How Productive are Twitter DMs Anyway?

When I began seriously promoting my Twitter account, thus following as many targeted tweople as possible, I noticed I was inundated with DM’s, or Direct Messages.  Who really reads them?  In the beginning, I read and responded to a few but found it very daunting.

As a busy person like everyone else, I’m honestly more inclined to pay more attention to mentions and retweets.  Offering thanks with a return mention or retweet is the polite way to give back to your follower, whether new or not.


Direct Messages seem to be a way to self promote tactlessly. 


In my opinion, when I follow someone and receive an auto-generated message thanking me (and offering other ways to connect), I feel it is truly thankless.  Thank me by following me back or by connecting with me by a retweet or mention.  The most infuriating DMs I get are those that are auto-generated to self promote, and you can’t even respond because-ha ha-they aren’t following me back!


It was spoken perfectly in a tweet by @Scarberryfields “My getting one of my tweets favorited is like getting roses. RTs & MEs are great!  1 out of my archives-Priceless!xx”


If you truly want to thank someone for following them, send something that everyone will see (like a retweet or mention), not a direct message that only the receiver will see, with a self promoting message attached.  Don’t get me wrong, simply sending a ‘thank you’ direct message is fine.  But if you’re like me, you won’t read it.


Use DMs for what they are intended for:  personal one-one messages, like sharing an email address so you can communicate further or other personal information that you don’t want the whole world to see, or that you don’t think the whole world will be interested in.


Chances are you’re wasting your time sending  DMs, and either you’re insulting the receiver or being ignored.  I personally have NEVER used DMs unless it was for something personal, and the message was directed to me first (and the sender alerted me on Twitter that I would be receiving it).


I hope this helps!  Happy writing and promoting!






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About sandyappleyard

Sandy began writing in 2006, and is the author of many titles. Canadian-born, she is married with two children, and is a huge animal lover. Want to know more? Click on her bio or drop her a line.


  1. Sandy,

    I couldn’t agree more. I hate DMs and I won’t even look at them. It’s tasteless to try and send me a link to your new product if we’ve never interacted before.

    Good stuff. 🙂


  2. Hi Sandy

    Great post, I’ve always thought auto DM’s not only a waste of time but the worse type of self promotion. I delete them in the most part.

    I hope people get the message from your post.


  3. Superb, I was close to writing something very similar – but you were much kinder than maybe I would have been 🙂

    They drive me mad, what with auto dms and phishing scams I can’t find my real private messages.

    If they DM and aren’t following me – I’ll admit that sometimes I even unfollow at that point.

    Thanks Michelle

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