Ticked Off on Twitter: How Not to Thank Me for Following

Posted on August 14, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Communications, Content, Human Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , |

Get 4100 Twitter Followers

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People use Twitter in different ways. Some go for volume. Get as many followers as possible. This is often part of a monetization strategy and utilizes some automation program or builds from following others’ lists, which is fine.

I’ve made the decision to build a smaller community on Twitter based on mutual interests and the ability to gain and add value. My community is focused on two groups: other marketing professionals and small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMBs), the kind of companies that my business serves.

Perusing my Twitter stream gives me access to information about my profession and my target audiences that I might not ever connect with otherwise. It’s a great listening station. It also affords me the opportunity to give back information and experience-based knowledge, as well as to engage with people who may be able to refer business or to hire me directly. The way I approach Twitter and other social media is in exactly that order.

Before I follow someone, I check their profile to be sure they meet the above criteria. When someone follows me, I also check their profile before following back. Before I thank someone for following me, I check their profile so that I can reference something specific about them that I’m interested in knowing more about or that we share in common.

That’s one of the benefits of cultivating a smaller group of followers. You can get to know them over time. I recognize almost everyone in my Twitter stream and have a good idea of the kinds of information they’ll share or be interested in.

So what ticks me off? Automated ‘Thanks for following’ direct messages. They’re cold and impersonal to me. I feel this way: Why bother thanking me at all? You don’t really care about who I am or what I can share with you. You just connected with me based on some keyword to build your followers. It’s about you…not us. If you are going to thank me, at least make it for the right thing.

I especially hate it when the auto DM contains a further ask: Thanks for following. Now connect with us on Facebook, too, or visit our website, or check out how we can make you a million online with our great software. It reminds me of how annoyed I used to get when I’d drive two hours to visit my dear, departed grandmother and the first thing she’d say to me when I got out of the car wasn’t, “Hello, darling,” but, “So when are you going to come again?”

Call me old fashioned, but I like the idea of community and getting acquainted first. Let me know why you’re looking forward to following each other and I can better deliver on my end of the bargain!

How do you use Twitter? How do you feel about auto DMs that say thank you and sell you more at the same time?

Image ‘Get 4100 Twitter Followers for $12.95″ is from redplasticmonkey under Creative Commons license.


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8 Responses to “Ticked Off on Twitter: How Not to Thank Me for Following”

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Great post Ellie. 90% of the time, I am ‘live’ but I do confess to liking the Buffer app to help me when I am away.

I am looking for a wider mix of contacts to give me longer arms around the world, but don’t like the add me approach, nor the auto DM.


Recently I’ve started reaching out to some additional interesting communities. In fact, that’s how you and I met in the LinkedIn Jazz in Business group. I’m also looking for targeted lists put together by people whose content I respect. Maybe I’ll follow up soon with a post reporting how it goes. Let me know how your expansion efforts go and I’ll add your feedback, too. Thanks for your contribution, Peter!

Ellie Becker E.R. Becker Company, Inc. 203-852-8077 – O 203-858-4147 – C Blog – http://www.newprwordsandmusic.com Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/elliebpr

Great post Ellie and I agree with you 100%… I like the more personal “Welcomes” and I look at my new followers stream for great info to RT or comment on as well!

I rarely look at my DM’s because of the immediate sale pitches!

Thanks! Glad to know I’m not the only one. Sometimes when I write something like this i wonder whether i’m being too curmudgeonly. But it really does annoy me, when i send a sincere outreach and get a canned sales pitch in return

Totally agree with you that auto “thank you” DMs are unnecessary.

– Christina

Thanks, Christina. I’m now following you on Twitter. Looking forward to sharing more mutually beneficial info!

Excellent post, Ellie. Thank you for sharing it. I used to use a service to auto follow and auto DM, but I realized that it was a mistake and stopped. Now I try to check new followers and personally reply and follow when able and appropriate. I sometimes appreciate auto DMs, when they include some sort of “bonus,” but usually they just annoy me now.

Nate, thanks for sharing your ‘Tale from the Dark Side!’ ;-D Good to have the confirmation of experience!

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