I guess we'll call this pet peeve week because I got a bone or two to pick with social media users out there. I'm usually a really agreeable person. I swear. But there are a few things that irk me. I wrote about one of them here. Another one is when people use follow/unfollow software. Not a fan, sorry. If you want to follow me, thank you, but if you only want to follow me because you want to grow your following, I'm not having it. Another thing I am not a fan of for the most part is the auto Direct Message (DM) you get after you follow someone new.
Ok, I get it. In theory it sounds like a great idea. It can be used as a way to open up the conversation between you and your new follower. I use this same strategy on LinkedIn and I love it. The difference is that when I send my letter on LinkedIn after I receive a connection request, I manually write it. It's not done with software. It's authentic in that manner. It's really me typing and you'll see that come through on the other end.
On Twitter, it's automatic and it is usually along the lines of, "hey there, look at me, click on my links, buy my stuff." It's not authentic at all. To be honest with you, I can look past that. We all have something to sell. We all are link pushers in some way or another. What I can't deal with is that 9 out of 10 times I can't respond to the DM because the person sending it isn't following me. Now you tell me, what good is that?
Remember, the reason we use social media is to engage. We want to engage with people because we build relationships with them and when we build that trust, we are better able to sell our products and be heard. It starts with engagement. If you are being one-sided, social media isn't going to work for you. In fact, I don't think any relationship online or off will. It has to be mutually beneficial.
If you are convinced on using an auto DM service, here is a better ways to go about it.
1. Follow back everyone who follows you so that you can actually engage with them via direct message.
2. In your message, don't be too salesy and try a more personable approach. Try asking about the person you are connecting with to learn more about how you can help EACHOTHER. Or giveaway something for free.
3. Respond to those who DM you back.
Try this and see how it works for you. I am sure it will piss less people like me off. 🙂