I’m not quite sure what I think of Twitter’s Direct Messages (DMs). Are they annoying? Sometimes. Do I let them sit unread? Quite often. But I’ve also received great tips for articles on AllTwitter and insights into things that I often tweet about in my DM inbox.
The DM is an enigma on Twitter. It can be a useful way to reach out to someone on a more personal, private level and connect with them in a more meaningful way. Or it can be used to promote yourself, annoy your new followers, and otherwise poison a potentially great relationship on Twitter.
If you’re using DMs as a way of reaching out to new followers, great. But if these DMs aren’t getting any responses, chances are you’re doing it wrong. Here are 3 reason why your DM didn’t get a response.
It sounds like a canned message
Automation is enemy #1 to anyone who sends out Direct Messages on Twitter. If your DM sounds at all like it came from a cookie-cutter template, it will be tossed aside like the junk mail it is.
Sure, you might want to thank someone for following you or offer them a way to learn more about you, but in my opinion, these things should be done publicly on Twitter via @replies and @mentions. Someone new to following you doesn’t want to find “Thanks for the follow! You can also “Like” my Facebook page!” in their DM inbox as their first correspondence with you. It’s bland, boring, and will likely not only get ignored, but it will also get you unfollowed by some tweeps.
No call to action
So you’ve kicked the DM automation habit (good for you!), but you’re still not getting that many responses to the DMs you send out. It could be because you lack a call to action.
If you’re not giving your follower something to do – by asking a question they can answer by responding to you, asking for their feedback – they will simply read your DM, mutter a little “mmhmm” and move on.
A call to action can be anything from a question to a link (although make sure it’s not just a link to sign up for your mailing list, give them something useful), and will increase your chances of getting a reply – if it’s useful.
People hate overzealous vacuum salesmen. The ones who come to your door, shoulder their way into your living room, sprinkle some dirt on your floor and show you how their product is the only thing on the market that can suck it up.
And just like in the real world, virtual salesmen have to watch how they interact with their potential customers. It’s fine if you’re using Twitter to sell something, but if someone opens their DM inbox and the first message they’ve ever received from you is a sales pitch to buy, buy, buy, they’re likely going to ignore it… and quickly unfollow you.
(Email image via Shutterstock)