How To Lose All Of Your Twitter Followers With Just One Tweet

44 replies
Hey,

After being quite active on Twitter a few months now, i'm definately starting to see it's amazing advantages for my online business.

However, there's one thing which often goes overlooked, and which I will explain here...

The Auto Direct Message.

This is not a rant, but more of a help thread, as I want YOU to be as successful as you possibly can.

So let's begin...

The 'Auto-DM' is one of Twitter's most powerful tools for Internet Marketing, yet most people use and abuse this terribly. This is one of the BIGGEST reasons that it's frowned upon, as well as the fact that people hate the impersonal approach to social networking.

And that's what it is, a social networking website. Not a constant advertising billboard. People will hate you for it and unfollow you.

However, if you phrase it right by using good copy, you'll see:
  1. An increase in conversation between you and your followers
  2. An increase in click-through rates for your links
  3. A resulting increase in conversions.
Don't forget, you only have around 115 characters (depending on what auto-dm service you use), so make every word count!

But what is an example of a bad Auto-DM?
Anything which asks a user to take action before you've even attempted to get to know them. Here's a few common examples.
  1. Hi! Check Out My Blog >>
  2. Hi! Buy My Latest Product >> [insert affiliate link here]
  3. Get this now, only 10 left!!111
  4. Capitalising Every Word Like This To People For All 115 Characters

...And a good Auto-DM?
Anything which tries to involve the follower, whether it's through conversation, or complimenting their products/services/personality. Remember, make it personal.
  1. Hey, thanks for the following! What are you currently working on?
  2. Hey, nice Twitter page! How are you?
  3. Hey, nice to meet you! Do you own a blog I can check out?
  4. Thanks for the add! YOU ROCK!!!

But why should I ask about other people if i'm the one who wants attention?
In short, the more attention and value you give out to other people, the more attention and value is returned. Think of it as social karma.


So let's get some honest feedback and a little online workshop going...

How many of you use Auto-DM's, and what is yours currently set to?

Go!

- James.
P.S. I'll keep an eye on this thread to help you out
#followers #lose #tweet #twitter
  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
    I hate the fake ones as much as I hate the spam ones.

    I don't use auto DM, but the ones I am bothered least by are:

    Hey, thanks for the follow. This is what I do, let me know if I can help.
    Facebook or LinkedIn link follows

    stuff like:

    Hey, you're cool! I love what you are doing, keep rocking. Check out my blog at ....

    that bugs me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Teresa Coppes
    Best DM I received (and I'm not really sure if it was an auto one or not) was from Bev Clement. She asked me how I like my chocolate! It wasn't spam or link to anything she was promoting but it was engaging and made me want to reply back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Yes mine is auto DM

    I ask if people like chocolate. If they answer back I will talk about chocolate and then ask for their view on my blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    I don't use auto DMs and don't plan on it.
    Signature

    siggy taking a break...

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  • Profile picture of the author jayden.fellze
    I like twitter, it's easy to play with and you can connect to people that easy, with just a little tweet.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
    Not into autos here, either. Don't use 'em.

    IMers really don't need 'em. Other niches, maybe OK. But IMers into lots of communcations as it is, so no autos needed to add more to the flow.... please
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  • Profile picture of the author EndGame
    I use an auto DM.

    I tell the person what I do and ask them who they are and what they do.

    I have had a lot of people message me back as a result, and when they do I do my best to answer each and everyone of them and start a conversation.

    I also try to take an active interest in other people's tweets.

    I don't outright disagree with auto dm's, I think they are a good little tool if used in certain ways. Like people have said, don't treat twitter as a bilboard and you'll be on your way to making some good contacts.

    Its not what you know, its who you know, and thus far twitter has helped me make online business contacts faster than any other service, and that is whilst using the auto dm. So I have to say I am happy with it.
    Signature
    "Better a student of reality than a master of illusion"
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Do you have an "auto message" you use EVERY time...

      * you meet someone new on the street or at work or anywhere?

      * anyone knocks at your front door?

      * you answer the telephone?

      Very likely, no.

