In the early days of my Twitter usage I semi-randomly followed a bunch of people, hoping they’d follow me back and boost my number of followers. Because I followed so many people, I ended up seeing a lot of those Twitter autoresponder messages or auto-DMs. They usually say something like, “Hey, thanks for following me! You can check out my blog here.” But some were just extraordinarily terrible. I saved those :)

Below are 18 really, really bad examples of these automatically-sent DMs, along with some commentary from me as to why they’re so terrible.

Note: All names and URLs I’ve replaced with “XXXX” to protect the innocent.

1. Hey! Thanks for following! I’m a big fan of yours too!

Ummm… No you’re not. You don’t know me. Before I followed you, we had zero contact.

2. Twitter it’s great! But would love to connect with you on a more personal level on FB. Please check out XXXX.

“Connecting with someone on a more personal level” just sounds creepy, even if that creepiness wasn’t intended. I wouldn’t know, though, because I didn’t want to take that chance to connect.

3. hi,how are you?my names is XXXX and you?im from Brazil and you?hugs

I deeply respect the fact that English isn’t your first language and that you’re tweeting in English anyway. That’s awesome. But I’m pretty sure there are spaces in Portuguese, too. Oh, and you can see my name just by looking at my Twitter account…

4. Friends are known by the company they keep.

Yes, you are very wise. And your epic little autoresponder message did nothing but clog my inbox and make me unfollow you just out of spite.

5. Just wanted to say THANKS for following me in a different way, so brought you this free million dollars video – http://XXXX

You know how some things just sound too good to be true but actually ARE true? Yeah. This isn’t one of those things, and it makes you look like a desperate, sketcht scammer.

6. Hey neighbor, tweet, tweet, good to meet!

This one’s just a bit too corny for my liking.

7. Thanks for following. I’m mostly ’bout writing but you might enjoy my S(t)weet Movie Reviews, too.

This kind of goes along with the last one. Yes, we all know that this is Twitter and that the little messages you send out are called tweets. You don’t need to work in those words at every possible opportunity or insert them where they wouldn’t otherwise be used.

8. Thank you for the follow.I will follow back. Watch this video http://t.co/XXXX . have an awesome day!Energy and Light

I try to avoid clicking on links that don’t tell me what to expect. But thanks for the light and energy!

9. Hi and thank you for following me! It’s very nice to meet you and I’m looking forward to your tweets… XXXX P.S I invite you to visit my bl

Wait… YOU are looking forward to MY tweets? But… Didn’t I just follow you, not the other way around?

And the only thing you really need to remember about Twitter is that you’re limited to 140 charac

10. Details at www.XXXX.com

Details about what? Is that really the best pitch you can give me?

11. Real friends don’t spam their followers! I am sending this DM to followers I want to know. Learn more about me here: http://XXXX

Actually, you are sending this out automatically to everyone that follows you. Real friends don’t lie.

12. Thanks 4 the follow! U r a star like me! Sending yo pink sparkles *****, stay tuned for fab comments & eProducts!

[Insert wide-eyed emoticon here]

13. Hi! Thnx 4 th #Follow. Wht a gr8 pleasure. I look 4wrd 2 stayng in touch. If I cn hlp or support u n any way, pls let me know. Hve a gr8 wk

Wow. Just… Wow. My brain hurts.

14. Hi….

15. cool

16. Hello.

All three of these serve ZERO purpose apart from annoying the snot out of me. If you’re going to send out an auto-response, at least just ATTEMPT to make it somewhat interesting or informative instead of just a waste.

17. This Wonderful THING called the Internet Has Connected US! Let Me Share This With You…http://t.co/XXXX

Oh, so that is what this THING is called…

18. You’re so sweet! Thanks for the follow! Your name is inscribed on my heart! ~XXXX

This one’s just too sicky-sweet. Not my style.

Creating a better autoresponder message

Now, I’m not a fan of these auto-DM things in general. I don’t like them or use them or recommend them. But if you DO decide to use one, please just make it as beneficial as possible to both you (sender) and me (receiver).

If I were to use one of these, I’d offer something of value. This could be a link to to a particularly awesome blog post of yours or to a free ebook or something else of value. In my opinion, you just look like a hustler (in the negative connotation, Jk!) or scammer if you link to a sales page.

Once you decide what the offer is, make it as appealing as possible. Use appropriate capitalization and punctuation. Use an appropriate tone.

So my Twitter autoresponder thing could look something like this:

Be sure to check out my popular (and free, no strings attached!) ebook, 101 Ways to Battle Blogger’s Block: http://goo.gl/Naa2P

Make sense? And it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with something better than that, either.

If you’re going to inconvenience people with your automatic messages, at least try to make it worth their while!

Questions!

  • Which one of these do you like or dislike the most?
  • Do Twitter autoresponder messages bother you?
  • Do YOU use a Twitter autoresponder message when people follow you? If so, what does it say?
  • What should a Twitter autorepsonder message say or not say?
  • Do you ever click on links in these auto-DMs? What makes you click or not?