10 Things Writers Shouldn’t Say In A DM

The Twitter direct message (DM) is something that’s an integral part of a social media platform.  It’s an opportunity to reach out and connect with someone else because they have FOLLOWED YOU.  I’ve mentioned before that I have an auto DM intended to start a conversation: Thanks for the follow!  So are you reader, writer, cook, or general humorist?  Note that this is NOT about ME.  I’ve begun quite a few conversations with folks this way, but just as often (perhaps more so), I see stuff fly by in my DM stream that just leaves me shaking my head.  So I thought I’d share a list of 10 things writers shouldn’t say in a DM (auto or otherwise).  Pulled from actual DMs I’ve received (with a few minor adjustments), in no particular order [sarcasm absolutely intended]:

  1. Hi, thanks for the follow!  You don’t know me from Adam’s housecat, but please go Like my Facebook page. [Right, because you’ve invested SO much time in developing a relationship with me before asking me to do something for YOU.]
  2. Thanks for the follow. Check out my blog.  I need someone to read it {insert link}. [Really?  The pity card?  Do you really want to go there?]
  3. Thanks for the follow.  My book is available {insert link}.  [Because I don’t even want to connect with you, I just want you to spend money on me.]
  4. Thanks for the follow.  Let’s connect on Facebook {insert link}. [Because even though this is Twitter, you’re trying to drag you kicking and screaming to another platform I hate.]
  5. Is your agent interested in new clients?  I write [fill in the blank] {insert link to sample}. [C’mon, really?  Because you can’t do your OWN agent research?  This will not win you friends.]
  6. Hi. You don’t know me, but will you read my [insert genre that isn’t even what I write or read] manuscript?  [Really?  Do you have any idea how busy I am?  Well, of course not, since you don’t actually KNOW me.]
  7. I’ve never talked to you before, and I haven’t read the requirements on your website, but can I guest post on your site?  I’ll write about any topic you want.  [Stabbity.]
  8. Will you format my ebook? [Because you can’t be bothered to read my extensive tutorials on how to do it yourself–you’re so lazy you want me to do it for you.]
  9. You’re really beautiful.  [While this is probably just a lovely compliment, coming from strange dudes on the internet, it has a creeper vibe.]
  10. Join my Mafia Family [or other annoying, time wasting game] on Facebook.  [This is more an auto-DM spam thing that comes from linking your FB and Twitter.  Don’t do it.].

18 thoughts on “10 Things Writers Shouldn’t Say In A DM

  1. LOL. I HATE getting those types of DM’s! I don’t mind auto DM’s like yours that are a simple “thanks for the follow” but the others just leave a bad taste in my mouth.

  2. OMG FANTASTIC post!!!
    I see these insanities all the time and have to laugh. You are right, they are more likely to turn me off from checking out your book, FB page or blog! But a few weeks ago I got one that I…well…actually liked!
    ‘A warm welcome! I’ll be honest, this is an automatic tweet, but the thought remains. I appreciate you :)’
    Ok…I’ll take it!

  3. I suspect I wrote what would qualify as a “tome” on Twitter, in response to your intriguing auto DM. In fact, yours is the only auto DM I remember. Yours is just really cool, I think. As for others who thank me with their wares, I usually fall off the face of their planets.

    Great post.

  4. Mainly, I just ignore/delete DMs, auto or otherwise… The interface is painful, it doesn’t remember from iPad to iPhone to work computer to home computer what I’ve read & not unless I delete the message, and there’s something about it that just feels like whispering behind people’s backs to me. *IF* I DM, it’s generally just to share my email addy with someone I’ve already had a longer conversation with “in public”. If nobody ever DMed me again… I wouldn’t miss it. 😉

  5. I don’t auto-follow anybody. I always check their profile first unless it’s someone I know in real life. Many I simply ignore and delete the requesting email – I’m not a ‘friend collector’ like many I’ve seen. Some invitations I accept. There have also been a few I reported back to the Twitter mods who deleted their accounts – sometimes even before I rechecked them.

  6. I’ve been lucky, I guess. The worst DMs I’ve gotten have been requests to review their books. I usually get those in emails. I really enjoyed this post because I got a good laugh.

    I don’t like FB, either. I’ll never forget the time I said something about missing a lot since I hadn’t been on FB in awhile, and my oldest son commented “I know. I missed Bon Jovi dying but not really, 367 FarmVille requests, and 451 relationship updates in 6 hours.” LOL

  7. I mass follow about once a week. The reason is that I get a DM–like the ones you’ve listed here–from about 3 out of 5 new people I follow. The thing I won’t do, usually, is check them out any further once I get one of these DMs. Good list.

    1. Yeah I don’t think I have ever pursued something that was obviously an auto DM. Most of the conversations I get into are because of mine.

  8. I don’t even want a simple “thanks for following me” one. I don’t see the point. I don’t follow someone as a favour to them, I follow because I have a connection to them, or they do interesting, useful or funny tweets, so they don’t need to thank me. They certainly don’t need to tell me where to find their book/blog/Facebook etc, I’d expect the person to have their profile set up so I can easily find my way to them if I want to. I very rarely use DMs at all.

  9. Wholeheartedly agree. I have never clicked on a link sent to me in a DM, or quickly dropped what I was doing to go “Check out my new book/blog/photograph!” The irony is, the message is a complete turn-off, the exact opposite of what they’re trying to achieve. I don’t expect a message back when I follow, and don’t get bent out of shape if one never follows back or doesn’t write back or doesn’t thank me. It’s not worth worrying about.

  10. I didn’t realise that your DM was an auto tweet (I may not have replied if I had), it was very inventive. I have a horrible feeling I may have sent a link to my blog in my reply (it demonstrates my writing and general strangeness) but it was purely for your enjoyment. I expect no RTs, no comments, no nothing. Unless you really like my stories of course.
    I rarely use DMs really, they are so often people begging you to buy their book/ebook/painting or whatever, and a few times when I have clicked a link sent to me by DM I have been hacked/spammed shortly afterward. Now I generally only open a link that comes from someone I have built a rapport with in public.

  11. My typical DM for all followers is Hi _________, Thank you so much for following back. and my blog site. Recently, someone send this back to me. “you are welcome. I never open links in first-time message.” Wouldn’t it have been sufficient to just not respond. Don’ t tell me what you are not going to do. Am I wrong?

    1. I think that reply might have been an auto DM actually because I think I got the same one and I didnt send a link. Either way it felt kind of rude.

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