      Then why use one on Twitter?

      Just asking!

      All success
      Dr.Mani

      I tweet as @drmani

      Follow me, if you want - but I WON'T follow you back!
      Why not? Coz of my Twitter 'Rule of FORTY'
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      • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
        Originally Posted by drmani View Post

        Do you have an "auto message" you use EVERY time...

        * you answer the telephone?
        Yep. I use voicemail to screen all incoming calls.

        In some circumstances having a standard greeting
        works well.

        John
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        John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
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    • Profile picture of the author IdeaSponge
      I have been playing with Twitter over the last few weeks. I use an auto DM and am trying a few different things. For instance on one account I've greeted them and then invited them to introduce themselves with a link to my site. It has worked well and I don't think it is shady. It is a music blog and I am just looking to build a community and meet other music fans.

      For another more money oriented site I've been using it to thank them for the follow and to make them an soft type offer like "Thanks for the follow and hey, if you want some ____, go here now <link>". To early to tell how well it is working but the CTR has been alright and I have had a few sign-ups to my news letter.

      Overall, I think it is all relative to the niche you are in and what type of people you are looking to connect with.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
        I was using an auto DM but I took it down. I didn't like it when I was getting cheesy DM's asking me to "check my blog" so I didn't want to do the same thing. At least be a teeny bit creative if you're going to use an auto-DM.

        I would advise against fake messages like: Hey, nice Twitter page
        If you haven't seen their Twitter page don't lie by saying you have with an obvious auto-DM everyone gets.

        Carrie Wilkerson's auto DM was at least clever and funny so that bodes better than the others:

        YIPPEE a new friend! (YES, this is auto...I wanted to greet U!) -- to get into convo, reach out @barefoot_exec publicly
        Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Endres
    "IF" you are trying to be a marketer then get over your distaste for marketing and use it as a tool.

    Twitter is insane. It is growing like nothing else on the internet is and the bigger it gets the faster it grows. Why would you not want to take a part in the economy that is evolving in and around Twitter? What kind of sense does that make if you are an internet marketer hoping to make a living on the net?

    The question should only be how you use a tweetback. What way makes you feel great about offering something?

    If you had an unlimited supply of gold and could offer anyone who wanted closer association with you 1 pound of free gold would you make the offer?

    The answer defines you. If no then you need to learn the basics of internet marketing and start over from where you are now.

    If yes then you only need to find the offer you really feel good about making and find a pleasant way to incorporate that into your marketing strategy on Twitter.

    Twitter is a fun social environment,.. but hey,.. it's still a thin veil for business...
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    "Observation is an act of creation through limitations inherent in thinking"

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    • Profile picture of the author John Hocking
      I have seem a few auto-dm's lately what were a link to a short youtube introduction video. I did actually like these because it gave me a chance to get to know them better.

      I guess it is time to create my own intro video.

      Have you seen any DM like this and if so, what did you think of it?
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      • Profile picture of the author JamesFrancisIM
        Originally Posted by John Hocking View Post

        I have seem a few auto-dm's lately what were a link to a short youtube introduction video. I did actually like these because it gave me a chance to get to know them better.

        I guess it is time to create my own intro video.

        Have you seen any DM like this and if so, what did you think of it?
        Yep, here's mine:
        Tips for making an awesome Twitter intro video:
        - A personal greeting from you to your follower
        - Talk to the individual, not the masses. Nobody likes being treated as another number
        - Humour
        - Show you're a real person
        - Smile!

        Hope i've helped


        - James.
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        • Profile picture of the author Pam M
          I don't like auto DMs at all. The ones I've received are so
          obviously generic, I'm certain I'm just another number being
          sold to. Same thing with when I get a follow with someone
          that has 9, 997 followers - I feel they are only interested in
          adding me to a list to jack up their numbers.

          I'm on several gurus list, but the really good ones "talk" to
          me like they care - and those are the ones I open. If I do
          get a DM from a Twitterer, if they at least address me by name,
          (whether automated or not) I at least appreciate that little bit
          of consciousness.

          pam
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    I don't agree with the premise- you will not "lose all your followers" just for having an auto DM. If that were true many people would stop using them.

