Why I Hate Auto DM’s And First Contact DM’s

This wasn’t going to be the post I had for today. I decided to push the one I was going to write back to Thursday and put this one out because, frankly, I’m irked and it’s about time I wrote about this topic, which of course is about DM’s, or direct messages, on Twitter.

Not that I expect anyone to listen to what I have to say on this subject. After all, no one’s listening to a true expert in social media, Marji J. Sherman, who actually wrote a full post titled Kill the Auto-DM. Please, and thank you. She said nothing but great stuff in that post. This is my take on it, and I hope not to intentionally steal anything she said, though we agree on a lot of it.

Here’s the dope. I was gone for an overnight trip to my mother’s this weekend. I didn’t take my laptop with me, so all I had access to on my phone and Nook were actual messages and nothing else. I don’t know why Tweetcaster, which I use, doesn’t tell me when I have new followers, but it doesn’t.

So, when I got home and got on my computer, I had around 12 or 13 people who had decided to follow me while I was gone. I have to admit that’s a high number of folks connecting with me in such a short period of time, but 3 of them were… well, a big dodgy for one reason or another. Two others were basically only retweeting other people; nothing new, and not talking to anyone. You know I don’t like that.

Thus, I connected with 8 of them. Out of those 8, 2 sent me Auto DM’s and one person sent me a DM after maybe half an hour. That irked me to no end. Why?

First, because on my Twitter profile, I specifically ask people not to Auto DM me, and I say I’ll unfollow; I did. To me, if you’re not checking people’s profiles and then seeing what type of thing they’re posting then you don’t really care about them, only your own numbers. I don’t have time for that.

Second, overwhelmingly most people connect with me first on Twitter, which makes me think that possibly they’re interested in what I’m sharing and might want to talk to me. Yet, when those folks send me DM’s, almost all of them are sending me links to their blog, their product, or some other such nonsense.

Sorry, but where did I indicate that I wanted my Twitter account to be like I opted into your product or newsletter? Why didn’t you ask me in the open if I might want that information? Actually, I know that one; because you didn’t want to be embarrassed by anyone who might be looking at our communication watching me probably turning down your offer.

Let’s face it; you’ve never tried just talking to me and you’re already marketing to me? Either way, I’m turning you down, but in the open I’m probably not unfollowing you immediately like I am with the DM; I’m nice like that.

Faisal Photography via Compfight

You know, I’m pretty nice on social media. If I visit a blog that one of my online friends recommended and I liked what I read, whether or not I comment I’m probably going to share it on Twitter. After that, if you want to connect with me I’ll possibly be pleased… unless you DM me. Once again, that shows you didn’t care enough about me to look at my profile or what I might share with others; I’m dropping you and probably never sharing your stuff again.

Why does this bother me so much? Because overall Twitter is my favorite social media platform. I actually have periods where I’m talking to someone live, whether it’s local or somewhere across the world, and that’s pretty neat. The initial idea behind social media is to be social… what a concept!

You can’t do that with Facebook, Google Plus or LinkedIn. Maybe there’s some chatting app where you can do something similar but it’s not going to be me using it. Twitter’s my dog; that’s where I’m heading.

The Auto DM’s and first contact DM’s… impersonal to a fault. I get it though, because there are so many articles written telling people that we love receiving free stuff and that marketing should be a 24/7 thing. Maybe… but give me the opportunity to seek you out first okay?

This isn’t a B2B (business to business) thing; this is a B2C (business to consumer) thing, only it’s not because you haven’t vetted me, you haven’t tried to learn anything about me, and even if I respond to your DM immediately we both know you’re not there and I’m not going to hear from you for hours. Thus, you’ve just wasted my time.

A few days ago I contacted someone I’ve been connected to on Twitter for a couple of years now. We haven’t talked often, probably not at all in over a year. But I wrote something and thought it might be something her particular audience might like.

I sent her the message in the open, not in a DM, and I asked if I could send her the article link either in the open or via a DM. No, I didn’t hear from her, but in my mind that’s how that type of conversation should go since I don’t know her well, especially in this day where Twitter now allows people to send DM’s to folks they don’t know (ugh!). If she never responds, I haven’t lost anything.

That’s my Monday rant; stop the DM’s like that folks. Course, you’re not going to listen to me, but obviously it’s not stopping me from asking you to… just like Marji.

10 thoughts on “Why I Hate Auto DM’s And First Contact DM’s”

  1. When I first joined Twitter I had no idea how irritating Autodms would be.

    I figured it was an easy way to try to make sure people knew I had a blog.

