Why I loathe social media autoresponders

Illustration: Robot Credit: Cécile Graat

Just like I won’t buy followers, I won’t use autoresponders 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.

Isn’t there a better way to nudge me towards your _____?

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.

Is anyone there?

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.

What do you think?  What are your thoughts about autoresponders?  Can they be a good thing?

 

The original article “Why I Don’t Use Auto Responders” by Jenn Herman was originally published on Jenn’s Trends

Original Article

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Jenn Herman
Social Media strategist & hard-working professional. I love Social Media! I'm always happy to learn more and share the tips and skills I've learned along the way.
  • http://twitter.com/anitahovey Anita Hovey

    Totally agree with you. Autoresponders bad. :)

  • http://twitter.com/bobf_vstpgh Bob

    When I get an promotional auto-DM right after I follow, I always respond by unfollowing.

  • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

    Thanks so much for writing this. It’s my biggest social media problem at the moment. Last time I looked at my Twitter DMs I had 40+ “Thank you for following me” DMs (or spam/virus ones) in a row. They are worthless. Let’s communicate properly! :-)

  • http://twitter.com/jlpitts Jennifer Pitts

    “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”… I have done the same but what really gets me is when I receive an error that I cant DM because they aren’t following me. Time to unfollow. Thanks for the post!

  • http://e2csoftware.blogspot.com/ Alex Joseph

    That’s so true! It’s often an indication that the person on the other end is not interested in genuine engagement, but only looking to increase their follower count. It’s an unfortunate reality of Twitter that has too many robots!

  • LinkedBusiness

    Very true. You can’t build a relationship with an autoresponder. If you’ve set your strategy for social media use in your business, make it personal and engaging.

  • http://twitter.com/PaulBromford Paul Taylor

    I couldn’t agree more. My DM’s are essentially poisoned. There are real people who have contacted me who I have not responded to because of Spam and AR. It’s terrible practice – perhaps we should start unfollowing them