Auto DM’s = Auto Unfollow (to me)

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.

  8 comments for “Auto DM’s = Auto Unfollow (to me)

  1. Tim Keene
    April 19, 2011 at 5:26 am

    I try to thank everyone who follows me with a direct message. Something along the lines of Thanks for the follow, Name. I dont include any links, and where possible I try to use the person’s first name. Is this ok, or am I doing it wrong?

  2. CinziaRolling
    April 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

    There is nothing that turns me off more than an Auto DM. I agree instant unfollow. I haven’t directly called someone out, but I have thrown a few tweets out referencing it with a tweet ‘Auto DM = Unfollow’ or ‘1 Tweet, 1500 Following & # Followers = No way’. I haven’t tweeted even that in a while as it doesn’t really do anything. I still get them. :)

  3. March 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Very nice post, Sherree! Wish there was a way to Auto-Send this to all the Auto-DMers — maybe then they’d get the drift? Probably not :-(

    • March 31, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      Hi Paul, thanks for stopping by and commenting. You know, we could just send the blog link back to them in a DM and then unfollow :)


  4. March 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I’m the same. I’m like that. On every point, I am with ya.

    But nope. Never told the person outright. Wanna know why? I’m afraid of trolls, and afraid of nasty folks who enjoy nothing more than making somebody miserable just for the sake of nuthin.

    I don’t have any, and haven’t had any, but then again, I don’t really confront folks like that. I just…unfollow. I figure it’s their loss. 😉 Good post. New blog?

    • March 31, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      I hear you Paula. Telling someone could turn out to be worse than the DM. There apparently is no easy answer to this.

      Yes, this is a new blog, in addition to my other one. Wanted to go in another direction since I’m knee-deep in this stuff now. Hope you like it, still tweaking things! I appreciate you stopping by.


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