    I don't use them myself, but I don't see what the big fuss is. I can easily ignore DMs since they are on a separate page and can easily delete them. Sometimes I do check out the links in the DMs.

    It's funny- if you join a list, you aren't surprised to get a "Thanks for subscribing" welcome email... so why get upset about this?

    The whole premise of following someone is that you are supposedly interested in what they have to say- so to get upset at receiving a message (which you gave them permission to send) makes no sense to me.

    Twitter is the only place where people get upset if someone says "Thank you"
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  • Sending an auto-DM on Twitter isn't really anything like sending an autoresponder via email. With autoresponders, they've given you that information, so they're expecting an email from you at some point.

    If they follow you on Twitter, all they really signed up for is adding your tweets to their stream. Yes, you do have the capability to direct message them, but that should be reserved for important communication that can't occur within the stream -- not an instantaneous marketing opportunity.

    Social media is about conversation and authenticity. Even if you're using it as a marketer -- which is likely what the vast majority in this forum are doing -- you will get a better response if you automate less of that conversation, and try for something unique and "real".

    We'd suggest sending new followers an @ to get a conversation going in the stream -- that way, their followers will see you talking to them and vice versa, and everyone gets to meet new people and increase their community.
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    The official account of the Internet Marketing Center. Stop by InternetMarketing.com to connect -- we'd love to meet you.

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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      Originally Posted by InternetMarketingCenter View Post

      We'd suggest sending new followers an @ to get a conversation going in the stream -- that way, their followers will see you talking to them and vice versa, and everyone gets to meet new people and increase their community.
      Apparently you haven't noticed that people also get upset at others welcoming new followers that way.

      In fact, you'd probably be better off with the auto DM since you'd only potentially upset the new follower, rather than all your old ones who can see the tweet.
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      • I should clarify -- not a "hey, thanks for following" or "welcome to my stream" @... that just feels like another form of automation. Nothing that seems like a standard reply really fits in the social landscape. That's why I said "conversation".

        It's simple to get conversation flowing -- just respond to one of their tweets or questions or links with a relevant reply or a positive comment. Starting a conversation and letting them know you're there is the best way to ensure that they know you're happy to have them as a part of your community.

        Sure, it takes a little more time, but you get much more conversation -- AND exposure -- by carrying on those kind of valuable exchanges.
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        The official account of the Internet Marketing Center. Stop by InternetMarketing.com to connect -- we'd love to meet you.

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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Despite all the opinions and preferences that are
    bandied about in public discussion, I'll stick with
    doing what actually works.

    John
    Signature
    John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
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    • Profile picture of the author drmani
      Best advice, imho... for this issue, and others.

      Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

      Despite all the opinions and preferences that are
      bandied about in public discussion, I'll stick with
      doing what actually works.

      John
      Over the 20 months or more I've been using Twitter,
      I've tested endless things - and given up using
      auto-DMs.

      Test it and see if it works - for YOU.

      There's just ONE rule for Twitter... and it's this:

      There are NO rules for Twitter

      Enjoy your tweet-a-tweet!

      All success
      Dr.Mani

      I tweet as @drmani

      Follow me, if you want - but I WON'T follow you back!
      Why not? Coz of my Twitter 'Rule of FORTY'
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  • Profile picture of the author topnotchservices
    hate auto-dm's as you can always tell they are fake and I also hate those YouTube videos that IM make acting like they just want to be your friend and help you out. Everyone knows that it's just a prep for a sale somewhere down the line
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    • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
      Originally Posted by topnotchservices View Post

      Everyone knows that it's just a prep for a sale somewhere down the line
      This is a marketing forum, if you think
      there's something wrong with selling,
      why are you here?


      John
      Signature
      John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
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      • Profile picture of the author blogonator
        I agree..There is absolutely nothing wrong if they are prep to sell something in the video.
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        Hasta la WinVista, Baby!

