Authentic or Not? Part 4: Automatic Direct Messages
As the social networking scene becomes more crowded, busy, and chaotic, more people are experimenting with automating or outsourcing social media tasks. But does this violate the spirit of authenticity which is so highly valued within social media?
So far we’ve discussed
Today we look at automatically generated direct messages. Are they disingenuous or a useful time-saver?
Automatically-Generated Direct Messages…
…or auto-DMs as they’re known in Twitter are when a person sends a private message to one of their followers using an automated tool.
Facebook has its own message system. People with a personal profile can send messages to up to 20 “friends” at a time. Organizations with a fan page can send messages to thousands of “fans” all at once.
Advocates of auto-DMs argue that when a person follows or fans a person/organization, he or she is indicating they want to get information from that person/organization. It’s like subscribing or opting in to an email list. There’s nothing wrong with sending out a newsletter to a list of subscribers, so there’s nothing wrong with sending a mass FB message or Twitter DM to everyone. Plus fans/followers can always unfan/unfollow if they want out.
Critics of auto-DMs argue that they don’t want private messages from the people/organizations they fan/follow. They’re essentially spam. And if people want to send the same message to all their fans/followers why not just post it publicly?
The Auto-DM Welcome Message
Many Twitter users use a tool that automatically sends a single welcome message to each new follower.
Some critics say all auto-DM welcome messages are bad news.
Others say it’s only disingenuous if the person is faking it by trying to make the message sound like it’s manually written and sent. If the auto-DM says, “Welcome, this is an auto-DM, but I love you man” then that’s cool.
Advocates of the auto-DM welcome message say it’s a nice way to welcome a new follower and saves time.
So, what do you think auto-DMs in Twitter and mass messaging in Facebook?
Authentic or Not?