The Folly of Twitter Automatic Direct Messages

Robert Terson

I once posted a blog entitled “How are You Using Social Media?” In it I said: It’s been my experience that when I follow someone on Twitter, I either get no response at all, or I get a “Thanks for the follow,” along with a link to something I can read or purchase; no expression of interest about me, none whatsoever. This nonsensical approach, which lets me know the person I’ve expressed interest in by following has no interest in me other than to see me as a customer to sell something to. I find this appalling, to say nothing of being steeped in sales ignorance. It defies the sales axiom that it’s all about the customer, not the salesperson or what he’s/she’s selling.

What I didn’t say is many of these automatic direct messages tell me that what they’re offering is the opportunity of a lifetime, or similar such hype. Allow me to give you some example direct messages, with and without the hype; I’ll remove the actual links to avoid embarrassing anyone:

  • Thanks for following. May I offer you a FREE in-depth report on how I took my home biz to $19K/mo in only 4 mos? Link
  • Thanks for the follow! Have you tried my app iPhone or iPad App yet? See more on Facebook – Link
  • Thanks, much love to you 🙂 As a token of my appreciation, I share with you the opportunity of a lifetime: Link
  • Thanks for following, much love to you 🙂 As a gift of gratitude, here is an amazing opportunity for you: Link
  • Thanks for following. Can I show you how I make 5-figures monthly blogging? It’s very simple. Link
  • Greatly appreciate you following me 🙂 As a token of gratitude, I reveal to you the opportunity of a lifetime: Link

Well, you get the idea. Guess what I do with this kind of automatic direct messaging? I roll my eyes and ignore them. Actually, I roll my eyes at all automatic direct messages. They turn me off completely. In the same post I referenced above, I also said this:

There’s nothing wrong with trying to sell your products or services via social media; you should be doing that. I’m suggesting, though, you first get to know the person you’re dealing with, establish a semblance of a relationship before you try to get the person to be your customer. There’s a reason it’s called social media, folks! It calls for you to be social! If you show no personal interest in the people you’re interacting with, you’re missing the entire point of social media. You’re leaving your followers with your coldness towards them, and people don’t buy from people they feel are being cold to them.

Or are you the exception to that rule?

I didn’t think so.

If you want to argue that you don’t have the time for my kind of personal interaction, so be it; but a word to the wise: time spent doing something the right way is never wasted—but time spent doing something the wrong way is always wasted.

Show a genuine interest in people and they’ll show a genuine interest in you; and they just may wind up buying something from you.



Get your free preview of Chapter 1 from Selling Fearlessly.

Check out the 82 reviews for Selling Fearlessly at