As a social media strategist it is my job to help brands grow their audiences and position them as leaders in their industry through social media. On a regular basis I recommend all sorts of strategic ways to help brands best achieve their social media goals, direct messaging (DMing) new followers on Twitter is not one of them.
Sure, there was a time when getting a DM from a brand or an influencer on Twitter meant something but today it's more like spam. Whenever I get a DM from a brand on Twitter with a message like "Thanks for the follow, "like" our Facebook page," or "check out our website" or just a regular thanks for the follow message, it just makes me want to unfollow them. Many times I do unfollow and I'm not the only one.
If you believe your followers don't realize you are sending a generic message to everyone, you are living in a dream world. Followers are not that dumb, they know you are following them long enough to send your spamy DM and then immediately unfollow them or ignore them forever.
If you want to connect personally with your followers just reply to them publicly and make sure the message is meaningful and not just an empty "thanks."
If you want your brand to succeed through social media you must humanize your brand. You can't do that if you are responding, posting or interacting like a robot. Remember, it is SOCIAL media, you have to be SOCIAL for it to actually work.
What is your take on brands DMing followers? Do you like it? or do you unfollow?
Keep It Real