Last week I discovered that someone I knew was on Twitter. We weren’t close acquaintances, but I knew the person well enough to send a personal note to say Hi and I was glad to see her on Twitter. A day or so later I got what was obviously an auto-DM with the usual “Thank you for following – check out my website…” content. No reference to knowing me. No warmth. But I guess it saved time.
By contrast, this weekend I chose to follow someone who had engaged one of the people I follow in conversation. I got back a lovely personal note – the sender had taken time to look at my tweets and congratulated me for launching my blog. I’ve never met this person and will likely never meet her face-to-face – but the impression she left me was indelible. I wrote her back and thanked her, and she responded by saying that she had just been wondering if going to the trouble of answering people personally was worth it – and thanked me for helping to answer that question.
Let me say up front that I am woefully behind at thanking people for following me. Having to uproot myself and get used to a new life situation has knocked me off kilter. But I’d rather fall behind and send out a personal note apologizing for being late and thanking everyone for showing interest in me than blast out messages that don’t represent who I really am.
Twitter has taught me that social media, when used correctly, is SOCIAL – open, transparent and respectful. I am deeply grateful that I have so many people who’ve chosen to follow me. I think I need to show them that I really care. Generating automatic DMs doesn’t do that for me.
I’m interested in hearing what you think.