I absolutely love Twitter, it delivers news in real-time, it allows me to reach out to people and it lets others reach me too. But most importantly, Twitter enables you to meet new people online without the creepiness of dating sites.

Yet for all the benefits Twitter has delivered, there are just a few things that gets my blood boiling with the micro-blogging network.

twitter tips

Okay, so whenever someone follows me I make it a habit to check out their profile, tweets and website (if they have one). It’s somewhat of a vetting process I go through to make sure if I want their tweets on my feed.

Right, so everything checks out and I want to hear more from them so I follow back. Which is basically saying we like each other.

That is until I suddenly receive a direct message. Now, this isn’t an isolated incident and it happens quite often when I follow people back. Basically the DM always goes like this,

“Thanks for following! Check out [URL] for tips about Topic X.”

At this point I’m rolling my eyes, just asking myself whether this actually works. For me there are three reasons that it doesn’t work. I don’t know about you, but I hate receiving messages with no substance to them. Here are my reasons why you should never auto DM on Twitter.

Top 3 Reasons Why Auto DMs Suck

It’s Not Genuine

First of all, if you’re going to thank me for the follow, do it publicly! That just shows you’re genuine. And benefits us both, because I’ll also respond with a tweet of my own, which all my followers will see!

We Just Met!!

Secondly, we just met! Yeah, that’s right. I’ve only just met you and you’re sending me an auto DM to check out your website or like you on Facebook. Seriously, that’s like inviting someone over to your house after you’ve just met them at the bus stop.

It’s Lazy and Impersonal

Thirdly and most importantly. It’s the most impersonal thing you can do on Twitter. You’ve really made no effort in getting to know me. Otherwise you would have mentioned something about what I do or my blog in the DM. It just shows that you were really looking for just a follow back, with a sleazy attempt to get me to visit your site.

The problem here is that there’s no engagement whatsoever. Which completely negates the whole purpose of Twitter, and social media in general. It’s not a numbers game as some people think it is. It’s all about being tuned in with your followers.

Oh and from now on, if you send me an auto DM – similar to the one referenced above – I am hitting unfollow on you! Simple as that really.

And if you are sending DMs, make them personal and show the person that you’ve taken the time to check out who they are. Everyone likes a compliment, so start with that and why not a question too. Personally I’d love to help you out! But in all seriousness, you should be sending those DMs as tweets in the public domain, because that’s how you can truly build your Twitter following!

What have your experiences been like on Twitter?

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