Nothing annoys on social media sites, especially Twitter and Facebook, more than receiving an unsolicited message from somebody you don’t even know. Interestingly, many people send an "auto" direct message right at the moment they get a new follower.
On top of that, knowing that you can’t even delete your unwanted Direct Messages (DM) in Twitter in bulk, only adds to the pain. No wonder sending automatic DMs on Twitter to your new followers is mostly considered as SPAM.
Why is that so?
Well, if you followed me just today and we have not even interacted once, what is so private and important that I should straightaway try to get your attention through your mailbox?
I can’t find one such valid scenario. Can you?
A Cute Conversation On Twitter Direct Messages
Not long ago, a good friend of mine, who also happens to be an authority in relationship based marketing, mentioned that somebody sent him a direct message on Twitter asking for guidance on building relationships on social media.
Well, the reason my friend received that message is, he is an expert at relationship based selling, he is a business coach who teaches how to build strong relationships through good communication. So, obviously he is an authority on this subject.
However, when he received that DM asking for a quick tip on building strong relationships with people on social media, his response was also in a DM that said, “A good starting point will be not to DM anybody without their permission.”
Talk about people getting annoyed with direct messaging…
Twitter Has Placed Limitations
To keep things in control, Twitter doesn’t allow you to send direct messages to those who don’t follow you. That is a great feature in the direction of controlling web spam. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t possibly get spammed.
[note background=”#F0F0F0″]"That is not true anymore. About 2 weeks ago Twitter has changed this policy. Now it’s up to each user if she or he allows strangers to send DMs. This is a feature intended for brands but it’s valid for any user. Go to your Twitter settings and you’ll find the check box “Receive direct messages from any follower” – Adrian Jock @IMTipsNews[/note]
One way to avoid spammers is to identify them and then unfollow them at the first sign of trouble. That way, you can keep them at bay.
But, how do you make sure that you don’t annoy people you follow? That is in your hands and that requires a bit of thinking before deciding to send that DM to somebody who follows you.
How To Effectively Use Direct Messaging Feature
Direct messaging is supposed to be used to discuss private matters. Something which you can’t share in public, you can discuss through direct messages.
That means, it absolutely doesn’t make sense to send somebody a welcome message through a direct message. You shouldn’t also send a free gift or a coupon through direct messages. You will not be appreciated by the recipient.
On the other hand, if you can communicate with people you follow and those who follow you through tweets, it will help you much better on Twitter. People appreciate that behavior, especially on Twitter.
People you already communicate regularly don’t mind your direct message depending upon your relationships.
But when it comes to people you don’t know very well or those who don’t know you well, they will only appreciate it if your direct message genuinely needs their attention in private, such as the one shown in the example above. If you need to discuss something in private with someone you don’t really have a personal connection with, you may send a direct message on topics such as:
Hi @kgauraw I need to discuss about the managed WordPress hosting your company offers. How can I get in touch with you?
Deleting Unwanted Direct Messages From Your Twitter Inbox
This is a common problem because Twitter won’t let you do it directly. However, using a third party application you can manage to get the job one.
One of the free tools I use and highly recommend you to use for deleting direct message from your Twitter inbox is – Social Oomph. It is a social media management service with free and premium features similar to HootSuite and Buffer. However, they do have a lot of great features which others don’t. Clearing off your direct messages from your Twitter inbox is one those free features which you will find very beneficial.
Here are the steps you will follow to delete direct messages from your Twitter inbox using Social Oomph service:
- As a first step, sign up for a free account on the Social Oomph website. Although their professional package has much more in the way of premium features, a free account is good enough for clearing off your Twitter inbox.
- Once you have logged into your account, from the "Posting" menu, you will find the menu item called “Purge DMs On Twitter” as shown in the image below:
- Click on that option and then choose whether you want to delete all messages which are older than 7 days or 30 days. You have only two choices at the moment.
- It will ask for your confirmation on the purge operation. Confirm it and you will be shown a message that informs you that you will receive an email when the operation is successful.
- Now, wait for a few minutes and you will receive an email from Social Oomph confirming the deletion; if it was successful, or explaining the problem if purging didn’t go through.
That’s it. It is that simple. This is a very handy tool for me because I keep deleting all the junk direct messages from my Twitter inbox frequently. I haven’t found any better way of getting the job done yet for free. If you have any other tool that you use for this purpose, would you mind sharing in your comments?
