As the Social Media Community Manager for Kuno Creative I review anywhere from 50 - 100 twitter direct messages (DMs) per day – quickly deciding which require action and which require deletion. This equates to about 10 minutes per day between all accounts which is nearly an hour every week of time wasted.
99% of DMs are Time-Wasters for Both the Receiver and the Sender
It's not a good use of your time to carefully write and distribute a DM* containing any of the following messages:
- It’s a time-waster if you try to impress the recipient with your sophisticated polysyllabic word choice. Here's an actual example where only 2 words have been changed: “You may now synergistically learn from the turn-key maestro in kinetic strategic personal management and coaching.” Huh, What?!
- It’s a time-waster to send DMs touting your brilliance or worthiness. Everyone thinks they’re smart and no one freely admits they tweet only junk.
- It’s a time-waster to claim to be THE ULTIMATE social media expert. True social media professionals understand the fluid nature of this communication shift, and just like #2 above, no one freely claims they stink at social media.
- It’s a time-waster to solicit answers to a survey.* No one has the spare mental bandwidth or time to answer questions posed by a virtual stranger.
- It’s a time-waster to ask people to connect on other platforms.* A reciprocal follow on twitter does not indicate an interest in your facebook page.
- It’s a time-waster to send DMs promising overnight success, the secret to weight loss, or an invitation to join a MLM. Most folks know if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
- It’s a time-waster to ask someone to review your business plan in a DM.* Would you ever go up to a stranger at a face-to-face networking function and ask them that question?
- It’s a time-waster for you to set up an automated “thanks for the follow” DM promising that you will follow back real soon – especially when you ALREADY follow them. That’s just sloppy.
- It’s a time-waster for you to DM a blatant advertisement* – especially when it’s a commercial for your latest eBook outlining the Dos and Don’ts of social media. Building rapport is the first step in quality social media interactions so it's apparent you don't know the dos and don'ts.
- It’s a time-waster to state you hold the key to gaining 20,000 followers in two days when YOU only have 349 followers. That just doesn’t add up.
Setting up automated DMs isn't a Social Media best practice - it wastes time, too. Perhaps the biggest time-waster are the SPAM DMs stating something like "You seen what this person is saying about you? [link] terrible things" (actual DM). You may be tempted but never click on that link. It's a not-so-clever ruse to get you to download a virus. If you discover that your account is sending out these DMs automatically, it means you've been hacked and you should change your password immediately. Twitter makes it easy to change your password, simply go to your settings menu and click "password."
Recently Chris Brogan unfollowed everyone on twitter because he claimed to be receiving hundreds of these time-wasting DMs every day. This bold action on Chris’ part was not well received among some of his followers who viewed the action as decidedly anti-social. When I first learned about Chris’ massive unfollow, I also thought it was a bit unfriendly. But after taking a hard look at the twitter DM facts and the amount of time wasted, I think he may be on to something.
*especially when it’s a first contact after a follow
Twitter DM photo by psd