Your Automatic Message Doesn’t Impress me

I was following back some people on Twitter this morning, and shortly after I received a DM, (Direct Message for those out there not so Twitter savvy), from someone I had just re-followed. Before I even opened the message I knew what it was. It was a generic

“Hey, thanks for following me on Twitter, I’m pretending to be really interested in what you’re doing by telling you to chat with me, even though chances are slim that I’ll answer you and we can have an engaging conversation. Really, I’m just using this to plug links to my book/blog/etc. in hopes that you might go check it out!”

While this is a good way to reach all of your followers, I’d much rather have an actual person send me a message, who I know might actually share a decent conversation with me.  However, I am curious as to how many people try to start up a conversation, and receive no answer. I’d imagine that a person might set up automated messaging because they get so many new followers a day that it becomes hard for them to keep up. So, what if every person did respond? How are they supposed to keep up with that?

Writing is a business, in some aspects; especially if one is self-published. So, writers need to have a decent sense of customer service, correct? What kind of customer service is it if I ask a question or give a comment or feedback and there is no reply? Certainly that will not encourage me to check out whatever they have linked me to.

Perhaps this is more a matter of product placement. I’m sure just about everyone checks their DMs, and even when they open it and see it’s just another automated message, those links are still there, and the idea is still planted in their head that they can go check it out. Such clever marketing tactics we have now.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Are there any positive aspects to automated messaging? Does anyone use automated messaging, (even outside of Twitter)?


10 thoughts on “Your Automatic Message Doesn’t Impress me

  1. YES. Absolutely. Sometimes I’m even tempted to unfollow them because of it. Kristen Lamb preaches this all the time and it is SO true. Writing is a business. Good businesses have good customer service. Smacking me in the face with your self-promotions is NOT good customer service. I make it a point to have conversations on Twitter and answer comments on my blog for this very reason. I send out a lot of messages and thank you’s on Twitter, and hardly receive anything in return. I think a lot of people are just busy, but it’s safe to assume that many of them are just there to self-promote. They have no idea how to build a readership from the ground up.

    Sorry that turned into a rant. This has been something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, and it’s really been bothering me that people just don’t get it! Thanks for writing this post.

    • Yeah, I had no idea I would be blogging about that until I received one this morning!

      You make a lot of good points. I’d much rather build up my readership by building a real relationship with people, not by spamming them with links.

  2. I think it depends on how it’s done. I use an automatic message as a conversation starter. I don’t give any links or ask them to check out any of my stuff. I don’t use it to talk about me (which is where I think most auto DMs go wrong). Most people who follow me tend to be into reading, writing, cooking, or jokes, so my auto message reflects that and I’m trying to suss out which of those things they are. And I have a LOT of conversations because I try really hard to respond to those who respond to me. Consequently I actually have established some base level relationship via conversations about books or something in publishing or food or how really, you’re often funniest when you’re not trying to be. But you’re absolutely right, most auto DMs don’t do this.

    • You make a good point, Kait. It certainly is different if you interact with your followers when they ask you a question. I just don’t understand how some people can expect others to buy their books when they don’t act in a social manner.

  3. Have to agree with you and Karen that those auto-DMs just don’t hit the spot with me. I quickly delete them and never remember the avatar kindly from that point on. So, actually, the person is in a negative marketing position with me. I’d have to have my most trusted friends jumping up and down on my head to get me to read those books, visit those websites, or “like” that facebook page.

    It’s bad ju-ju.

  4. Automated messages are fine for answering machines. Live conversation tools are no place for that. Writing is important and building a reader base takes time and care. A connection between writer and reader is vital and fragile. I think writer’s that make the effort to extend themselves toward their readers are the best kind. I never truly understood those that went into seclusion just because the felt like it. I want to meet my readers, I want to reach them and create connections. I think that is what the core of writing should be about, connecting with others.

  5. I don´t use automatic messages, and I find them very unpersonal, I think it is better just to write your selves every time.
    I am writing a book but I don´t follow blogs to get people to follow mine, I follow them because I like what the owner of the blog writes.

  6. Absolutely agree. There’s nothing more irritating than having a robot answer you, which is what this basically amounts to. They may as well write: ‘I am too lazy myself to actually value your approach’. If people value their followers, they’ll reply to everything personally. It’s polite, and it’s not rocket science. Personally I write every single tweet manually – and I know a lot of other people do too. Thanks for sharing.

    Matthew Wright

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