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      • Profile picture of the author topnotchservices
        Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post

        This is a marketing forum, if you think
        there's something wrong with selling,
        why are you here?


        John
        Nothing wring with selling at all. It's when the presale is filled with garbage of how much of a favour they are doing you by offering this 'once in a lifetime product' that bugs me.

        Straight sales, no filler is always the winner.

        Fake testimonials, fake price reductions and fake 'limited time offers' seems to be the norm for most IM's these days.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Gram
    An auto DM is a bad DM and I never recommend that anyone do auto DM's on Twitter. It's funny, I can always tell a "real" DM and all of the auto DM's really make the real ones stand out from the crowd.
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    • Profile picture of the author topnotchservices
      Originally Posted by Paul Gram View Post

      An auto DM is a bad DM and I never recommend that anyone do auto DM's on Twitter. It's funny, I can always tell a "real" DM and all of the auto DM's really make the real ones stand out from the crowd.
      Agreed. The automated ones, unless they are really well done, are easy to spot a mile away.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    Auto DM is a lot like an answering machine--you know the number you called, but the message is for everyone.

    Best to split test your own audience and count the un-subs from there. I think that a personalized acknowledgement of a new friend is nice. Or if the Auto is really unique. Otherwise, people are getting tired of bot communication, I think, and they're savvy enough to know the difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    The reason I dislike auto-DMs is most of them are just so cheesy and badly done. They don't convince me of anything. It's like getting a form letter in the mail. It's not that it makes me angry, it just doesn't give me a compelling reason to take action.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
      I had one that simply said: "Nice to meet you! " and I had responses from almost 25-40% of my new followers. Worked pretty well.
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  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    I'm not fond of them - they make it hard to distinguish real direct messages.

    Does anyone know a way to mass-delete them? I really don't feel like spending the time doing this manually, especially as you need to confirm each deletion.

    Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author spv618
      Very great information here. I know tweetlater.com has many DM features but mass delete doesn't seem to be on there. Maybe they'll add it eventually. Individual deletion and confirming sure can take a while.
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      • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
        Actually, I think Tweetlater does let you block auto DM's, I'll have to check.
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  • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
    At the risk of allowing my utter Twitter noviceness to shine through - how do you set up an autoDM?

    Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author dsmpublishing
    I spent two weeks experimenting with auto dms when i was writing my twitter ebook and found that those that simply involved the visit my blog got very little response and offering something for free the suited their needs without optining in created a wonderful stream of viral traffic.

    I do get a lot of traffic through from my link on my profile though so may be people should make sure that it is something really relevant.

    Why not send them to your about me page on your blog in your profile then people can find out more about you and on this page you can offer a free viral product on there?

    I dont have a problem with auto dms as long as there not trying to sell you a product and its not a load a rubbish. Like the get 16,000 followers on autopilot in 90 days from someone thats been on there for 6 months with just 500 followers - why would you want to, however if that person had 20,000 followers you would take them seriously!

    sam
    X
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Hangen
    I'm convinced that you can't please everyone, but its funny how some people really get offended by a single "marketing" tweet. 90% of my tweets are conversational or sharing other people's information, but just recently I sent out a tweet about a new product and 10+ people unfollowed because of 1 Tweet. Some of them were marketers on this forum...go figure. So lesson learned, there are ways to disguise promotions, but I wanted to see just how far I could go before people drop me. I guess it isn't very far. There are also those, like on a newsletter, that are better off your list than on it.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesFrancisIM
      Oh yeah, another thing.

      When making an auto-DM, don't just say...

      "Hey, thanks for the following! I look forward to reading your Tweets"

      I've just looked down my list of DM's and this is all I can see, one DM after another.

      Make yourself stand out from the crowd, be different. Give something for people to remember you by, whether this is through a welcome video or a strange but captivating question.

      - James.
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  • Profile picture of the author tinman2207
    I am not a fan of DM's but this guys is a bit special: Dwight_KSchrute


    Tinman
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  • Profile picture of the author matthewd
    I completely ignore all of those auto DMs.

    I also hate those phony ones that "try to involve me"
    just as much.
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