How many of these examples of direct messages ring true in your Twitter inbox?
“Hi, thanks for the follow, check out my blog here ………….!”
“I hate auto DM’s, but not as much as we love interacting with new followers! Check this out ……………”
“Hello, thanks for connecting. I look forward to tweeting with you! -via some random application immediately telling you that there is no genuine communication behind this DM”
Maybe you are a social marketer and you actually use an automatic DM service? I can tell you now, 100%, if your DM looks anything like the examples above, I immediately ignore it and begin to debate whether or not I’m going to unfollow you; because if you have already set a precedent whereby you have to automate your responses, why should I try and make an effort to talk to you either?
Your DM could be as pleasant as anything, “Hi there! It’s great to connect with you! I look forward to finding out more about you :).”
Why? Because I have got hundreds of other messages just like it and it gives me no opportunity to reply with the basis of an interesting discussion.
There has been one direct message I have replied to in as long as I can remember and if you have read my last blog here, you will see that what stemmed from this message was a long and interesting conversation. “Is Twitter dead?”
This immediately caught my attention. Just three words amongst the piles and piles of false pleasantries. An open question is posed, and we can discuss and build that all-important first connection so many others are struggling for. So many social marketers will tell you time and time again “It’s about building genuine connections with your audience.” Of course it is! But unless you are genuinely interested in what your audience has to talk about you’re never going to create that connection.
The key to a first direct message, is an open-ended question. Not just “how are things with you?” But a thought provoking question to get a person to open up to you.
Try having a go at this and see how many more genuine connections you make on Twitter. I’d love to hear about your results!