I feel as though the auto-DM is akin to the voicemail campaigns of yore. Remember? You know when you’d get home and check your answering machine (how quaint 😉 and there’d be a voicemail from someone who wanted your vote, only the message started halfway through, and you have know idea what they want from you.
That’s what an auto-DM is to me, after I’ve followed someone. It’s annoying. It’s impersonal. And, it’s indicative of a person who just DOES NOT GET IT.
Yesterday I spent about 20 minutes searching for people who’ve recently spoken about social media – obviously, given the nature of Twitter, there were new messages popping up every second, so I had lots to choose from. I followed about 30 new people. Literally moments later I had auto-DM’s from nearly 20.
I will un-follow each and every single one of those people.
I was even more angered by the people who had some lame generic message like “thanks for the follow looking forward to tweeting you” — but shortened in TwitSpeak to exclude vowels. It made me feel dirty.
Long lesson, short: Do NOT auto DM people when they follow you. Now, as all things, there are extenuating circumstances (especially if the account is meant to represent an organization rather than an individual) but barring those EXTREMELY rare cases, try to be a real person, and only say things as you would to another real person. Twitter is not your personal campaign trail, and most likely you are not a candidate.
First the comment on the entry: I didn’t even know you could set up an auto-DM on follow (I like twitter, but I’m not a power user, I guess). I can see (and completely agree that it’s ridicul…annoyin…stupid and worthy of immediate unfollowing.
Now here’s how I even found you: just got a follow notice from @nancy247, and I suspect it’s pr0n/spam/whatever, so I go check out the account, and it’s not immediately apparent, so I start looking at the list of people she follows, and you’re on the first page. With my name, you can imagine that I can’t ignore a “Shanee Ben-Zur” when I see one, hence I’m here.
I don’t work in social media directly, but I’m an early adopter of a lot of technologies and eager experimenter, so I hope to maybe learn something from you. If not, hey, it’s just nice to meet another proud Israeli-American techie.
Yiftach (feel free to ping me via email or twitter @yiftach)