It goes down in the DM: Is direct messaging still a good marketing tool?

I was doing my normal routine – reading a few marketing and social media blogs to see what’s new within the digital world. I came across an interesting read that talked about whether or not you should direct message individuals as a marketing strategy.

Yes. It’s a direct contact to people. Be careful however, no one likes to see spam-related content in their inbox. For myself, I instantly unfollow anyone who sends me an automated message of their promotional campaign – save it for the press release.

As a brand or organization, there’s a certain way to direct message someone that is effective if done in the right manner.

Here are a few ways you can effectively direct message someone as a brand:

Your first direct message should just introduce yourself and thank them for the follow. People like to be acknowledged as people – not sales lead. Tell them thank you for the follow and that you also look forward to the connection, or their tweets. Doing this is settle and doesn’t make that follower uncomfortable.

Make it clear what you do and then promote. If you choose to not do a “hello” type of message, then explain what you do. It will allow them to understand why you’re promoting to them in a direct message. You have the capacity and character limit on your side to be a clear as you want in the message. Just don’t go over 200 characters. No one is trying to read your email in a direct message.

Resolve issues through a direct message when it comes to individual claims. Many brands do this. For issues that may not apply to everyone, they try to keep it on a one-on-one level. This effort helps you maintain a positive relationship with that individual from a negative situation. This should be part of your crisis communication plan – a whole different blog post than this.

Don’t send the same message to everyone else. A person knows when you’ve simply copied and pasted a message. Approach your direct messaging strategy like a cover letter – make a few adjustments so it can address a specific person. Lets not be lazy when doing outreach for your promotional content. If it’s a person you’re reaching out to, use a first name. If an organization or institution, use their name. It’s okay to be generic if the distinction of that follower isn’t clear.

Follow Social Media University on Facebook. Deontae Moore is a Marketing & Digital Media Manager at Public Narrative, follow him on Twitter @deontaemoore.

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