Over To You – Share Your Thoughts
What role does Twitter play in your overall social media strategy? How do you use direct messaging? Which social media management software do you use for your business?
Please share your thoughts through your comments. Thank you kindly!
I maybe unlucky, but until now DM’s on Twitter have not worked for me. I don’t send them very often, and only when I honestly want to work with the other side via collaboration. I don’t and won’t send automated messages on any social media network.
I think that DM via Twitter will only prosper if Twitter works on it, For now it’s just a feature they added without thinking about how to make it useful….
I think you are doing the right thing. This is how the DM feature is supposed to use (Use when it is absolutely necessary). And just like you don’t we shouldn’t send any automated DMs. So, you are doing pretty good 🙂
Have a great week!
You are absolutely right about the Twitter Direct Messages and how we should ideally be using them. 🙂
It IS very annoying to to see a DM from a person you might have just connected with, send you links to his or her site or affiliate or eBook and other such things. I mean, they don’t even wait till you know each other better , which only happens once you tweet each other or message and communicate on Twitter.
Speaking of myself, I always check the profile of a person before connecting with them on Twitter, especially their blog if they have any, and their profiles to see how often they update it or if they are active enough. Other than that, it’s only when you start chatting on Twitter, do you ever visit their other social media profile or join up there. I wish more people would understand this.
I’d surely look up Social Oopmph later as the google link you’ve given shows a 404 error presently I think. I’ve heard a lot about it, although because I am very selective about whom I connect with, I usually take time to check their DM directly and ignore the ones unrelated, but yes, deleting them would ensure they aren’t there and give room to others.
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
One amazing thing about you is, you not only are always among the top commentators on every website where you decide to comment but you also find the sweet spot and maintain it consistently to be the first commentator as much as possible. And not just you comment, you consume the content before you comment. That’s incredible!
Thank you for your help today in fixing a 404 error on today’s post and it was because, instead of saying “gauraw.com” I said, “google.com”. I think it was just a typo since both the websites begin with the same letter and both have 6 characters. So typos work pretty well 🙂
Speaking of the topic, yes, a lot of people have these automated DMs and it is interesting to know that even they don’t read those DMs for themselves when they receive from others. Yet, they send!
Have a blessed week!
Thanks for the handy tips Kumar! I see that Twitter Direct Messages are overly misused. I get 90% spam in it. I use Hootsuite (pro) and I have a cross mark next to each message that I can click to delete. I prefer having a clean DM inbox 🙂
Sending DM to people out of blue is a bad practice! And I don’t think anyone can really build serious relationships by hitting people with offers and promotional stuff via DM – that’s simply like sending spam emails. But with emails we have the “Mark as spam” option. In Twitter, we simply have to unfollow!
Twitter is a great social media platform and I don’t think most people have got it right on how to use it properly. There’s so much noise out there in Twitter 🙂
You are so absolutely right in saying, “Twitter is a great social media platform and I don’t think most people have got it right on how to use it properly.” Actually, they don’t and honestly, I didn’t for a loooooooong time. 🙂
Many people do it things wrong out of now knoing what is right thing to do and many others are just here to spam. As you and I have our platforms, we can educate people around us and that’s exactly what we are doing, so thank you!
Have a wonderful week ahead!
Great advice on how we should use Twitter DM. I personally don’t use it on a daily basis. Only when I need to get in touch with someone I’m following and we’ve established a relationship.
I do get some messages that are unsolicited but not too much that it’s a bother.
Thanks for telling us about Social Oomph too. I had heard of their name but didn’t know much about what they do. Have a great new week.
Happy New Week to you!
Yes, using DMs only when we need them, is the best way to use DMs. I use it for the same purpose.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and have a wonderful week!
Good Morning Kumar,
Very good advice here my friend! I do know that a of people set up these direct messages as a way to say Thanks for following and then add a link! Really?
Not a good way to start a friendship is it? I didn’t know that we could not delete the DM’s this shows you how many of them I take note of HUH?
Thanks for sharing, Chery :))
Thank you for dropping by. I enjoyed being on your blog today and I look forward to learning some great stuff there as well.
Speaking of DMs, absolutely not a great idea to stat a friendship this way on the wrong foot 🙂
Have a great week!
Kumar, I love Twitter but not a big fan on messages anymore – unless they are personal then that’s a plus in my book. I used to use them to get folks to FB page but found them to look rather spammy so I ended that probably 2 years now.
