To DM (direct message on Twitter) or NOT to DM is hotly debated subject. Many will tell you that you should NEVER, EVER use a DM. I am going to share why I believe they can be an incredible engagement tool when used appropriately!
But first a quick story to lay the groundwork for why I am addressing this right now.
Those that were at the Social Boom event a little over a week ago already know this but those that weren't there, you missed an AMAZING event! There were talks on topics like maximizing LinkedIn, how to close sales like never before, and how to use Pinterest to bring in leads and increase your business, just to name a FEW! (And if you missed the event, we've got a handful of flash drives left with the event's content, but most of them have been sold since I mentioned them last week)
In case that wasn't enough, our keynote speaker was none other than Gary Vaynerchuk, who gave a FANTASTIC presentation on creating engagement and building business with people via social media.
His talk was one of the highlights of the event!
But the next morning as I was sharing my Twitter success secrets, someone asked this question "what do you think of using an automated DM?"
I quietly laughed, thinking to myself, do I do this or not? Then I just decided to go for it! Yes, I was going to disagree IN PUBLIC with Gary Vee! Yikes, had I lost my mind?
I asked everyone this question:
"You guys want to hear me disagree with Gary Vee?"
People were dying of laughter when I asked this one! They were so surprised to hear me disagree with Gary Vaynerchuk! On most things, Gary and I speak the same speak but I do disagree with him on one itsy bitsy thing and I want to share with you what that is and why.
Gary talked about how important it is to search and engage daily on Twitter. He recommended around 1 to 2 hours per day, actively searching out people to follow and conversing with people, 140 characters at a time, with those who reach out to you. And I wholeheartedly agree with this!
But we disagree on one fundamental point. To DM or not to DM. Gary's advice is never to DM.
And I have to humbly disagree.
I absolutely believe that DM's, DONE RIGHT, fosters the right kind of engagement with your ideal client, and here's why. ..
There are only so many hours in the day. I'm passionate about making sure as you build a business that you keep time for the things that truly matter in your life. Work can consume you if you let it and social media adds another layer to your work zone so how can you still engage and build relationships in a way that is efficient from a time perspective?
When you get new targeted Twitter followers, time is of the essence for beginning the process of true engagement. Yes, you could send out a manual message to all of your new followers. In an ideal world, you would be able to do this. But there is only so much time in the day, right?
One of the principles of building strong businesses is for you to do the things you must do to build profits and to outsource the rest. And I'm here to tell you that DM's, done right, can be one of those things you outsource via automation.
I am NOT, however, talking about a DM that says something like, "Buy my product," or even the popular, "Grab my free . . .". I agree with Gary 100% that those kinds of direct messages are impersonal, annoying and spammy! No one likes receiving them and these types of messages can get you unfollowed and send a bad brand message. Don’t do it!
I'm talking about a DM that starts a conversation. One that is so carefully written as to appeal to your ideal client, that leaves him or her truly wondering if it's automated or not.
Are you ready to learn how to write that kind of DM?
3 Tips for Generating Leads and Massive Follower Engagement with DM's:
1. Write Like You Talk
This can be tricky, but it's one of the best ways to created DM's that encourage a response. Read your proposed DM out loud to yourself or to a trusted friend. If it doesn't sound 100% like something you would say in conversation, it still needs work.
2. Ask A Question
But not just any question. It has to be one that is related to your niche and one that cannot be answered with the word no. A simple yes or no ends a conversation. An open ended question or one with a small range of choices is best. My DM question is something along the lines of, "It's great to connect with you here – do you use social media for business or pleasure?" And I regularly get people commenting that they thought I wrote it just for them! This is what you are after! When someone responds to my question stating that they are using social media for business, my next question is ‘what type of business do you have?’ Now I have dialogue! It works! DM’s are a chance to connect with someone and open the door to a conversation. Questions are just that…a conversation starter!
3. Follow Up!
My DM message can generate upwards of 50 new conversations each day! And this is where the automation ends and the hands-on engagement begins. If you drop the ball when someone responds, your attempt at using a DM will join the ranks of just another spammy gimmick.
But if you take the time to respond to the people who answer you back in a way that shows you care what they have to say, you'll find your engagement going through the roof!
Who's ready to use DMs properly to BLAST your engagement on Twitter?
DM's done wrong drive me crazy when they just want me to DO something for them – click their link, like their page, buy their book! I started just posting a quick little corny joke and thanking for the follow and am getting more response! I think I've found my sweet spot 🙂
Thank you for such an excellent discussion of DMs. I love receiving good DMs and immediately engage. I hate getting those that do nothing more than try to get me to click to follow the person on another social media platform. I think that is not only very impersonal, but it's also very presumtuous! Just because I follow a person on Twitter does not mean that I want them cluttering my FB feed! I love the open ended question. I really feel like there's someone on the other end of that message.
I am on your side Kim. I love it when people are interested in me and I always think that they like the same. It is great to start a conversation
It sure is 😉
I have been anti-DM as long as I have been on Twitter (partially because of Gary V, and partially because I was immediately hit with spam from 80% of the people I first followed). BUT, I am finally re-considering my position. I just have to come up with something clever that adds value! Thanks for sharing, Kim! 🙂
Gary is in a unique ‘already built out’ influence position. It’s tough to manage growth and growing a business without some automation. It’s all in the approach though 😉
I am really glad you clarified this. I am still learning but I have had some engagement through DM by using your methods!
This makes a lot of sense; why should we bother people with a link or two when we even haven't contacted them in a proper way. Thanks Kim for explaining this the right way
I do not like being sold on the first DM I receive from someone. I find it really irritating. If DM's are going to be done, then I agree we must be mindful what we say as if we are knocking on the neighbors door ready to have coffee.
It’s all in the approach 😉
Very good information Kim. I think if you do it correctly it can be a very valuable tool. Thank you for writing this 🙂
I'm glad you shared this information Kim! Yes it is really an incredible engagement tool when used appropriately.
Glad it was helpful, Dawn!
Thanks for the vote of confidence 😉
I do take a different approach on some typical social media ‘expert’ stances 🙂
Mine your DM’s for those gold nuggets and I bet you will find a few 🙂
Everyone has their own opinion on DM’s and usually they are very strong opinions. I definitely value your opinion and you need to do what works for you. I am simply stating that DM’s work for me and why they work for me. We have used them successfully for 100’s of clients now.