Twitter is filled with spam. We’re all aware of that fact. Yet, there is value in the real-time conversations people are having over there, in between the spam, the affiliate links and the sales pitches.
However, one thing that really irritates me (and many other Twitter users) is the notion of the automated direct message (DM). Sending an automated DM is akin to saying, “Hey, I want you to know I’m listening (but really I’m not).” In other words, it serves no purpose other than to drive a wedge through any potential engagement between you and your new followers.
In my opinion, there is seldom an easier way to get unfollowed than to send an automated direct message, thanking me for following or asking me to “like” your Facebook page or to read your blog. Guess what? If I wanted to do those things, I would do it based on the content you share.
If your tweets are interesting, there’s a good chance I’ll find your Facebook page and check it out. The same goes for your blog. If the title of a blog post catches my eye, I’ll give it a quick read.
After all, that’s the whole premise of Twitter, isn’t it? We’re there to find and share the best content on the web, in real time. I’m not there solely to build a “relationship” with every person I follow; I’m there to see what you have to say and to add to that conversation myself, in a meaningful way that is helpful to others.
So, if I may suggest something to you, let it be this: You are doing no good if you’re automatically sending a direct message to every new follower. That just makes you and your brand look phony and it goes against the very premise of what authentic social media engagement is all about.
Instead of taking the time to set up your automated direct message software and wording your “authentic” welcome message just right, take that time to create great content and share it with your audience. It’ll keep your brand looking authentic and it’ll prevent people like me from unfollowing you at the first sight of yet another spammy DM in my inbox.