Why I Hate Auto-DMs on Twitter

Maybe the most annoying thing with Twitter is getting automatic direct messages (or auto-DMs). Most auto-DMs are spam. Nobody likes spam.

Why I hate auto-DMs on Twitter. Auto direct messages suck.
No caption necessary for this image...

This topic idea came about several months ago when I started following Mark Stevens on Twitter. Stevens (@Mark_MSCO) is a self-proclaimed marketer known for “delivering business insights with blunt truth and unconventional wisdom.” He is the author of a book titled “Your Marketing Sucks.” With a book title like that, I guess that does make him rather blunt. However, without attacking the guy too much, I do want to point out my problem with Mark Stevens. He sent me auto-DM on Twitter shortly after I began following him, which read:

Hi, it’s Mark. Here’s a private business training video I recordedthat will help you declare war on your company: http://bit.ly/aHhiYX

Besides the typo in the message, the auto-DM did not appeal to me the least bit. For one, I do not own a company or work for one, and if I did, why would I want to “declare war” against it? Needless to say, I did not click the link. I just ignored it and gave the guy a break for sending me an auto-DM and trying to be a good social media marketer. However, a few weeks later he sent me another auto-DM:

It’s Mark. Can you subscribe to my YouTube videos? Here’s the link: http://youtube.com/user/BusinessDispatch101

This direct message is even worse. It is far less formal and gives me absolutely no reason to click the link and certainly not a reason to actually subscribe to his YouTube channel. This message also has poor grammar: Yes, I can subscribe to your YouTube videos, but why should I? Noticing how proud he is of his best selling book “Your Marketing Sucks,” I replied with:

Your marketing sucks. I’m not going to subscribe to your YouTube channel without you giving me a reason to. I’m not even going to view it.

Funny thing is, I couldn’t remember his Twitter handle, so to find him on Twitter I typed in “yourmarketingsucks” and found a post from @MissBeckala, which read:

When I follow you, don’t auto-DM me a contest for Twitter with a link pointing to your Facebook page. #YOURmarketingsucks @Mark_MSCO

Apparently this guy has a history of automatic direct messaging people spam. I stopped following @Mark_MSCO and started following @MissBeckala. Also, I retweeted Becky. Why auto-DM anyone at all? This seems a little “old-fashioned” for the fast-moving social media world.

Below are some more rants and suggestions regarding Auto-DMs:

Do you have a good auto-DM story? Please share in the comment section below!

PR in Social Media: Owning up to Mistakes

Just like Homer Simpson, we all make mistakes sometimes.
Just like Homer Simpson, we all make mistakes sometimes.

In my last post, I talked bout the power of social media on a personal level as it relates to St. Cloud State University choosing to eliminate homecoming. I had a short anecdote I wanted to include, but omitted due to my goal of keeping posts at 500 words or less. The anecdote was about a typo I had on a Facebook post for KVSC on homecoming being eliminated at SCSU:

“Top story at kvsc.org today: St. Cloud State University to climate Homecoming.”

Not sure what “climate” homecoming is all about, but people started making fun of the typo almost as soon as it was posted. Although the headline was posted as KVSC, I was the one behind the typo (or auto correct more specifically). So once it was called to my attention, I had to make a choice: remove the original post (also removing user comments) or own up to my mistake with a personal remark.

Being a PR guy, I felt it was important to be transparent and admit the goof up. So I simply replied to the post (with my name and face next to the comment) and made a little joke out of it with a reference to damnyouautocorrect.com.

Many social media experts believe it is important to always put a face with a company status update. Personally, I feel it depends on the type of post. Posting an article that is “trending” on your site should not require a face behind the post. However, if there does happen to be a typo, whoever made the error should own up to the mistake.

Lastly, just as a reporter should never remove an article with a factual error, a company should never remove a post or tweet with a mistake. It is much more professional to admit fault. Plus, admitting your mistake can only create more impressions and build credibility as a reputable source of information.

Thankfully, this was merely a typo and not anything offensive. Some celebrities and journalists alike have made “jokes” on Facebook or Twitter that have turned out to be quite offensive and created backlash from their followers. Check this article out to learn of a larger-scale mistake and how Kim Wilson suggests handling a “Twitter Faux Pas.”

I should mention I had a mistake in my last post as well. When I omitted the part about my mistake, I left a sentence in that was completely out of context. It was up for a few hours before I noticed it. Can’t even remember what it was now. Did I just break my own rule of owning up to mistakes?

A Viral Video Holiday Greeting

Watching the hilarious video above reminds me of a lot of things. For one, it makes me think of some of the more embarrassing moments in my life and, believe me, I’ve had my share, but it also reminds me to always think of the unexpected. This being a (mostly) PR and social media blog, I could get into crisis management and how to deal with social media disasters, but since it’s Christmas Day, I think I’ll just wish everyone warm regards this holiday season and cheers to a happy new year.

Special sneak peak into my next few blog entry ideas: social media contests, Epic 2014 and Pummelvision.