Saturday, 19 May 2012

Sending an Automatic Direct Message on Twitter to New Followers – Does This Make Twitter Users Turn On or Off?

To follow my debate about ‘having an animated icon on twitter’ and whether it benefits you, I decided to ask people on twitter about their feeling on recieveing an automated direct message once you follow someone.

Personally I don’t like them, I don’t think they fit in with twitter and the people that use them, this is because I find them to be robotic, short sales pitch with generally no real value.

When I follow somebody on twitter it’s because I find their tweets interesting, I want to contribute to a conversation or they are person behind them has similar interests to myself, I don’t follow them in hope of them forcing sales pitches down my throat from the get go, I want engagement and to speak to a human. The following reasons are why I believe they shouldn’t be used:

  • They are impersonal and intrusive, I see them as being quite similar to receiving junk mail once you sign up to something you are generally interested about.

  • It cheapens your brand. People are increasingly becoming savvier, and find it quite insulting to receive a direct sales pitch so soon after interacting with somebody.

  • They don’t have the desired impact for a marketer. If people are interested in you and what they have to offer they will research you further themselves, they don’t need to be spoon fed information.

Here are some of the tweets I recieved in response to the posed question:

@AirConTechLtd wrote - '@tim_eem It's a little arrogant really that they have to little time to care about their followers!!'

@pinkspiderweb wrote - '@tim_eem #debate No. I don't like automatic DMs, they're too impersonal '

@nimuesnestgifts Wrote – ‘@tim_eem annoys me so I usually unfollow immediately! May as well be a bot if using auto DMs as far as I'm concerned

It’s not really come to any surprise but using automated Direct Messages are not popular, my advice would be to switch them off and communicate to your new followers personally, as this will get you a higher response rate and adds a personal touch which twitter users crave. If you don’t have time to do this then don’t do it, no Direct message is better than having one which irritates people

How do you feel about them? Have you had any success in using them? Comments are appreciated!

The socialjamm team.

Does having an animated Twitter Icon Benefit you and gain you followers?

I personally believe that having an animated twitter icon is a bad idea, and many people on twitter agreed with me. I can see the logic behind a company or person having one, and why they think it would make their tweets stand out in search results and a twitter feed, which it does, but I strongly recommended that you change it to a standard image if you do have one, the reasons for this are as follows:

  • It looks cheap. Web design has moved on from the days of the '< marquee >' tag which would make your text scroll across your webpage, as this was seen to be more of a distraction from the copy on the page, which as we all know is the reason why people have visited the page in the first place.
  • It’s intrusive, a bit like an advert on TV its very flashy and loud, to gain your attention, but it’s not what the viewer has tuned into view, again strengthening the the fact that it shoud be your tweets that gain your page attention.

There are some of the responses I received: to the question this question I tweeted ‘Do animated #twitter profile pictures attract or distract you?’:

@almalbon – Wrote: @tim_eem Animated profile pics are cheap and gimmicky. Let your tweets do the talking. Quality content is king

@Bizitalk Wrote - @tim_eem Come down on the side of distraction and slightly annoying I think!

In short, you should allow your tweets to gain you more followers, rather than employing a cheap, loud tactic to get your profile noticed. Great copy is always key

The socialjamm team.
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