Twitter D.O.A. | The Death of Auto-DM

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a Twitter user. If you’re a Twitter user, at some point you’ve probably followed someone who sent you a direct message auto-reply after you followed them. Here’s one I recently received:

“Thanks.Will be happy to tweeting with you.Please follow me on facebook <url redacted>”

Yep, that was the exact reply – including the lack of spaces and poor grammar. Suffice it to say, I immediately unfollowed them. Has anyone in the history of social media ever received an auto-DM when they followed someone and thought “wow, this is such a personal connection I’ve just built with this person I don’t really know but follow online that they want me to also connect with them on Facebook and be best friends!” (phew!!)

No, they haven’t, because auto-dm’s are lame, and in my opinion they carry with them the stank of the “social media guru”.

You know the type of person I’m talking about – they follow 72,364 people and have 72,465 followers, they can “help you make money online”, they’re a “social and new media expert”, and they’re on “#TeamFollowBack”. They’re fanatical about #hashtags, and love leaving inane link-bait comments on your blog like “Nice article! We enjoy and use your innovative marketing advice at our e-commerce site <insert link here>.”.

These people pollute Twitter, and contribute to a user experience which drives away many well-intentioned people who see Twitter only as a useless forum for blatant self promotion. Those of us who are experienced Twitter users do our best to steer clear of them, but they’re not going away; in fact it seems that they’re only growing in number. So what are we going to do about it?

I propose an immediate boycott of any Twitter user who sends auto-DM’s upon new follows. If you follow someone and they auto-DM you shortly thereafter, immediately unfollow them. People like this will only change their behavior if they see that it affects their potential to distribute marketing messages, and unfollowing them en masse hits ‘em where it hurts. More importantly, I implore you to stop the practice of auto-DM’ing if you’re a part of it – it reflects badly on your character, and lumps you into a class of individuals which I’m sure you don’t want to be associated with. Do yourself a favor, and do us a favor – give it up. If I followed you it’s because I’m already interested in what you have to say – you don’t need to send me a carbon copy follow-up message to make me feel extra warm and fuzzy on the inside. All you need to do is keep up a useful dialog with your followers, contribute insightful commentary to our discussions, and share interesting, valuable content I might find interesting.

Sound hard? It’s not. Just be yourself. Share this with your friends and let’s make it happen.

This is the death of auto-DM. Shout out to Jay-Z for the inspirational acronym.

3 thoughts on “Twitter D.O.A. | The Death of Auto-DM

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Death of Auto-DM. Let's boycott anyone who sends one. | The TurnSocial Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. All great points Matt and I myself would never consider the Auto DM route. However, I’ve noticed that twitter is also very clogged with retweets of content that is neither original nor relevant. I recently decided to try to find some insightful blog posts for my followers and I had a difficult time finding anything original. It almost seems like I am the only one adding content that isn’t blatant marketing. Please tell me this isn’t so.

    • Peter,
      Thanks for the comments. I agree that much of what’s out there nowadays is blatant marketing or self promotion, and unfortunately it’s tough to cut through the BS. However, one thing I find Twitter really useful for is directing me to content that is actually worthwhile – but it all depends on who you follow. Although we follow a lot of people on the TurnSocial twitter account, I keep my eye on a few who I know always share worthwhile content. On my personal account I follow even less, ensuring that most of what I come across is useful. In my eyes, receiving an auto-DM upon follow is a warning sign that this person is likely going to be sharing lame content, so it raise a red flag and immediately makes me consider un-following them. That being said, I’m sure not everyone who auto-Dm’s is all bad – I just try to avoid them as much as possible. Hopefully in the future the “automation” trend subsides, but it’s not likely!

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