    Now I look back and shake my head at how silly I was. It was a mistake, but I learned from it.

    1. I’m glad you did Josh. I know why folks do it but like popups asking people to subscribe to newsletters, it’s irritating as sin. I don’t know if anyone’s done a test to see what people think in general about the effectiveness of auto DMs but I hope it’s more negative than positive.

  2. Oh yes Mitch. Auto DMs are the worst. “Hey. Thanks for the follow. Check out my book- How to suck seed in social media on Amazon today!”
    Uh, no thanks and uh, unfollow!

  3. Mitch, I’m with you on this one big time! I do not like them at all. Why are you still use Tweetcaster? The new Twitter app works great now with multiple accounts and you can see who follows etc and do the RE-tweet with the additonal of your own words. I used to use Tweetcaster but no need now with recent Twitter updates.
    The only time I DM anyone is if I have a personal question or if I see a mistake in their blog, I don’t want to point it out publicialy if I don’t have their email. Otherwise I hit delete, delete, delete….

    1. I’m probably still using Tweetcaster because I paid for it and overall I’m used to it. I may try the Twitter app just to see but since I hate the webpage I’m not sure what I’m in for with the app.

      As for the DM’s… I hope these folks will stop, but if they think it’s beneficial to their marketing and such they never will… like popups (I had to go there lol).

  4. Hi Mitch

    I found this post and you via a comment you left on Adrienne’s blog, and just had to come and read.

    Auto DMs are my bugbear too. Detest them with a passion. I tend to DM the person back and tell them I’ll be unfollowing them. I’ve had one person apologise and say they were new (fair enough, but at least they listened to my reasoning and feedback), one refused to stop on the basis that they thought it was fine to annoy people if it meant they got their blog out there, the others I heard nothing from. So they’re probably not worth following either. I’m getting het up just thinking about auto DMs!

    I shall be adding this post to my ammunition for when new bloggers in our UK blogging group ask for feedback on whether it’s a good thing or not. Always handy to have some back up proof that people dislike auto DMs.

    (loving your comment policy too – just hoping my gravatar works!).


    1. Thanks for your wonderful comment Emma and it’s good to find someone else who hates the autos… so to speak. lol There’s one lady who writes pretty good blog posts and has followed me often because I haven’t followed her, and it’s all because of getting the auto DM’s. I even wrote her telling her about it but she’s never responded to it, which makes me think she’s not reading what I send her. That’s okay; lots of nicer people around. 🙂

  5. Hey Mitch,

    I think you’ve actually written about this in the past if I’m not mistaken. For some reason I recall you ranting how much you hated them back then so this is nothing new coming from you. LOL!!!

    I’ll also say the same thing I did back then as well.

    Now I don’t do them myself anymore but that’s only because the service I was using started charging and since that’s the only reason I used them I decided it wasn’t worth the money to me. Now when they are done properly they work fabulously but rarely does anyone do them properly.

    As a matter of fact, I haven’t had one DM cross my account that was done properly. What is properly you might ask?

    Thanking them for the follow and giving them the opportunity to brag about themselves. That’s right, it can NEVER be about you, it has to be about them. I had mine set up in this way and it’s grown my most popular post to over 600 comments in a span of four years. I got to meet some amazing people although a lot did self promote only instead of sharing with me and my readers who they were. That just goes to show you that people still to this day are not being taught the right way to do things.

    We’ll always have people like that though Mitch, it’s inevitable so your ranting will continue I’m afraid. As you know though you’re not alone, I rant about enough myself. LOL!!!

    Have a good end to your week my friend.


    1. Actually Adrienne, I’ve never written about it before. I wrote about automation across the board, but never tackled this specific thing. I have ranted about it often on Twitter though.

      Here’s my thing. Although I hate that the first time I talk to someone on Twitter is via a direct message, I will give an allowance to someone who first, doesn’t have it automatically sending me something after I just agreed to hook with them there, and two, when they mention my name in the tweet. That shows me it’s a real person doing and not automating it. See, part of the reality is that almost none of the people I write back to ask why they do it ever respond. That tells me that either they don’t care or they don’t have the guts to own up to it. In essence, what you said about it being all about them and not about the person they’re sending it to; ugh!

      Yes, I will continue to rant, but at least I have a reason for it. If I was one of those curmudgeonly folks who griped about stuff without a reason, I wouldn’t read me either. lol

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