So you’ve set up your Twitter Account or you’ve been going for a while and you just need to automate a little.  Afterall, we can’t be online 24/7. There are 3 Twitter Direct Message No No’s that 80% of people on Twitter do when direct messaging and it’s driving people away.

People that really, really love Twitter will tell you that they ‘hate’ the automated Direct Message when it’s done distastefully.

However, I really love something that Gary Vee said – “If you are automating, tell people you are. They aren’t idiots, they know when a message has been automated”.

With that said, I do personally send an automated message and I try and infuse as much of my personality into it as possible while disclosing that it is an automated message. Then I try and connect with the person as soon as my schedule allows.

I haven’t found that many people unfollow me because of it. If you are automating, do it tastefully.

What should you not do on a Twitter Direct Message? – the 3 No No’s

Think of any direct message as meeting someone for the first time in real life. What would you do?  What would you say?


Lets analyse this by going through the 3 Twitter Direct Message (DM) No No’s and we will do real life comparisons.


  1. Don’t send me to another link on the first message.

This one was inspired by a Twitter Chat that went on between @LauriRottmayer and I. She had this awesome Tweet pinned to her profile which said ‘ Please don’t auto DM me to like your Facebook page after I follow you.  I’d rather get to know you before I like you.’

These Direct Messages would go something like this:

‘Thanks for following me. Check us out at xxxx for any xxxxx needs in (xxxx) place. OR Hey, you’re awsome so follow us on our Facebook page to learn more about us.’

Essentially it’s a DM saying, like my Facebook Page or read my latest blog or join me on another Social Media Channel.

Of the three Twitter Direct Messaging No No’s,  this one isn’t the worst and if done tastefully, you could still get away with it.

For example, Sam Hurley and other great people have connected with me and given the option of connecting on LinkedIn as well.

Ok so hold on. Why doesn’t this feel bad?

Here’s the difference, sending me to your Facebook Business page or Blog is impersonal, it’s about you and your business.  As we have not established a connection, I immediately think that you are trying to get more likes on your page or more views on your blog. I don’t know you at this stage, we have only just connected and you are taking me somewhere I don’t want to be.

Imagine meeting in real life for the first time and you say ‘hi there, my name is Silly, (no offence intended to any Silly’s out there), go and have a look at what I do and tell me what you think.

Yeah nah! Seriously – this has become one sided. There’s no conversation happening.

However, the connection to LinkedIn seemed a little better and in a real life situation would be of mutual benefit.  The similarity in real life would be – Hi Wanita, great to meet you but in case we don’t see each other on here again, shall we stay connected somewhere else?’ – Heck that’s even a great Twitter DM right there.

Word of caution on this one though – if you are asking someone to connect on LinkedIn or another personal place, and you don’t accept the connection, that’s just rude. Don’t forget to send a nice personal message saying where the two of you connected.

  1. Don’t sell me your training or any product for that matter.

This one is probably my least favourite because I am in the education field and when you are trying to sell me a Twitter Course that can get me thousands of followers, and your profile does not reflect this, it’s deceptive.

I would prefer someone that said, ‘Hey, thanks for connecting, I’m trying to make money by selling someone else’s products, so here is the link if you want to help out’.

But seriously, neither is good Direct Messaging practice. Especially, on your first interaction.

Remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust.  You have not at this point established any trust, and I’m probably disliking the ‘pushy sale’ a lot.

Let’s take this into the real world again.  In this scenario, it’s like meeting Madlyn Sklar or Samantha Kelly – the Tweeting Goddess and saying ‘Hi there, nice to meet you, soooo I have a training session to sell you that shows you how you can grow your Twitter following but right now I only have 1200 followers. I promise the training really does work’.

These ladies, by the way, are real Twitter experts.

The point is, in the real world you would be first be having a conversation to find out about the person. How could you possibly know what what they need without knowing their credentials.

I’m always intrigued with these messages and go and have a look at the profile – not only for followers, but how the profile is communicating with other people. Twitter, as with any of the other Social Media Channels, is about communication.


  1. Don’t tell me to assess your website or any other part of your business.

Messages that start with, ‘Thank you for connecting and could you please click on my website and give me feedback’, or test out my new APP.

Unless you’ve blown me away or intrigued me, I’m not going to take action. Again, at this point, you have not established trust with me and you are disrespecting my time.

Back to the real world – it’s like a person connecting for the first time, wiping out their iPad and saying

‘Hi John, take a look at my iPad and let’s scroll through my website and other APPS and you can tell me what you think? I know it’s your time and you get paid, plus there are other people you should be mingling with but hey, if I can get away with it, I will.


In closing, if you are going to use an automated message, tell people and make it a tasteful message. Put your personality into the DM and then as soon as you can, engage with them properly.

Twitter is a great place to connect and get news, but always remember that there are people behind the Twitter Account. Treat them with the respect you would expect.

If you have any other analogies, comments or Twitter DM No No’s, pop them in the comments box below.