5 reasons that Twitter power users hate DM

I see it all the time, twitter power users with a little message in their profile, “No DMs.” These users won’t respond to direct messages, they don’t read them and woe to the user who tries to DM them. Why do so many power users seem to hate Twitter’s direct message feature? Here are five reasons:

  1. Hi! Generic greeting – via thirdparty app.

Nothing says engagement like using a third party app to auto message people. I understand that social media takes time. I schedule posts and automate some things as well, but not DMs.

I don’t expect every follower to interact with me personally, but getting hundreds of DM’s from autoresponders wastes my time and it looks tacky. If you use an auto-messaging app, you might want to rethink it. It won’t make me unfollow you, but it does make me tune out DMs.


  1. Hi! Thanks for following me. Want to follow me on Facebook here?

Yeah, I get this one daily. You follow someone and they send you a dm requesting you like their facebook page as well. You know what? I followed you on Twitter. If I wanted to follow you on Facebook I would have done that instead. Twitter is an actual social media in its own right, not Facebook’s recruitment app, so stop treating it as such.


  1. Thanks for following me! Want to buy my book now?

This one is often followed by the little via third party app tag, making it a double whammy. I love connecting with authors, but if I wanted to buy your book I would have looked you up on Amazon, not Twitter. DMing your book link is spam, pure and simple.


  1. DM’s from people who don’t follow you.

Yes, it happens. Why is that a problem? Because Twitter won’t allow you to respond if you don’t have a mutual follow relationship. Obviously you didn’t know that, or you wouldn’t have wasted both our times with this message that I can’t reply to even if I wanted to. Stop it.


  1. It’s called social media for a reason.

People forget what social media is all about, being social. I can understand people being more hesitant on Facebook. You have personal pictures, you’ve friended family and close personal friends. You want to share with them, not the world.

But Twitter is an entirely different beast. Everything you do on Twitter is public. That can be a downside as many of the conservatives that treated the president’s arrival on Twitter with racist scorn may soon find out.

But that’s also the beauty of Twitter. Twitter is the cocktail party of social media sites. It’s all short conversations held in a public forum. Twitter power users get that. They are on Twitter to promote themselves, not by constantly spamming people with buy my books links, but also not to spend most of their time in private conversation. They want to mingle, to share tweets with followers and talk to each other in a semi-public forum.

The @ mention is the secret to being a Twitter power user, not DM. @ mentions are seen by both your followers and theirs. Public interaction with the right fellow authors can increase your visibility and announce, in a not so spammy way, that you, too, are an author.

As a bonus: One reason I personally dislike all of the social media messaging features, be it Twitter, Facebook or wherever:

I have an email.

I get plenty of emails. It’s hard enough to keep track of everything when it’s one place. (Two places, actually. I have a second email I use specifically for newsletters, or websites where I have to sign in.)

What’s worse is trying to keep track of hundreds of contacts and messages across a half dozen platforms. To keep things simple, I keep Facebook chat off and redirect any important contacts to my email address. Otherwise things get lost in the shuffle.
That’s my take on why Twitter power users don’t use direct messages. What is your take? Any issues I missed?

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