Just like I won’t buy followers, I won’t use Auto Responders on Social Media platforms. To me it seems impersonal. I’m looking to develop an honest and real following online and the only way to do that is by being honest and real. There are few things I like less than receiving a Twitter DM that is spamming someone’s Facebook page or blog just because I decided to follow them.
I understand the intent. If someone was interested enough to follow me on Twitter, chances are they are interested enough to read my blogs or follow me elsewhere online. But the obviously pre-programmed DM that lists this information is boring and annoying. There are much better ways to get a following. It might take more time, but if we want a real online community, we have to be prepared to commit the time. Respond to the followers that share our interests and comment on their similarities. Respond to potential clients by complimenting them on their business and offering a free tip. Respond to seemingly unrelated followers by thanking them and welcoming the growth of our communities. After a conversation has ensued, then, and only then, should we be promoting our other platforms to them.
I occasionally receive an auto-bot response that intrigues me. It asks me a question or provides a tip that I find useful. So I actually engage and respond to the DM with my answer or comments. Here’s the thing, I have NEVER received a DM response back. This provides another example of why I don’t like Auto Responders. Not only am I frustrated but I often stop following this person as well. If we aren’t actively engaging in the conversation with our followers, then we won’t be prepared to respond to their comments either. When I take the time to research the other person and provide them with a personal message, I look forward to their response and the ensuing conversation.
You may be thinking, there’s no way we can possibly respond to every person that follows us online. And you’re right. There probably isn’t enough time in the day to reach out to each individual person. But that’s ok. I’d rather have someone re-tweet me, reply to a post, or share my content in the future and show genuine interest in me, then have them send me a generic auto-bot greeting.