I love Triberr and Just Retweet. Both work really well as long as you know whose stuff you are sharing or check it first before hitting the share buttons.
Thanks for the info and have a great week ahead.
That’s interesting thing you said about Just Retweet. I have so far gone by the message and trusted the link. But now that you mentioned, I’m thinking, is it possible that people might be having a good message text accompanied by a spammy link? If so, I rather start following what you just said you do and cut down my losses 🙂
Thank you for adding value through your awesome commentary.
Have a great week.
I’m not such a Twitter buff. I use it mostly to syndicate posts I’ve read. Also I will put a message on there once in a while.
However, I did receive those messages that are automated. So far, there hasn’t been many so I ignore them. If I don’t know a person, I don’t answer.
I can spot a spammer so I won’t accept them. Thanks for this useful information because I want to return on Triberr in the near future and there are tons of people there. It is just not in my strategy right at the moment.
Your article includes 2 pieces of information that aren’t correct.
1) “Twitter doesn’t allow you to send direct messages to those who don’t follow you”
That is not true anymore. About 2 weeks ago Twitter has changed this policy. Now it’s up to each user if she or he allows strangers to send DMs. This is a feature intended for brands but it’s valid for any user. Go to your Twitter settings and you’ll find the check box “Receive direct messages from any follower”
2) Twitter doesn’t let you delete the direct messages from your Inbox.
This was never true. Go to your Inbox and click any direct message. Once the DM is open, hover it and you’ll see that a delete button appears on the right side of that DM. Click that button! 😉
First of all thanks for pointing these out because that is a tremendous amount of value addition. I stand corrected on the point one because I wasn’t aware of this setting. I am going to include this text from your comment into the post itself so others can get this information correctly.
Regarding the second point, I think I wanted to say “bulk delte” and I phrased it incorrectly. Yes, Twitter does allow you to delete the DMs, but correct me if I am still not aware of an option to bulk delete them (like we do on emails). I think that is very important considering the fact that I get 30-40 DMs a day and it will be a lot of time waste to go to individual DMs and then delete them. What do you think?
1) You’re welcome, Kumar 🙂
2) No, unfortunately you can’t bulk delete DMs.
P.S. You may want to know that the Twitter ID isn’t displayed by the CL plugin. I don’t know how you can correct it. Andy should know it 🙂
You’ve been very helpful today. I fixed that as well. Thank you 🙂
Learned a new good social media practice. Thanks for your advice. I am a regular user of facebook and I very much like the messaging platform there. What annoyed me on twitter was their limited direct message unlike facebook. Oho.. but now, I got it in the right way. I too get that automated messages. Very annoying! Unfollowed many of them. Need to check your commendation on social Oomph. Thanks 🙂
Glad to meet you and to know that you are actively participating on Social Media. That’s a great thing and don’t worry, we all learn bit by bit. We stumble, we learn and we move on. Thank you for sharing your perspective.
Social Oomph is a great service. you should try them. You will enjoy using some of their cool tools.
Wish you good luck and see you around 🙂
Thank you for another thoughtful post. I also find spam messages in the DM box annoying.
Some people have them set to automatic. I’ve never used that feature.
Here’s another issue I’ve encountered. I sent a DM five weeks ago to someone to inform them that their autoresponder feature responsible for delivering their free e-book was not
functioning. Five weeks have passed. It makes me think the person doesn’t care.
Have an awesome week ahead, my friend!
LOL Bill! The person sent you the message as an “Auto-Follow” and he himself doesn’t read any DMs that he receives and so, you will never get a response through DM. But I think you may get a response from him if you just send him a tweet with the same message 🙂
Have a wonderful week, Bill. Thank you for taking time to share!
Power post! I love twitter. I rarely check DMs because of the spam factor. I focus instead on the @reply feature to start chats and build relationships.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Ryan. Appreciate the appreciation 🙂
I think that is the right thing to do. We should only use DMs for things that absolutely need us to go private. For most part, people on Twitter love tweets.
The one thing I never really understood about Twitter is that you always have to go to a third party to do some actions. That’s really weird to me.
I don’t even pay attention when strangers send me DM, most of the time is to try to sell something and they’re really doing it wrong to be say the least.
Thank you for sharing this.
