I have a pet peeve. OK, I have several pet peeves. But the one I’m talking about today are auto DMs (direct messages) sent when you follow someone on Twitter.

The point of this short rant is that you should not try to sell someone something the second you’re introduced. Twitter is a great platform for meeting and networking with like-minded people, whether it’s for business or pleasure. Let’s say you’re using Twitter to meet new business people and form new working relationships in some way, shape or form.

Now imagine you’re attending a networking event in person. You walk into the room and before you even make eye contact with anyone you walk right up to a stranger and say, “Visit my website and buy my products!” You haven’t been formally (or even informally) introduced, you haven’t said, “Hello.” You haven’t had a brief chat to, at the very least, get to know the person standing in front of you to know whether or not they’d be remotely interested in what you do for a living.

There’s been a debate going on for years now about whether or not to use them. I, for one, don’t care if you use an auto DM … unless it’s anything like these:

Bad Auto DM 1Huh? Could you imagine approaching someone in a room and blurting this out to them without another word?


Twitter Auto DM Fail 2


Please don’t ask me to like you. It’s sad. And I’m not going to do it simply because you asked me to.

Twitter Auto DM Fail 3

Thank you captain obvious! I don’t need to be told how many followers I have. It’s not important to me and I’m already aware.



Twitter Auto DM Fail 5


Please don’t just lump me in with all your other followers. It couldn’t be less personal.


Bad Auto DM 6

This is like saying, “Forget small talk, let’s go back to my place.”



Twitter Auto DM Fail 7


Where do I begin with this? First, what the heck am I looking at? Second, what does “snowflakes” mean? And third, why would I retweet it for you?





Twitter Auto DM Fail 8That’s like walking up to someone during a social even and, without any other intro, saying, “Hi, I also attend this meeting, let’s arrange to meet there.”



Twitter Auto DM Fail 10



Another favourite … the double-whammy sales pitch! “Hey, I have no idea who you are, and I really don’t care. Just start doing stuff that will benefit me!”

Not gonna happen, dude.





Twitter Auto DM Fail 4I saved the best for last! Imagine walking up to someone in a crowded room and saying, “Hey, you’re pretty fat, want to hear about my weight loss solution?”


Social activities, be they online or offline are about meeting new people, learning about them and letting them learn about you. It’s about forming relationships. If, after all that, you truly believe your product or service may be beneficial to a specific person (or people), then go ahead and mention it. By this point you’ve developed a rapport and have built the foundation for the potential working relationship.