In my last post, ‘10,000+ followers in less than a month – Yeah, it’s possible!‘, I described the system I used to get over 10,000 followers in less than a month and how this has benefited me. What I didn’t talk about in that post is the actual downside of having a lot of
followers friends on Twitter.
Sell, sell, sell – Spam, spam, spam
The number one downside with having a lot of friends on Twitter is that the direct message functionality more or less becomes useless. There’s actually a negative correlation between the amount of friends you have and the usefulness of the direct messaging-functionality – the more friends you have, the less useful the direct message-functionality becomes as you’ll receive more and more auto-direct spam messages.
What bothers me with this is that these spammers ruin the Twitter experience – and I’m far from the first one to feel this way. This has gotten to a point where I rarely ever read direct messages, and people that actually want to have a conversation ‘in private’ with me won’t get any response from me because I’m having a really hard time filtering out the real messages from the spammy ones. Right now I’ve got like 2,000 messages in my direct message-inbox and I swear that 90% are automatic ones trying to push some shitty product or service. Thank god for the possibility of turning off the option that tells Twitter to send you your direct messages to your e-mail.
I don’t know you and I haven’t asked you to send me that offer – so why should I buy the shit you’re trying to sell to me?
What I don’t really get is how obnoxious these spammers really are. I do not know you and the first thing you’re trying to do is to get me to buy some useless and utterly worthless junk.
Marketing is about trust and relationships – and here you are trying to sell me stuff when you haven’t even earned my trust or haven’t even tried to build a relationship with me in the first place. You are Internet Marketers – shouldn’t you know a thing or two about marketing?
For all you spammers insisting on trying to push your stuff via auto direct messages, please get a copy of Seth Godin’s excellent book ‘Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers‘ (or read the blog post ‘Permission Marketing‘ on his blog). What Seth says (which I think is dead on) is that marketing and the way people respond to it has changed. Nowadays marketing is about having the permission to sell to a prospective customer – not interrupting him or her and try to shove your message down his or hers throat.
Permission is like dating. You don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit.
— Seth Godin
When you actually think about it – direct messages are e-mail all over again. When e-mail was new, anti-spam systems weren’t really that sophisticated and people got heaps and heaps of spam e-mails in their inboxes. Right now there’s no ‘spam filter’ for your direct messages and you have no actual control of your direct message inbox.
As this whole direct message thing is becoming uncontrollable I’m going to enforce a new policy: until Twitter gets a direct message filtering system I’m not going to respond to direct messages from now on. Reply to me instead, or if you really want to discuss private stuff – shoot me an e-mail at me[at]sebastianjohnsson.com.
So what do you think about this whole direct message-mess? How should it be solved?
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