That is the reason it is hard for a genuine DM to be read by the intended recipient on Twitter. And to handle such cases, I need to sent a tweet to you saying I am going to send you a DM before actually I do it so I have your attention 🙂 Thanks to the auto-DM spammers!
I use hootsuite to manage my social accounts, but still there are times when you say.. Twitter please just remove the feature of direct message, it just annoys me to hell..
Hi Mr. Kumar
Just with this post, I have something else. I do not understand too much about Twitter, but I learned that DM should not be used unless there’s some type of relationship being established.
Thank you for teaching us valuable information.
Gladys posted..Take Action Against Self-Doubt
I am glad to know you liked the post. Thank you for the words of appreciation!
Well my friend, I STILL send DMs to all my new followers and have been doing that for probably a good two years now. It STILL works beautifully when they actually read them.
Sure, most people spam that and I continuously get people wanting me to follow them on Facebook when they don’t even take the time to connect with me. I thank every single person personally that follows me and as you know I do my best to chat with them in some way.
I follow John Paul Aguiar a lot and he even claims, being the big Twitter guy that he is, that DMs are perfectly fine when you do them right. Unfortunately 99% of the people on Twitter do them wrong which is why I guess mine stand out.
There is also another program that will delete your DMs as well that I’ve written about in the past. The program is called DM Cleaner and it’s also a free site just for this purpose.
If people just stopped spamming altogether then the internet would be a much better place but I don’t see that happening any time in the near future unfortunately. Oh well, I’ll keep doing what works for me and hope that others can continue to learn from me.
Enjoy your day.
Wow! It’s amazing to see that a thing that works for somebody doesn’t work for somebody else opposite, isn’t it?
Something that I have found to be absolutely annoying, does seem to work for you 🙂 and speaking of that, I remember receiving your DM when I followed you and I wasn’t annoyed by you. May be that because I knew you and your blog before I followed you? I think that makes a huge difference in the attitude.
Thanks for sharing your story and that really shows why we shouldn’t just go by what somebody else says. We should explore our own options and then decide our course of action accordingly.
You have a wonderful rest of the week as well 🙂
I agree with you. I also use Socialoomph for deleting direct messages as well. Socialoomph is a great tool to keep track of much of your Twitter work.
Thanks for sharing. Many people don’t seem to know about socialoomph so that was a good tip.
Thank you Barbara. Glad to know you already use SocialOomph and enjoy it as much as I do 🙂
You have a great rest of the week as well!
I get spammed on Twitter with so many DMs everyday. And I really liked how Bob Burg responded to his follower who asked his advice on relationship building. You can’t start on a wrong foot if you really are serious about relationship building.
Honestly, I have never seen anybody with an “auto-dm” every trying to build relationship. Usually they are about you clicking on something for them. But with posts like these, awareness is increasing and eventually, people will stop these practices.
Kumar, I don’t use them very often anymore. If I see a mistake on someone’s blog, etc I may send them a DM, I don’t want to point it out in public. I know I sure appreciate that when someone sends me one for that. I used to in the beginnig use them to ask people to like my page on FB and then I found it annoying and stopped. If they want to be on FB they will be but if they are on Twitter maybe they don’t to be on FB, right?
Twitter is my favorite place for both personal and business of all the social networks. I am using the Buffer pro now to manage the 5 accounts I have for Twitter.
Have a great day Kumar and thanks for sharing about those sometimes annoying DM’s on Twitter.
this is great information.
Knowing you can just ‘purge the DM’ with Social Oomph is very helpful.
Since most of the DM seem to be about trying to get you to check out a product or their FB page I have not bothered even reading them.
It seems to make more sense to connect with someone using the @reply!
Thank you for sharing your expertise!
Really helpful tips for using Twitter effectively, Kumar.
I agree that Direct Messages are grossly misused, and have become difficult to manage. I don’t really use any automation of management tools, but Social Oomph sounds like a good one.
I should really make better use of Twitter, but for some reason it has always confused me. This will help give me some clearer direction.
Excellent review of Twitter DM Kumar! I still remember when I first started on Twitter and all the time I spent opening each DM I received – hey everybody has to learn. These days I never bother to even read DMs because most are automated anyway. I also use Social Oomph and I agree – works like a champ.
Awesome Marquita! Glad to meet you and appreciate you for taking time to share your thoughts about these annoying DMs and how much you enjoy SocialOomph. Have a wonderful weekend!