. Great advice on the personalized tweet. It’s much more appropriate. You people over at Sprout Social know, it’s about engagement. I’m not a number, I’m a person, talk with me. Ya dig? Anyway, thanks again for the comment.

    Best,

    @RyanTaft

  3. I totally agree with this post. Please turn off automated direct messages on twitter they are very irritating and as far as I am concerned serve no purpose.

  4. Absolutely spot on, I find it really irritating. “Thank you for following me” indeed!

  5. Shirley – Thanks for taking time to leave a comment! I agree, automated direct messages serve no purpose. Let’s get back to personal communication.

    Best,

    Ryan Taft

  6. Nick – Thanks man. Much appreciated. I find it irritating as well. I usually stop following people if they have an Auto DM turned on.

    Best,

    Ryan Taft

  7. I hate people who send Auto DMs, and I unfollow them once they send me one!

  8. Thanks for this terrific post. I couldn’t agree with you more. Never favor convenience over engagement.

  9. Julie – Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment. Much appreciated. I’m glad you found the post valuable! I totally agree with you as well.

    Best,

    Ryan

  10. This is exactly what I believed, even before reading this article. Thank you for reassuring me I was right!

  11. Kate – It’s always nice to be reassured. It sounds like your gut was telling you the right thing! Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. I’m glad you found the article valuable.

    Best,

    Ryan Taft

  12. Thank you for this post. I wonder if there might ever be exceptions. I work for a University and in the past have had auto DM’s set up to say “thank you for following, go ahead and share stories or ask questions, there is a real person on the other end” or something to that effect, just to offer that extra level of customer service. People have in the past responded saying “wow, I didn’t expect to hear from you, thank you” and then have in fact asked questions through DM. I have not used automated messages for the past 4 months or so and have seen a significant drop in people messaging their questions. I’m considering starting it up again but this blog makes me weary. I would love to DM everyone personally, but with 10-20 new followers a day, me being the only one managing the social media, and only being allotted about 5% of my time to do so, it is unrealistic. I invite comments or opinions.

  13. Lindsey – Thanks so much for your comment. You are absolutely right in that there are certain times this does not apply. With everything in life there are exceptions and I think the example that you put forth makes complete sense. You can certainly use automated direct messages for that example.

    Best,

    Ryan Taft

  14. I’m so glad I came across this when I did! I run some social media pages for people and have just been reseaching auto-DMs to see what would work best for me. I think I’ll stick with the old-fashioned way of connecting with people one-to-one without the cover-all approach! It’s worked well for me so far. I think the message here is: If you want to sell to new customers, find out who they are first!

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