D is for Direct Message

So there you are, chatting away on Twitter, maybe partaking in the odd hashtag game where you replace one word in a film title with the word arse, when you see a retweet or conversation go past involving someone who seems really interesting. You go and have a look at their profile and click on follow. They follow you back. You envisage many happy hours spent chatting, you’ll become best friends, they might even end up dedicating their next book to you, that’s how well you’ll get on.

Then, you get a DM. This is exciting as it means that they’ve probably just been scrolling through your tweets and are so entertained by what you had for breakfast, and your constant retweeting of funny looking vegetables, that they’re already contemplating a collaboration of some sort.

But no. They are one of those. The people who send you a DM containing a link to their book/website/blog, before they’ve even interacted with you. You feel cheap, used, worthless. Your hopes and dreams shattered. You will probably never trust anybody ever again.

Well maybe not all that, you’ll probably just be a bit cross, unfollow them and forget about it. But even so, it’s rude.

I have a huge pile of books next to my bed waiting to be read and quite a few on the kindle app on my phone. Lots of them are written by people I interact with on Twitter. Most of them I’ve bought, some I’ve been given, others I’ve borrowed. None of them have been bought as a result of being sent a link in a message. Same with blogs. I will find your book or blog all by myself thank you, sending me a link in a message is just going to make me want to unfollow you. The same way that putting a slimming leaflet through my door makes me want to go and make toast.

Has anyone ever made their fortune by pushing their books in this way? No? Right, then back off.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “D is for Direct Message

  1. I got really excited when I got a ”is this you?” DM from someone I really liked once, but when I clicked on the link it wasn’t me…So weird…

  2. Found this post from the #atozchallenge.
    Couldn’t agree more about sales pitches. You did give me pause because I send a DM containing a link to a post I wrote to another blogger that I really respect. I wanted her input, but now I realize that she might have thought, “Who the h*** is this?!”
    I’ll keep that in mind the next time I go to send a DM.

    • Thanks for reading.
      I think it’s ok if you genuinely want to know what the other person thinks about something, you’re wanting an opinion, not just sending links out automatically. There was some kind of interaction.

  3. Colin

    I thought DMs were private messages between friends and family–especially if you want to ask if they received the money you deposited in their account, or if they got an email you sent them. The kind of thing not everyone on Twitter needs to know about. If I was an author advertising my latest book, why would I do the DM thing? As you say, it gets the recipient momentarily excited, then disappointed, then upset at you. In my book, you win readers by being the kind of person people want to know, and/or by writing the kind of stuff people want to read. I’ve never made friends with someone by getting in their personal space an imposing my personality on them. I can’t imagine you win readers with this technique. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s it exactly. I’ve found lots of authors through Twitter and none of them have pushed their books on me, they hardly mention them, they don’t need to, they chat and interact which makes people want to read what they have to say. It’s common sense, ar apparently not.

  4. So funny, I’m new to all things online and this is great advice, Thanks and happy A to Z.

  5. Same to you! I can’t get onto your blog from your pic, am I doing something wrong?

  6. It’s ok, managed it! There now!

  7. I am also greatly annoyed by the auto direct message with links to buy someone’s book after you’ve just followed them. In a few cases, I’ve unfollowed them right away.

  8. This is a hilarious but very true post. I was on twitter years ago with some-k followers and had that happen to me. Some would just be rude and say “I followed you, now follow back” without saying anything else to me lol! Recently, I signed up for a new twitter acct and only have 4 followers so I don’t have that problem yet.

  9. Unfortunately, I don’t even look at DM’s anymore. They once were a great resource to chat with fellow professionals, but then turned into just another way people use to promote their products or a way for unscrupulous people to hack your account.

    • Sadly, yes. I used to get excited about them (bit sad) but now it’s more likely to be someone telling me they’ve seen a ‘hilarious’ picture of me..

  10. Your writing style is hilarious and I completely agree with the build up that seeing the message notification gives me and then seeing that it is really just junk – not personal at all. Unfollow, Unlike, Unfriend (that’d be a great “U” post).
    Cheers from Brandy at brandysbustlings.blogspot.ca

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