Are You Alienating Your Followers?


Anyone who’s active in social media is familiar with automated messages. The worst of them, and the bane of my existence, is the automated Twitter “Thank you for following DM.”

To those of you who aren’t familiar, and just because I want to emphasize the ridiculousness of it, here are a few examples of actual automated messages I’ve received recently:

  1. “Hi there, Thank you so much for the follow, if you like my photography please like or share my Facebook page ______”
  2. “Thank you for following The _____ Pro. Please visit our website ________ if you require any support with your __. Please also like and retweet us to your followers and let them know about our services. Thank you again for following! -via @crowdfire
  3. “I’m guessing you want to know exactly how I brought in $55k in just 2 months from just my cellphone! so Let me teach you! GO TO this link > > >”

As you can see, the automated messages range from pushy to rude, and all are completely forgettable.

Think about it this way, if your kid brings home a catalog for a school fundraiser, and begs you to buy the maximum amount so that he can win the light saber toy– you do it. If your niece did the same thing, you would probably help her out, but give less. Now, if a kid you didn’t know came to your door and asked for a purchase, you would, at best, buy a single candy bar or something inexpensive– AT BEST. Why?

Your level of interest and engagement is predicated on the strength of your relationship.

You might even get mad that the kid you didn’t know had the audacity to make an ask, saying something like, “This kid just came to my house and asked me for money. I don’t even know this kid!

The problem isn’t the ask, it’s the lack of a relationship.

So, how does this relate to automated messages in social media?

When you send an automated message containing a pitch, you’re making an attempt, on your first point of contact, to use this stranger you’ve just connected with to feather your own nest, when you should really be building a relationship– which would begin by feathering their nest!

No one wants to be used, and no one likes being treated like they’re worthless. And let me tell you something, when you treat someone like their worthless– that’s exactly what they’ll give you.

If your goal is more sales, more revenue, and more buzz, throw out the automated messages, and get real. Be authentic and focus on creating relationships with the people who want to connect with you, by offering value before making an ask. Find out what you can do for your followers, what do they want?  I’ll let you in on a secret, if they’re on social media, they want to be social.

And don’t get stuck on the numbers, because 50,000 followers is nothing, but 50,000 relationships? That’s priceless.

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