To Auto Direct Message or not to Auto DM, That is The Question?

April 14th, 2009 |

About

Ploked.com is all about being plugged into social media. We strive to provide informative, relevant, and unique perspectives in the world of social media.

Or is it?  An interesting comment was brought up that I thought I would like to address regarding direct messages on Twitter.  This is not the first time this question has been posed, but it is one that always seems to have a “gray” area in my opinion.  Should Twitter users utilize automated direct messages within their account?

The Rundown

There are several sites that you can use to setup automated welcome direct messages in your Twitter account.  I am not going to beat around the bush and say that ploked does not use this tool.  For those who don’t know what an automated DM is, it is basically an automated/scheduled welcome message that is sent out to welcome your new followers.

The Pros

Face it, anything that helps automate or save you a few minutes of time can be a worthy tool if PROPERLY used.  When I say properly used, I mean this in that you use it to engage your follower with some information about who you are, what you do, or what you think about a certain topic.  Not something about getting rich quick, gaining 16,000 followers, or seeing more scantily clad pics of you.

Most of us probably do not have the time to manually go through all our new users and send them a welcome message, so this can be a useful social media tool.  If you do have the time to manually send welcome messages to all your followers, please share your secret of how you do it!

The Cons

As with any automated feature, there are those who look to exploit the benefits of using it.  Yes, these are the users that send messages about getting rich quick, gaining 16,000 followers, or seeing more scantily clad pics of them.

This type of user who does not use the tool of automated direct messages properly ruins the advantages of legitamate users of the tool.  Since negative views of something travel much quicker than positive ones, there are many tweeps that despise the use of automated DM’s since they tend to associate automated messages with scam artists and spammers.

Why The Hate?

Why is there so much hate for automated direct messages?  Is it the fact that many abuse the tool so it gets a bad rap?  Not “personal” enough? I have even heard some hate on it because they consider it being “lazy.”

I am not one who considers it being lazy, I consider it being smart if used properly.  Twitter is loaded with webmasters, business owners, self proclaimed gurus, all who I am pretty sure use autoresponder email messages in one way or another.  How is using a tool to automate a message on Twitter any different than using an autoresponder email series? Lets compare the two.

Twitter

  • follower is giving permission for you to contact them (send tweets/DM’s)
  • follower can choose to not follow you if they are no longer interested in what you have to offer

Autoresponder Emails

  • person confirms email address and agrees for you to send them more info (via emails)
  • person can cancel subscription to your autoresponder series if they are no longer interested in what you have to offer

The concept looks pretty similar to me.  Funny to think that most of the people knocking the automated direct message concept are more than likely the ones who are using an automated email responder series.

While the Twitter automated direct message is a one time event, the autoresponder email series is more than likely one email.  With that being said, I seriously doubt any webmaster/business owner is going to manually send out personal emails to each and everyone who signs up for their list/newsletter.  If you do, chances are your list is small or non-existent.

Does It Really Matter?

So does it really matter if someone uses an automated direct message? In my opinion, no.  Of course if you are not using the tool properly to engage your followers, you are completely missing the boat on using this tool effectively.

I get lots of automated DM’s every day and it takes about 2 seconds to tell if the person is worth a damn or not.  Just because some people can’t use it properly, does not mean it is not a good tool to use.

What are your thoughts about automated direct messages?  Love them? Hate them? Who cares?

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ploked
  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Benckenstein George Benckenstein

    My thought is, it depends on how you do it. If it is just a blatant attempt to tell someone of an affiliate offer, then I think it is distasteful. If it is a legitimate DM that just thanks people for following you without all the "strings" attached, then I think it's fine. If everyone who joins twitter is "on the make," then it will just become a place where people feel burdened and disengage from twitter completely. As long as everyone uses social media in the way it is intended then everything will be fine. Unfortunately, common sense is not always "common."

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    Personally, the reason I’m not fond of the automated “welcome” message is because it clogs up them mail box with useless messages.

    If I go out and follow 100 people who I find interesting, I don’t need 85 DM’s saying “thank you for the follow”. It’s pointless.

    Automating the “thanks” takes the personality out of it. If someone wants to personally thank me for following in a genuine attempt so show their gratitude, I’m fine with that. However, because of all the automated “thank you” messages it’s pretty much pointless.

    I think the question should be “WHY” do you send an automated thank you message? What is the point? Is it really helping you reach out and communicate with folks? Is it helping your business?

    The answer is… NO. Maybe it worked last year or even earlier when Twitter got started. It is just simply not an effective way to communicate on Twitter any more. So why even do it?

  • http://www.moneymagpie.com Jasmine Birtles

    I’ve been woken up by automated DMs that come through to my mobile phone. They’re a pest and if I could work out how to stop them (and stop DMs coming through to my mobile phone) I would!

  • http://twitter.com/j5alive5001 john simmons

    Hello follower thank you for the follow my old message was so lame it was auto message saying ill make new message lol Hope we follow each other for a long time to come.

  • http://twitter.com/j5alive5001 john simmons

    Hello follower thank you for the follow my old message was so lame it was auto message saying ill make new message lol Hope we follow each other for a long time to come.