Monday, August 9, 2010

One More Reason Not to Use Automated Direct Messages: That is the Question.

Something I find most amusing about automated direct messages is when I’m asked a question. I take great delight in responding with a snappy answer. And lo and behold, 100% of the time, my wittiness falls into a dark hole, never to return. Here are a few favorites.

Hi :) Thanks for following me. Want some free bonuses? http:/xxxxxx
Sure. And what’s the catch? There always is one you know.

Why hello there! What's shakin?
Well, we had a 3.7 earthquake last week. (This was a truthful response, by the way)

Hey cutie lets cam??
Actually didn’t respond to this one. Blocked this twit instead. Oops.

Hi. Right now I am focused on back and forward links. Would you like to trade? Fill this out, be featured & trade links http:/xxxxxx
Nice to meet you. I have no idea what you are trying to say to me here. Honestly.

Thanks for the follow. Look forward to your tweets. How do you love life?
I do indeed love life vs. any alternatives.

For that last one, unfortunately I didn’t get my two cents worth in regarding how much I love life. Alas, this gent is not following me back. Okay. Am I supposed to reply on the public timeline then? And how can he be looking forward to my tweets when he isn’t going to see them? Ding! Unfollow.

And then, there’s the “can you find the question in the ADM” approach:

Are you ready to find happiness, buy my book on forgiveness & joy.
Didn’t respond, because I didn't realize there was a question there. Guess I was more focused on the command, which I neglected to heed to. No sale.

Quick, if you’re asking someone a question, what do you expect in return? An answer? Yes, I tend to agree with you. So, why in the world would anyone ask a question and then not be prepared to respond to those answers? Why even begin to take the lid off the jar if you’re going to screw it right back on again?

Seriously. This sort of behavior just doesn’t bode well for one’s reputation now, does it? If you MUST use ADMs, DO be prepared for those curious types (like me) who are going to challenge you, and possibly use your mistakes as mishap examples to be shared with others. Asking questions encourages engagement. That’s a good thing, since engagement IS key to social media survival. However, engagement is a gateway to dialog. So DO be ready to respond. To borrow the motto from the Boy Scouts of America, “Be Prepared”.

Question mark photo from Allencentre


Mari Miniatt said...

I stopped using them (just a quick thank you) after the service I was using sent out monster DMs that started with mine and added garbage. I figured that makes a worse impression. Thankfully I was home when it did it and stopped it in the bud.
I can't say hi to everyone when they follow, but I do try to engage people afterward.

JC said...

I agree that, misused, auto DM's sent to new followers can be a huge pain. However, if you use them right, they can be a lot of fun too.

For example, for my blog, I set up a bunch of auto DM's to my new followers using Social Oomph. The great thing about that is that a) They're free b) They don't use your DM's to spam, and c) You can put more than one DM (in my case 20 or so) in a random cycle to get sent to your followers.

Also, if you put the right content in there, you can actually use them to distinguish you from a spammer -- something along the lines of "Check out my personal blog." This way, you let people know up front that you're a blogger and you just want blog visits and connections -- not to sell them penis enlargement pills or time shares.

After all, it's how I found out about and exchanged links with this blog -- through a response to a Twitter DM to a new follower :)