In my Time to Tweak Your Twitter Strategy article, I asked what strategy people were following for thanking people when they tweeted or re-tweeted your blog posts. I had read a couple of articles where bloggers had touted the value of not thanking them. Instead of thanking them, the suggestion was to re-tweet something of theirs. There was a lively discussion in the comment section but what surprised me the most was the number of people who send direct messages on Twitter. So, my question to you is, how do you feel about Twitter direct messages?
My View of Twitter Direct Messages
Personally, the DM folder of my Twitter account is basically the dead letter mailbox to me. I rarely check it because it’s a catch all for spam. It’s seldom that I get any real email and I don’t communicate that way. (I apologize if you’ve ever tried to connect with me via Twitter DMs and you never heard back.) On the other hand, LinkedIn and my contact form here are the two best ways to hear back from me as soon as possible.
When I reviewed my 20 most recent DMs, I found that 19 of the 20 were thanks for following messages. The 20th person didn’t even thank me. Their DM was “Here’s how to make $300 a day with ZERO Investment.” Every DM with the exception of one included a link for me to do something. Granted, 2 of them were links to connect on LinkedIn and 1 to like them on Facebook but that is not the way to invite someone to connect. What’s social about an automated message to like, follow or connect with someone?
What Was Said About Direct Messages
Not everyone has the same negative experience with direct messages on Twitter that I do. Here are a few examples from the comments on my Twitter strategy post:
I’d be interested in knowing how Mario creates a bond with his followers using direct messages on Twitter. I think it’s safe to assume that he isn’t sending automated impersonal messages.
I’m curious why Jeannette receives so little spam. She has a follow/follower ratio similar to mine. However I tweet over 5 times as often. Does the frequency that I tweet encourage spam? Is there a correlation between the number of followers you have and the amount of spam that you receive?
Karen appears to be in the same camp as I am when it comes to DMs on Twitter. (I guess it’s not a good idea to try to connect with either of us in this medium.) BTW – Karen has almost 6 times as many followers than I do which supports the assumption that the more followers you have, the more spam you will receive.
What Do You Think?
Actually, that quick look at DMs got me thinking. Why would I want to be associated with anyone trying to hawk ZERO investment scams? Instead of rewarding spammers by following their links, I just unfollowed both of the individuals who sent me the most flagrant self-promoting messages. (So, those DMs totally misfired for them.) I don’t want to be associated with them.
What are your thoughts? Do you use Twitter direct messages as part of your social media strategy? Do you view DMs as a legitimate method of communicating or do you not use it at all?