Saturday, July 20, 2013

7 Reasons Why Auto DM’s will Tarnish Your Brand

There’s a common misconception that auto DM’s on Twitter help build relationships. Do a quick search about auto DM’s online and you’ll find a slew of people complaining about their annoyance.

Direct Messages can actually do the opposite of building relationships – it can tarnish your online reputation and your brand image. Here are 7 reasons why:

1. The Twitter virus

As many of you are aware, Twitter unfortunitly has been hit hard with the Twitter virus. About 90% of all direct messages that I receive are virus posts, tweets that say “OMG there is a bad picture of you going around, with a link,” or “I can’t believe you did this,” instilling that fear factor making you click on the link. Once you click the link, the virus auto spams your followers via DM. For that reason there are many many Twitter users that don’t check their DMs at all, and if they do, they never click on links.

2. Impersonal Messages
Most DM messages are sales pitches that want you to visit their website, download their free e-book, receive a free gift by clicking a link or just a hard sell all together. For me, if I followed you on Twitter it’s either because I like what is in your bio, we have a similar interest, or I’m genuinely interested in you or your company. Receiving an impersonal DM really devalues your brand message, as it`s generally the same DM message received for MULTIPLE other accounts, leaving your brand impression to be obsolete. Think back to your unique selling proposition, what sets you apart from your competition … I can tell you right now, it`s not your auto DM.

3. Can’t Respond Back
Sometimes I receive DM’s with a question, and although it’s an automated “Hi, thanks for the follow. How are you?” – I can’t respond back! DM’s can only be sent to followers, decreasing the value of DM’s even further. If you want to ask your followers a question, don’t use automated DM’s. Instead, contact your followers through a mention. Even if they don’t follow you, they will still read the message and likely will respond to it.

4. Decrease Followers
An automated DM can actually cause the opposite reaction you want. While you’re hoping to gain a lead, you’ll likely end up saying goodbye to that follower you just messaged. You’ve already given your followers a reason to follow you – don’t harass them. If you want to thank your followers for the follow, mention them in a tweet and make it personal.

5. You Look Like A Spam-bot
Isn’t the point of social media, to be social? Sending a message immediately after I follow you is very robotic. Followers will realize the message isn’t personal, and you’ll end up looking untrustworthy. Automated just screams the words “I’m a machine!” especially if everyone is sending the exact same automated DM. Believe it or not, I once received the same direct message from 15 different people in the same day. How does that make your brand stand out from other accounts?

6. Not Credible
Using automated DM messages will make it appear as if you have lack of twitter understanding. Twitter should not be used as a 1-sided sales funnel for spam messages. Instead, use Twitter to be engaging and communicate with followers, ask open-ended questions to encourage a response from them. Mentions will build trust and credibility – unlike those pesky automated DMs!

7. Lost in the Clutter
There is the odd time where I receive a personal message in my Direct Messages that needs my attention. Unfortunately, because many other DM’s are spam, I am less likely to look at my DM’s and miss that important message. I continue to be amazed with the amount of accounts I come across that say in their bio "I don`t check my DMs due to spam. " If your followers aren`t even seeing your message, what`s the point?

The number one take-away from this is don’t use Twitter as a 1-sided sales funnel! Twitter can be extremely useful when used correctly. Twitter takes time to build a loyal following, and the best way to gain customers is by engaging and interacting with your followers. Take a few minutes a day to look through your Twitter feed and reach out to your new followers. It’s better to spend that little bit of extra time each day, rather than spamming your followers with messages that don’t add value.

You may also like:

Auto DM`s vs Mentions – Which is more Effective
How to Get More Twitter Followers 
An Interview with a Social Media Marketer

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