Sending automated welcome messages to new Twitter followers is the social media equivalent of drunk driving.
I can’t think of a more dangerous way to treat new contacts. Oh wait. I just thought of one. Sending an automated welcome message that includes a link to another site so you can sell stuff to them. That’s worse. But you wouldn’t do that, would you?
Just to be clear — we’re talking about automated direct messages — also called DMs. These are private messages that can only be sent between two accounts that follow each other. Auto DMs are preformatted messages that are sent automatically by a third party supplier. An auto DM welcome message sends the same words to every new follower.
SocialOomph is one of the biggest providers of auto welcome DMs. Even they know this practice is despised by some. To their credit, they’ve published a way for us to prevent welcome DMs from landing in our inbox. All you have to do is follow @optmeout, wait for them to follow you back, and then send them a DM. I have a huge amount of respect for SocialOomph for doing that.
TrueTwit, on the other hand, not so much. There are some days where I get five or six requests to validate my account on TrueTwit. Yes, daily. Unlike SocialOomph, the only way to stop receiving TrueTwit spam is for me to sign up for the auto DM service and spam all of my new followers. No thank you. I refuse to do that to the nice people who want to follow me. If there are a few robots among them, there is absolutely no harm to me at all. I just don’t follow them back.
Here’s How To Find Out If You’re Spamming New Followers
Some people set up auto DMs and then forget they’ve done it. It would be easy to do because you don’t receive a notification each time a DM is sent on your behalf. To find out if your account is sending out automatic messages, go into settings and select apps. Every app that has authorization to do something with your account will be listed there. If you see any that you don’t recognize or that you no longer want, just click the “revoke access” button.
A Better Way To Welcome New Twitter Followers
How do you welcome new Twitter followers without automation? Set up your Twitter account to send you an email notification each time you get a new follower. Once a day, send out one or two tweets mentioning your new followers’ handles and thanking them. Or send a bulk FF tweet. FF stands for Follow Friday — the traditional way of promoting others on Twitter by suggesting others follow them. If you get too many new followers to do this on a daily basis, create a filter in your email program to send all the new follower email messages into a folder. Once or twice per week, send out a thank you or welcome message to all of them. You can include multiple Twitter handles in each message like the one below:
— Caleb Bacon (@CalebEatsBacon) September 21, 2013
If the thoughts in this article make sense to you and you feel like sharing, here are a few Twitter messages you can send out now simply by clicking the link.
“Friends don’t let friends send auto welcome DMs” <== Click to tweet
“SocialOomph we love you for helping us stop auto welcome DMs” <== Click to tweet
“Here’s why you shouldn’t auto DM on Twitter” <== Click to tweet