They’re not honest.
It starts with digital honesty. We say digital honesty because we’ve all been in the position where an email was misunderstood/ miscommunicated and a special kind of hell was unleashed.
These mistakes we’re learned from and we started crafting our messages with specific words and emoticons, to help add emotion to an otherwise monotone communiqué. Now, 20 years into the popularized life of emails, we understand the tone of messages better and we expect a certain level of attention be given to avoid any confusion.
Now communication has reduced it’s characters to 140 and less (zero character communication such as Yo), and with it has come the understanding that small things count more than ever. This is true. We’ve become sensitive to the details of a twitter post. There is an artistry in where one places their hashtags, the words carefully chosen, links shortened. It’s a piece of art in its own, unique way.
So when the opportunity to add a subtlety to a new connection such as a twitter follower presents itself, saying hello is just the polite and real-world thing to do.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact, it’s encouraged. That human element, that reason to connect, is what makes social media so unique. However, and this is the purpose of this post, when you add to the equation an automated response with a generic message, you’re stripping the humanity from your good intention, you’re using the very disconnected message we’ve tried so hard to avoid. Not to mention that spam has sharpened our senses to fake tendencies.
And this is simply, why Twitter auto responders are a terrible idea?
So what should I do then?
So we ask, have you ever believed someone has messaged you directly after you’ve followed them? Perhaps they did, but the mere existence of an auto-responder has muddied that possibility, leaving the attempt pointless.
So this is what we do when touching base with a new follower is a goal.
1. We take time. It’s all of 10 seconds to view the profile of your new follower. In fact, you should see who’s following you as you put them in a list. (You do put them in a list right? That’s ok, we’ll talk about why it’s a great idea to that in another post soon)
2. Take note of something simple and personal of theirs. As an example, we recently got followed by @transittylo. A quick look at their profiles yields the following bio:
So when we replied to his/ her follow, we simply said:
30 seconds later, we have a local follower who knows we’re real. This level of involvement is not as time consuming as we believe. It’s actually the entire point of social media, and with the Age of Engagement upon us, it’s more important than ever to get ones hands dirty in the everyday actions of their social media following.
Because in the end, you would rather have 100 followers who advocate for your brand, than 1000 who don’t care.