Written by Danielle Owen-Jones, director of Bloomin’ Creative.
“Hi, thanks for the follow. Perhaps we can connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest too?”
“Good afternoon, many thanks for following. This must mean you’re interested in hiring our sports facilities, can I please call you to discuss?”
“Thanks for the follow – I would be delighted to offer you our PR services. Let’s talk about how we can help you with your PR in 2017.”
My reaction when I open these…?
Don’t get me wrong. Direct messages in general on Twitter are absolutely tickety-boo – sometimes you need to write a direct message if you want to discuss something further privately, or perhaps to pass on your contact details.
But those thoughtless auto ones? I’ll unfollow you faster than you can say ‘tweet tweet!’
That last example, for instance, was a PR company following a fellow PR company and offering its PR services in a direct message. Pointless? Absolutely. Slightly ridiculous? Yup. Waste of time? Definitely! They’re also running the risk of undermining their credibility, as they’re undoubtedly scheduling auto tweets without a second thought as to who receives them.
My dear friend Anna Bell at Cross Bay Marketing was in agreement that this marketing and PR tactic should be banished to Room 101 when I mentioned it to her.
She said: “Whilst automation is a useful tool, it’s not just your customers that will follow you on Twitter. Think about how you feel when you receive a generic DM on Twitter. With each new follower you have the opportunity to build a relationship with them, get to know them, engage with them. If you send a DM, it should be a message they want to reply to.
“Consider sending a personalised tweet to each new, relevant follower or retweet one of their tweets, instead of a DM to every new follower. Remember, they’ve chosen to follow you, don’t let them be put off by an automatic direct message.”
Wise words, Anna, and something I absolutely agree with. Twitter is all about conversation, so be wary of thoughtless DMs, as they run the risk of stifling it before it even gets going.
Do you work in marketing or PR? We’d love to know what you would banish to Room 101!
Drop a line over to firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter @bloomincreative (of course, feel free to DM us about this subject!) and let us know your ultimate bugbears in the industry.