Babbling B’s Blog

The Best & Worst of Twitter Auto-DMs

Posted on: May 1, 2009

Twitter messages with ‘secret’ ways to ‘make money fast’ and get ‘thousands of followers’ make me want to unfollow… What’s worse than those spammy messages? Getting an automated ‘Thank you for following me’ message with the same content. What a horrible first impression!

I’m on the fence on automated direct messages on Twitter. As a marketer, I understand the importance of welcoming your new follower, and how these welcome messages can help drive traffic to your website, blog, offer, etc. So I set out (with help from some awesome Tweeps) to find the best and worst of the auto-DMs we’ve received with hopes to shed some light on how to do DMs ‘right’. Author’s identities have been protested to save them from public Twitter humiliation.

Auto-DM Don’ts:

  1. DON’T cover up a good cause or message with a SPAM-like offer: Here’s a message I got that I completely ignored:
    Save approx. $1000/yr and save earth at the same time, learn better energy source-
    This is a great cause – saving the earth! Starting with money-savings instantly makes you glaze over in anti-spam mode.
  2. DON’T be too good to be true: Sure, maybe it’s possible. You always hear the stories. 2 good 2 be trueBut if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  3. DON’T send duplicate welcome messages: Hmm… Spam?Spammy Twitter
  4. DON’T send messages that alienate your audience: An email industry expert sent me this DM he received: Thanks for the Follow! Let me know if you have any questions about email marketing. Ironic, right? He got a kick out of it. Think about your audience, and don’t alienate other ‘experts’ in your field – you’ll want to make connections with them!

Lessons learned: Proofread your message before you post it. Ask someone’s opinion. Then ask someone else. Don’t offer something that seems too good to be true. Would you want to receive that message? Would you click through? TEST your Auto-DMs to ensure it isn’t broken.

Auto-DM Do’s:

  1. DO make it about your follower: It’s all about them. Make your message be follower-centric.all about you
  2. DO ask a question DO ask people to Tweet you: Start the conversation right away. That’s what Twitter is all about! @SloanInnovation Hey Thanks for the follow! How did you get such a great list of followers?
  3. DO show some personality: Let them know something about you through showing your humor, friendliness, or that you like to have FUN! @carvideoguy Hi there, Twitter Is Designed To Be A Big Party, Lets Have Fun, Enjoy My Quotations
  4. DO tell people what they are clicking on: Do you really want to click on a condensed URL if you don’t know what’s behind it? It only takes one dirty link from someone else to teach your followers NOT to click on your undescribed link. Let them know what they get when they click through. @CustomerMgmt IQ Thanks for the follow! Check out for more info on Customer Service, Mgmt, Call Centers & more

Lessons learned: Just as in business, it’s all about the customer! No one really wants to hear about you. They want to hear what’s in it for them. What is following YOU going to help THEM with? Don’t worry about having a URL or link in the auto-DM – if your message is done right, they will click on your profile to find out more about you and click on your website link on there.

So, I still haven’t set up my auto-DM – have you? Let me know what it is! I am open to suggestions.

Special thanks to @danpereira!


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