Are you using automated direct messages on Twitter or LinkedIn? Here are some reasons to reconsider. Advice from Frances Reimers, PCI's Director of Corporate Visibility.
If you are active on Twitter or LinkedIn, then you have almost certainly received an automated direct message (auto DM) from someone you’ve connected with. The message likely thanked you for connecting, then directed you to buy their product or service and/or connect with them via another social media platform.
The logic for the person sending the auto DM is obvious: automated DMs help a person build their brand by saving time, helping maintain their message consistency, and ensuring they are reaching their audience at key times. But like most things that are too good to be true, auto direct messages actually hurt an emerging brand by cutting off the one thing that actually makes people want to connect—authenticity.
Below are three additional reasons why your auto direct message is hurting rather than helping your brand and what you can do to better establish yourself.
They just become noise
Most people receive a large amount of unsolicited emails every day. Most are not relevant and turn into just noise that makes up our daily lives. That’s likely not how you want your brand to be perceived.
They are not useful
Content marketing 101 is that whatever we create and distribute ought to be at least unique, new, and/or immediately useful. Most auto direct messages are general blanket correspondence about the person’s products or services without any indication of how it is needed by or relative to the end user.
There is no follow-up
Social media was established for us to be social, right? People rarely (if ever) take the time to follow up on an auto DM with a personalized message. If you absolutely must send an auto direct message, take the time to periodically touch base with your followers in a real, authentic way.
The key to developing any new relationship is to be clear that you are genuinely interested in your audience. Rather than a blanket general message about your products or services, send a message with a real, honest question. Or, offer them something useful—like a discount code to an event—that isn’t a self-serving sales pitch. While more time-consuming, a personal touch will lead to larger brand equity dividends down the road.