Today I stopped following a group of people on Twitter because of a simple thing: automated direct messages. I believe this is one of the dumbest practices on Twitter now. Worst yet, it is a very commonly used practice.
I barely use direct messaging. When I do, is to offer my hand for a project, have a real private conversation, or to answer a follower’s question. But there are people who would send out messages like this:
Thanks for following me (or following me back!) I’ll be tweeting regularly and selectively on Marketing Promotion related topics.
Messages like that are not personal – and for me – a huge turn off. It seems like you are trying to sell yourself or your product / service, and I am just another number in your quest for sales and popularity. That doesn’t make me want to start a conversation with you.
So, if you are one of those who like to send automated direct messages, here’s a quick tip: STOP RIGHT NOW!
Instead of spending time building a generic message to be sent automatically, interact with those who follow you. Make them feel like they are a part of your world. Be appreciative of the contributions they have made to build a better you. And offer your hand by sharing knowledge and guidance.
If you are to send a DM, be personal. Ask them how they are doing. Solve a particular problem they might have. Or answer questions from your followers. Anything that says “I am treating you like an individual” is good enough for me.
The point is: you have to be social. Treat your followers as people, because they are. In return, they will treat you as an individual too. That is how you build a social network.