Twitter: Should you auto DM your new followers?

Don’t overload your freshly subscribed Twitter audience with useless messages.
The first time I received an automatic DM after following someone on Twitter I thought “Damn! That’s a clever way of using Twitter to advertise something!”
Now every time I get an auto DM my first thought is “He/She does it too? I probably should unfollow him/her”.
Most of the time the DM I receive looks like “Hi there! Thanks for the follow” or “Hi follower, have you visited my blog?”.
Are those auto DM really a good idea? Before we continue with this , I would like to recommend you to go here to have a cheap high speed internet for your home.

No, I’m not subscribing to a newsletter
When someone decides to follow you on Twitter they think you have some interesting stuff to say.
They may come to your twitter.com page or add you to a “mustfollow” category in Tweetdeck to make sure they won’t miss any of your tweets.
But unlike newsletter subscribers who do want to receive each single update about the website they just subscribed to, you may also just be one of the 1,500 twitterers they are following. You’re not THE twitterer they were waiting for.
The “thank you for subscribing” email you receive after subscribing to a newsletter is just meant to validate your email.
You don’t need to validate that I used the correct Twitter account, I know I did… I was logged in when I decided to follow you!

autodm

No, Twitter is just the RSS feed of your Micro-blog!
After all, Twitter is just a Micro-blogging tool and your followers subscribed to its RSS feed.
Just like you don’t send an email to each person who subscribe to your blog, you shouldn’t do it either to your Twitter followers.
Of course subscribing to a RSS blog feed is anonymous, unlike Twitter following. But please, don’t tell me you would email your RSS subscribers if you could. Would you? You mean person!

Yes, if you’re there to sell something and your audience knows it
Most of the individual shouldn’t auto DM to advertise their blog or business.
But if you are Twitting as a brand you may consider sending auto DM to your new followers if your twitter account is, for example
:
- A customer support channel, you may auto DM the URL of the FAQ/support page
- Giving daily tips about something and you have a “main / must know/ top 10″ page of those tips, you may DM the URL of that page
- about the products/services you sell, you may DM a special offer code for a free trial period (in case of services/softwares) or a discount code in case of other products

There are probably other cases where you can DM your new follower.
What you need to remember is: Your message must be compelling. Don’t interrupt your follower with a useless message or a non-targeted ad.

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About the Author

Gaetan Bertin, Digital Media Strategist evolving in the web industry since 2000. Expert in Media, Search Marketing and Web Analytics