I love Twitter. In 140 characters or less, I am now able to interact with like minded people all over the globe. As with anything that grows in popularity as fast as this form of social media communication, there are going to be some headaches along the way.
Now…I like to search out other bloggers on Twitter and connect with them. I wish I had the time and resources to search and hand pick every single one of the several thousand Twitter users on my follow list, but the reality of the situation is that is not possible. So…I end up using a service called TwitSniper to find these interesting Twitter users for me.
Unfortunately, while this method makes my use of Twitter much more efficient, it has rendered my DM feature completely useless because of other users setting up an automatic DM for every new follower. Now…do not take this the wrong way. I am not saying you are a terrible person and I am going to unfollow you right away if you have an auto DM setup on Twitter. What I am saying is that the auto DM is a huge annoyance that needs to go away! There are other, more effective ways, to attract attention on Twitter and auto DM’s are not the way to do it.
When I sat back and thought about it, I have not seen one auto DM that actually made me want to click on their link or reply. 99% of them start with these exact words…”Thanks for the follow!”. If I see that line of words one more time, I think I am going to go insane. So…how can you attract attention on Twitter for your website/blog/brand/whatever you are spending all of your time on without annoying others with an impersonal auto direct message.
Attracting Attention On Twitter Without An Auto DM
Your Twitter Background – Your Twitter background is probably your biggest asset as a Twitter user. While none of the links will be click-able, you are able to grow awareness around your brand in a non-intrusive way to those that actually want to see it! This equals higher conversion rates and it makes you interesting. If you are still using a standard Twitter background and you want to actually grow a profile on Twitter, you are behind the 8 ball.
Need some ideas? Check out this post on Smashing Magazine on Effective Twitter Backgrounds.
Occasional Relevant Tweets – If you are wanting to get more exposure for your brand, ebook or blog, write occasional, interesting Tweets that are related to what you are trying to push with a link. The click through rates will be much higher and…thus…the conversion rate for new subscribers and ebook downloads will be much higher! Think about it this way…are you really putting your best foot forward with an auto DM or does it look like spam? Odds are…it looks like spam, so a better converting method would to actually provide worth as it is related to what you are trying to accomplish.
Be Interesting - By being different and interesting on Twitter, you are going to attract more Twitter users…plain and simple. This means that you are not on Twitter to solely push your goods on people. You are there to create a meaningful profile that portrays who you really are. If you expect to create an account, throw up a bunch of links promoting your brand and then sit back and watch the conversions roll in, you are going to fail miserably and become one of the naysayers preaching how worthless Twitter is. Guess what…just like anything else in life, you get out what you put in. If you put in crap…you are going to get even worse crap out of it.
Reply – Seems simple enough. Reply to other Twitter users tweets! This interaction is going to make the other users want to check out your profile and what you do. Instead of pushing everything you do on people that don’t really want it, attract them to your brand through interaction.
Have A Great Profile – Twitter gives you the ability to write a little bit about yourself and include a link to your website that can be seen on your homepage. If you want high converting Twitter click throughs, have a great, interesting summary of who you are and what you do. DO NOT use the words expert, guru or “I can show you how to gain 1,000 Twitter followers a day”. You should put how you are unique and what you do. Those are your couple of lines to convert that Twitter user into a click to your website and sounding like spam is going to get them to jump off your page.
Now…I can sit on my high horse an say, “if everyone took these tips, I could use my DM function again!”. In reality, this is not going to happen and we are going to continue to be flooded with “thanks for following” messages for the life of Twitter. The web is all about first impressions…have you thought about how people see you for the first time?