Despite numerous blogs and books on Twitter, some people are clueless about when to use a Direct Message (DM) on Twitter. Here’s a message I received from someone I just connected with on Twitter:
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So what is wrong with this DM?
- I never talked to this person at all. I simply added her. In my post, Do I know you? I talked about E-mails that ask for link connections but have never built a relationship. This is the same thing, I have no relationship with this person and obviously she knows nothing about me.
- I suspect this is an autoDM, making it even more scummy and annoying. My DMs come to me both by email and phone so wasting my time with an autoDM only alienates me more. I find that there is no reason at all to use an autoDM. If you are too busy to build relationships and send personal messages, you are using the wrong tool.
- And, with the above reasons, she’s claiming to be an expert. An expert I would want to learn from would never use these strategies. If I wanted to learn how to make people angry, annoy people, and get my messages tossed out, I could learn from those e-mail spammers than keep telling me I won $12 million, just send them my banking information.
What should you use a DM for, then?
- I get DMs from colleagues who want to share something outside of the main stream or check if I am available for a call.
- I get DMs from clients who want to schedule another appointment or learn more about one of my services.
- I send DMs to share information with my inner network to celebrate a success.
- I talk with Twitter friends who want my thoughts on something but don’t want to use other communication. I have held whole conversations using DMs.
- If someone I trust hasn’t found my e-mail or phone number or just needs it quickly, I send it via DM.
- If I want to make sure someone checked their e-mail, I also use a DM to let them know I sent them something that way.
Next time you are tempted to use a DM, think about this. If you are building honest relationships that may lead to working together or with someone, make sure you are using this powerful tool correctly.