5 Awesome Direct Messages (And Why You Should Use Them More Often)

Are you using Twitter's direct messages in your marketing? Here's how!

Let’s be honest: Direct Messages (DMs) on Twitter are not usually part of a brand’s marketing strategy. At least, not in a successful way. As we explored last week, there are lots of brands using them to annoy their customers by spamming them with sales pitches and desperate pleas for attention. However, there are less annoying, even valuable and pleasant, ways that brands can use DMs as part of their marketing toolbox. Here are five ways you can leverage DMs to your marketing advantage:

Awesome DM #1: Personalized support

Is your customer having trouble with your product? Rather than engage in multiple back-and-forths publicly (which can sometimes be embarrassing for both you and the customer you are trying to help), why not help them privately? DMs are the perfect place for customer support that doesn’t need to be aired to the whole Twitter-verse.

Example: “Hi [name], how about we take this to direct message? We can help you more quickly this way. Can you please explain the problem again?”

Awesome DM #2: Large-group event planning

Whether you want to meet up with your friends for coffee or with those conference attendees you were chatting with earlier in the day, DMs are a great place to organize. Because you can add multiple people to a single DM, you can wrangle a group of up to 50. And since Twitter’s 140-character limit (in public tweets) would prevent you from adding more than 5 or 6 usernames in a single tweet, this is a much neater way to chat to a large group.

Example: “Hey all, I don’t know if you remember, but we connected yesterday morning after Greg’s keynote address. Is anyone interested in meeting up for lunch to continue our discussion?”

Awesome DM #3: Get quotes, feedback, interviews

Journalists, bloggers, and brand managers can use DMs to ask for testimonials and quotes. Sometimes this can be done publicly, especially when you know the recipient will say something positive about your brand or topic (after all, that helps to build social proof!). But if you don’t already have a relationship with the person you want to reach, or if you’re unsure whether they will participate, DMs are a nice, discreet way of reaching out.

Example: “Hello [name], nice to virtually meet you. I noticed that you downloaded our ebook, and you shared it with your network on Twitter earlier this week. We’re looking for any and all feedback about its contents. Do you have a few minutes to share what you thought of it?”

Awesome DM #4: Introduce like-minded accounts

You’ve often thought that Bob and Ryan would have a lot to talk about, considering that they are in the same field. They might even find a way to collaborate together, and with your business! So why not use a DM to introduce them to each other? DMs are a private way to connect two or more people or brands. And while introductions can be done on a variety of channels, DMs are great because they give each participant instant access to the tweets the others have recently sent – providing an at-a-glance glimpse into their interests and personality.

Example: Hi Bob and Ryan! Since you are both in the videography space, I thought I would introduce you to each other. I’ve worked with you both, and really think you’d have a lot to talk about – maybe even collaborate down the road. Ryan, I know Bob was looking for a lighting pro and I think you just might fit the bill! I’ll let you guys take it from here.”

Awesome DM #5: Checking in with your VIPs

Your best customers deserve a little special attention now and then, and DMs are a great way to personalize your engagement with them. If you have a list that contains your VIPs, why not check in on what they’re tweeting, and send them a DM to follow up if something catches your eye?

Example: “Good morning [name]! We noticed that you tweeted about a new feature you’d like to see from our product. We’d love to hear more! Care to share the details of your idea?”

Each of these DMs takes a different approach to networking and customer engagement, but they share the common thread of personalization. Unlike their spammy counterparts, they are genuine attempts at building relationships.

Do you have any other ideas for effective ways to use Twitter Direct Messages? Share with us in the comments below!

Photo credit: PeterJBellis via VisualHunt.com / CC BY