Imagine this scenario (don’t worry, it won’t be a stretch), you log into your favorite social media site and see you have a message waiting. Your mind begins racing because just yesterday you pitched that blogger you love an idea for a collaboration. Just as you suspected the message is from the blogger! Excitedly, you click on the message in anticipation of their response. The future of a potentially fruitful relationship hangs in the balance. Then it happens, your hopes and dreams are quickly dashed to bits. The message is an auto-response pushing her latest book. No mention of your pitch anywhere. You instantly feel deflated. Now, imagine how your followers feel when they are on the receiving end of your borage of spammy auto-DMs. The person they believed was truly interested in talking to them, is actually a bot touting said person’s latest wares.
Sure. You can see why one might believe sending a welcome message to all your new followers, offering them your latest and greatest big idea in the form of a pdf is a great idea. In theory, it is a good idea, just not in practice. It is easy to believe that we have something to offer that’s so special everyone who follows us, simply must gaze upon it as early in the process as possible to solidify the fact that we do, in fact, impart value into their lives. If you take a step back and really think about how this practice is perceived by the reader, it becomes a much less spectacular idea.
Think of it like this:
Here you are meeting someone for the first time. They say hello and reach out to shake your hand and you immediately shove the new book you’ve just written into their hands and tell them how great it is and how they should buy it.
You wouldn’t do that, would you?
If you are sending out auto messages to each and every person that follows you, you’re doing just that, and it rarely gets a valid response if any at all. Most people dislike the auto-DM because it has the same effect as a pushy salesperson, not to mention, there is zero personality or charisma involved. Not only does it make you seem pushy when you start offering something right away, it is also the equivalent of throwing a wet blanket on the hopes of anyone who is trying to reach out to you as was pointed out earlier. Which, I’m certain, is the exact opposite of what you were trying to achieve.
If auto-DMs aren’t the answer, then what is?
If your mission truly is to add value to the lives of your followers, then you shouldn’t be above crafting a meaningful message when you want to connect. That’s not to say you must shout out every single person that follows you. An all-encompassing “thank you and welcome to all my new followers” will suffice. The whole purpose of social media is to have conversations and share information. Often someone will follow you and you will see that engaging with them directly will benefit one or the both of you. When that opportunity presents itself, do your homework. Check out their page and see what they are all about, then take the time to sit down and write them a message to let them know who you are, what you do, and why you genuinely believe the two of you should have a conversation or exchange ideas. A bot can’t accurately convey how interesting a person you truly are and you certainly don’t want someone that can add value to your life turned off before the relationship even has a chance to begin.
Will this method mean more work for you? Yes. Most things that are worth accomplishing are rarely effortless. Making real life connections should be a priority for anyone with a business online or otherwise. Listening to what others have to say and crafting an authentic and genuine response is the best way to build meaningful relationships on the internet. So, deactivate that autoresponder, and start putting the “social” back in social media.