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Sending automated direct messages (DMs) through third-party apps, such as DM Pilot, is one of those things that can cause quite a debate. Some people love them. Some people loathe them. Can they be annoying? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean they have to be which is why we’ve put together our simple, yet essential list of best practices for when setting up your auto DMs:

Chill Out with the Promos

This is the most important thing to bear in mind when writing your DMs. You want to use your initial DM to build a relationship with your new follower. You’d never start a conversation in real life pushing your latest product, or asking people to like you on Facebook. You’d start it with a simple hello.

Imagine an email landing in your inbox that read ‘This free gift is perfect for you’ followed by a bit.ly link. Would you click it? Unlikely. Treat your DM as that first, cold email to a potential customer.

Just be Friendly

Chilling out brings us nicely onto being friendly. This is the first ever interaction with your new follower so keep it friendly and conversational. Just a quick hey, thanks for following and if they want to chat then to just drop you a tweet or reply to your DM. Most people will know your DM is automated and we’ve actually seen people mentioning this in their auto DMs as a conversation starter.

Keep it Short, Sweet and to the Point

Twitter may have extended DMs from the site-wide character limit of 140 to a whopping 10,000 but that doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Keep it simple! No one wants to open a DM to see an essay. So don’t give them an essay. Send a few lines that are easy enough to read quickly.

Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest…

Stop mentioning them! One of the big traps people fall into when setting up their DMs is they think instead of pushing their blog, they’ll just push another social profile. Either way, you’re pushing something onto your new follower. You need to work on that relationship before you push anything to them.

You may be thinking ‘what is the point of sending auto DMs then?’ The advantage of using DM Pilot is that you can set up multiple DMs to go out at set intervals (much like an email auto-responder). This gives you the benefit of building a relationship with your new followers before you push any form of promo on them. Within the DM Pilot app, we provide plenty of hints and tips on how you can take full advantage of each DM you send.

If you have any questions, then feel free to fire them over to us by either leaving a comment below or sending an email.