Are you a suspect of the automated direct message?

Technology’s rapid growth and social media’s ever-increasing expansion has created some interesting productivity tools. Social media monitoring and productivity tools allow businesses small and large stay up-to-date on what is happening in their industry.

Interestingly enough, technology has also made the average social media user sedentary, especially on Twitter. Just like the remote control created lazy channel surfers, some of these tools are creating social media couch potatoes. What I’m referring to specifically is the automated direct message.

To be clear, a direct message is kind of like a personal email (tweet, actually) that Twitter users can send to each other that are private and not publically seen. It’s a great way to connect privately with your favorite tweeple.

The issue is, companies are using new tools available to create automated direct messages that instantly send manufactured, impersonal messages to users once they begin following your brand. These messages are a great way to get un-followed because there is absolutely nothing “social” or relatable about them.

Direct messages should be the most personal way to communicate with someone on Twitter because it can lead to developing the relationship on a one-on-one level rather than on one-to-many.

Don’t just thank your followers and send them to your blog or Facebook page because you’re looking to meet an ad revenue goal or get more “likes”. That will not provide any value to your publics and could, in fact, hurt your company’s social media reputation.

If you want to thank your new followers, don’t be a bot. Put a person behind the message. Think about it this way, would you ever send an automated “Thanks for friend requesting me” message on Facebook? See…

One approach you can take is to check out your follower’s tweets for something you may have in common, or send a message on how you can help them out. Would you rather get a real response in a few days or an instantaneous, impersonal message?

Twitter may be about speed, but it should be done on the real, not automated. Never forget the “social” in social media.