Friday, December 4, 2015

Netiquette IQ Blog Of 12/4/2015 - How To Send A Direct Message On Twitter

Proper Etiquette 101: How To Send A Direct Message On Twitter
If you look at them at all, chances are that you’ve noticed that Twitter removed the 140-character limit on its direct message feature recently (August 12 to be exact).
The change was made, according to Twitter, to make the “private side of Twitter even more powerful and fun.”
It was definitely a welcome change for many.
I mean, have you ever successfully had a REAL conversation with someone over DM WITHOUT having to send multiple messages because you hit a wall at 140 characters?
Unfortunately, if you give some people an inch they’ll take a mile.
I had a recent conversation with someone and noticed that the messages, sent about one a day, were being BURIED by the many messages that said something to the effect of, “Thank you for following me. For more information about ME…
I’ve always found these messages to be frustrating, but she pointed out that they seem to be worse now that the character limit has been expanded (and we were forced to take our conversation to email, instead).

The question is: is it even okay to send direct messages?
What about automated direct messages?
Are they completely off limits, now?
Keep reading to learn the proper etiquette for how to send a direct message on Twitter.
DON’T send DMs that push your own agenda.
This is really what it comes down to, at the end of the day.
If all you’re doing is thanking people and then going straight to pushing your own agenda like telling them to check out your website, then you’re wasting your time because all you will do is annoy people (including me) and instead of getting more Twitter followers, you’ll actually begin to see you follower growth shrink.
DO use DMs for private customer service issues.
Twitter is a great place to go for customer service, and now that companies can opt in to receive DMs from anyone (even people they aren’t following), it’s even easier to communicate with customers.
Now that DMs can be longer than 140 characters, it may often be easier to describe an issue in a DM rather than a tweet, especially if it’s something the customer wants to address privately.
Holding these conversations over DM also keeps the entire conversation in one place, which makes it easier for everyone.
DON’T send people links that they don’t ask for.
This is somewhat similar to my first “don’t”, in that you shouldn’t be pushing your own agenda by sending people links to your other social media sites or your website unless they ask for it.
It also means that you shouldn’t invite someone to communicate with you on another platform like Facebook (unless you find yourself in a position like I did where your DMs are being buried; then they’ll likely understand).
DO use auto DMs WISELY.
I’m probably going to go to Twitter jail for just typing those words.
However, I have to tell you that I’ve had a lot of success with using DMs to start conversations.
The key is that you either need to be providing value or sending something that is curiosity driven to get a conversation going.
It needs to be all about building relationships.
Currently I’m using an auto DM that thanks people for connecting with me and asks if they’re using social media for business or pleasure. And it works!
I get a large amount of Twitter engagement within DMs and BUILD RELATIONSHIPS there.
That said, if you are using auto DMs to push your own agenda then I completely agree with the many marketers who are vehemently opposed to using them.
However, if you leverage direct messages strategically, they do work and you should give them a try.
Final Thoughts
If you are sending any kind of DM (automated or otherwise) that doesn’t contain value, then stop immediately. This is not the way to sell on Twitter.
However, if you are interested in using them strategically as a means of building relationships with people online, even influencers who might miss your tweets, they can be a great option.
Just make sure that you give value first and that you put your own agenda on the back burner.
Are you using any kind of automated DM?
What do you feel is the proper etiquette on how to send a direct message on Twitter?

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