This should be a trending topic on Twitter. I’ve seen this topic fly through my timeline so often lately that I’m surprised Auto DM’s (direct messages) are still happening.
Auto DM’s are a nuisance. If you follow me and I follow back, that means there is interest there. That interest leaves as soon as I get an auto DM thanking me for the follow with a link or two to your website. If we haven’t exchanged one hello publicly, I automatically unfollow. Yes, I’m like that.
I have it plainly noted in my Twitter bio that “I don’t auto follow, but I do respond to @ mentions.” That means if you follow me, I will go to your Twitter page and check you out. I will read your bio, I will peruse your timeline and if you have a website or blog, I will check that out as well. If you are engaging with people and it’s interesting to me in some way (or if you are local and new to twitter), I will most likely follow you. If your timeline is nothing but links with a rare mention of someone that doesn’t include a link, I most likely won’t. I don’t follow everyone that follows me – especially when I’m added via a website that will get you 1000’s of followers in minutes. It’s just not going to happen. Yes, I’m like that as well. Chances are, you will use another tool that unfollows people, and I will see you on my “unfollowed” list within the week. That’s ok with me.
I try to engage with my new followers as best as possible – I say hello, thank you for the follow, etc. When I receive an auto DM thanking me for the follow, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. When it’s combined with links to your business site or “get rich quick” scheme, I unfollow…right there. Auto Dm’s tell me you’re not serious about engaging with me or anyone else. It tells me you’re too lazy to say hello. It says, I may have read your bio (auto-follows excluded), but I didn’t take it seriously. It tells me you have less than stellar twitter etiquette. It screams unfollow, to me.
I had a brief discussion with @LittleAnimation yesterday about this. My take on auto DM’s is that either the person is new to twitter and someone told them that auto DM’s were the way to create new business or create traffic for their website, or they starting doing this in the beginning and forgot all about it. I went on and asked, “how do you tell someone who is new to twitter and that you don’t know, this is a bad thing?” We never really finished this discussion.
This person is local, has a relatively new account, and followed me first. I try to support new local folks when possible, but unfortunately, I unfollowed this person after I received this. The first link is a “get your own business” type of thing. I never looked at the second one, I lost interest.
I really wanted to DM this person back and tell him/her that this was not cool. Then I thought, well, it’s uncool to me and who am I to tell someone how to manage their Twitter account.
So now we have a dilemma. We don’t like auto DM’s. Yet we tweet about it and write blog posts about it. Has anyone ever gone to someone who has sent them and told them that it’s not a cool thing to do? If you did, what was the response? Maybe you’re like me and you unfollowed the person and moved on.
Perhaps we should stop tweeting our disdain about auto DM’s and start calling people on this. Maybe then, they will go away.