Twitter is a great device for connecting with people. It can be lost in translation by the Social Media Elite what Twitter is supposed to be. They ignore the rules of traditional networking and just do “push” advertising through an Automatic Direct Message when it does not work.
There seems to be a trend for the Auto Direct Message Rant on Blogs. I know that I am not the first. This one is going to show you the good and bad of what Twitter can do for you or your organization. People seem to forget that an AUTO DM is a version of Spam and interrupt advertising. This is what, Seth Godin, speaks against, in his book Tribes. In today’s society, interrupt advertising isn’t working and it is counteractive against the rules of networking.
If Twitter is the combination of a cocktail party and message board. Why would you give out your contact card at the start of an event and NOT bother talking with the person? That does NOT build contacts and it is rude. These are going against all things networking in person, so why are you doing this online? If you have never commented to them on Twitter or even if you have why are you sending out these AUTO DM’s when you don’t even know who you are sending them too?
I have had two circumstances where I have met the person live and received the Auto DM. This is what ticks me off the most because I have made a connection with them and they don’t even consider me as a contact. When I went to a Social Media MI meeting I came across a person that is a Social Media expert. He Auto DMed me saying to join his Facebook page. Well if he had paid attention then he would have known that I was already on his Facebook page and would NOT have sent me the Auto DM. Then I could not respond back because he didn’t follow me. So that was horrible in all sense of the connection. Why would you want to connect with someone that is ignoring you in the Social Structure? He even has my business card but probably could not pick me out of a line up. Even if I were to comment on his pages and blogs.
Then I got an Auto DM when I first started. I didn’t have a clue and it said that I was his favorite. Well, that was a bad choice of words because when I ran into him at a Tweet Up he had no clue to who I was or what not. I thought I was his favorite. At the same time, I started to follow him for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So he said, “I was his favorite,” that is when I knew that it was an Auto DM. I checked him on it but he said,”I guess you don’t like Auto DM’s and that it is an efficient way of keeping contact. I disagree and believe that it goes against everything networking and connecting. How can you be someone’s favorite if you know nothing about them? If you took time to find out about them then you would know what was going on in their head and building relationships.
Which leads me to the good. Through Twitter you can build relationships that helps your business just by listening. I tweeted that I was looking for a 1950s Cadillac in Detroit. So Robyn Henderson who happens to be a member of the GMBlogs account on twitter and was online at the time. She happened to see my request and offered her service. It turns out that the Detroit Institute of Arts is the location for the Leukemia Ball the signature fundraiser for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That picture was perfect and they donated 12 pictures and I also had use of the archivist. Which would cost a lot of money if you were to get the copyright and paying the archivist for his services. It was a great experience and I recommend anyone to go to the GM Heritage Center. You can learn a lot and the place is available for private parties.
Twitter can be used to gain contacts and I have had a lot of good experiences but then every time I get an Automatic Direct Message I want to Unfollow them for that reason. Social Media is NOT about interrupt advertising. It is about networking and building valuable contacts either in your industry, your neck of the woods, or common interest. Think about how you network in person and translate to the online world. You might wind up more successful in your business practice because you will gain everyone’s respect by not acting like Spam.