When it comes to being effective on social media, Direct Messages (DMs) can help spread your message and garner you new clients if done correctly. Unfortunately, if their done incorrectly, you could be making yourself look like email spam. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make your DMs more effectively to ensure they are read instead of ignored and deleted immediately.

1. Never Ever Under Any Circumstances Automate Your DMs

Under no circumstances should you automate your DMs. Direct Message automation is when you setup a direct message to send if a certain action is triggered. When I see DMs, they are typically triggered by a “follow” of an account, but they can be set to send under other circumstances. I’m going to be quite blunt here. These DMs are spam. They’re sent about 30 to 60 seconds after the follow, and they usually contain irrelevant information, like a sales pitch or an offer of proving for-hire services or selling a product. No one wants to see an automated DM. Not Ever. It’s even worse if you send an automated DM using a free service, because you know what’s at the bottom of that DM? Sent by X service. That’s right. No matter how well you write that DM, you’re free service will out your automated DM.  If you want to be taken seriously as a professional, do not ever send these.

2. Never Send an Unsolicited Link

Under no circumstances should you ever send any sort of unsolicited link. This is a link to a website that you sent in a DM that was not requested. It doesn’t matter how legitimate or well known you are, anyone who has half a brain won’t click on that. There’s too much of a risk for grabbing viruses and maleware for anyone to click on any link. Furthermore, doing this will probably get you blocked immediately by the receiver, which completely destroys whatever you were trying to do.  If you are going to link to things, you would be better off putting those in your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook feeds, not in someone's Direct Message box.

3. Stop and Think About Your Message

Before you type your message, think about it. What are you going to send as your first message? Is it attention grabbing? If your first thought is to type “Hi” or “How are you?” STOP! There is no need to see if someone is awake or to start an online conversation with small talk. No one has time for that. It is most important to start the conversation, not waste someone’s time looking at a message that simply says – HI. What are they supposed to do with that? The individual has no idea what you want, or if what you want is even relevant. Not to mention, no one wants to spend 10 minutes in small talk trying to figure out what you need. Just state it.

4. Determine if Your Message is Relevant

Now that you’ve thought about your direct message and you know what you want to say, determine if your message is relevant. When I say relevant, I mean relevant to the individual who will be receiving your message. Do you need help that the individual can provide? Do you need their services? Did you see something in their feed and want to ask a question that isn’t appropriate for comments? Did you buy a product or service and need to talk to the individual about it? If you answered yes to any of this or your DM falls under anything smiliar, your message is relevant. If your sole purpose is to sell your goods or services or chat, your social media feed is the best place to put those posts.

By following these DM social media rules, you’ll be more likely to receive a response and start a professional relationship.



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