Have you ever noticed that I tend to not shy away from the more controversial social media marketing topics? This will be no exception as we tackle Twitter, Direct Messages and the automated DM message. This topic is one that is often polarizing within the social media community, broken into two main camps.
1) Anti-Automated Direct Message Folks – These folks are typically very passionate about social networking. They have very strong feelings about how it should be done. Their views are exclusive and either black or white, with little tolerance for anyone or anything outside of those beliefs. I find these are often the ones that attack and are extremely critical of others, both in and out of the social graph. Don’t try to please them, you never will.
Just posting that today’s blog would be about the topic spawned several opposition posts, like “Dislike those auto DMs. I usually unfollow folks who use them.” and “(It’s a BIG no no)”. These were from social media people too. Seriously? That’s like a professional singer not engaging with their potential fans/purchasers of their music because the fans don’t sing well… Shaking head!
2) Active Auto Direct Message Users – This group is the other side of the spectrum. They hammer out automated DM’s left and right. There are typically two world views within this group – 1) Direct marketers that don’t care about etiquette or relationships and only care about right now and revenue. 2) The newer social media marketer/consultant that just wants results and have seen others do it, so they are too.
The problem with Active Auto DM users, in the second category, is that they do not have the experience and understanding to make those auto DMs effective. They are doing what they have seen and assume it must work because others are doing it. So they set up automated DM messages about their client, their fanpage or product and hope for the best.
Me? I fall somewhere in between these two polarized camps. Rather than get into the details of each of the camps and their valid or often invalid views, I wanted to give you some insights on how to use Twitter DM’s effectively, both auto and manual.
There are two Twitter DM types to focus on:
1) Automated DM’s – Here is a secret… I use Auto DM’s on my personal account. But it’s HOW I use them that makes the difference. Why? I definitely want to thank everyone of my new followers and I can no longer do that manually since it averages about 150 per day. If you are going to use Auto DM’s here is what I suggest:
What I DON’T do – I do not pitch, send to my website or try to sell anything in my auto DM message.
What I always do – I thank in a unique, authentic way and give them an opportunity to connect with me in other ways.
Here is my Auto DM message: Honored to connect with ya! Thanx for the follow. Here are all my connection points: http://ow.ly/6vl7s Socially yours, Robert
Be simple, inviting and never pitch. Social media marketing is about building relationships. You need to have a relationship before you pitch. Pitching at the very moment you connect hurts you, not helps you. I receive both DM replies and in feed comments about my DM frequently that are HIGHLY positive. The image in this post show’s one of those comments from @itgalnwn.
2) DM Opportunities – There are several business and relationship building opportunities within the Twitter Direct Message platform. I am shocked how often I speak to people that never take advantage of DM’s. Here are a few ways we use them effectively:
a) Responding to DM’s to spark conversation – Look for manual or auto DM’s that warrant a reply. I read every single DM that comes in and look for opportunities to connect, engage, start conversations and build relationships.
b) Taking a conversation out of news feed – When you have an interested prospect or follower, be open to taking the conversation into the Direct Messaging system. This can allow you to get into more detail without them fearing others knowing they are interested in what you do. It removes the magnifying glass of the social graph and becomes one on one. This often helps your prospect drop their walls and open up.
c) Making yourself more human and approachable – Many social media accounts ignore all DM’s. Being the account that always responds, automatically makes you more human and approachable. A great starting point for a relationship!
d) Setting appointments and demo’s with prospective customers – I often move conversations to DM to ask for an appointment and/or a demo call. Similarly to “c” above, this is a very effective way to get more personal and ask for the sale or appointment, without the pressure of the open feed on them.
The wrap up word:
All of what I have put in this post are things I do and have made effective without being annoying or intrusive. It is free advice and worth every penny. The focus is to help facilitate your thinking toward opening your mind and staying clear of hard line approaches to social media.
Unfollowing a potential client that uses social media wrong or different than you is just plain poor business. You are hurting YOU, not them. Do you want to be right, or do you want to be rich? Get off your arrogant high horse and lead, help and build relationships with those that need you and your service. It’s not about YOU!
P.S. If you are a troll that just want to argue about DM’s, I respect your opinion, I just disagree. I will not get sucked into an argument. You are free to have your opinion, this is mine…