Stop it with the auto-responder “thank you”s!

I want to register a complaint with my fellow Twitter users, because I don’t think I’m alone in this: Haven’t we all had enough of the, “Thanks for following me! Now go read my lame blog please!” messages?

It seems every 10th person I follow on Twitter sends me some version of this same message.

  • “Glad you’re following me! As a free gift, a link I need you to click!”
  • “Thanks for the friendship! I look forward to ignoring you completely! Come to my site and click on some ads, you fool!”
  • “Glad you followed me – I will now follow you back, for three days, then unfriend you so I can keep my following/follow ratio looking good.”

Oh, okay, I’m being a smart ass. Also, some of these messages are over 140 characters long – you caught me. Still, the sentiment is entirely there each time, even if they don’t out and say it: You are a droid placed on this Earth to help me get one user closer to finally making some money off this Adsense account I set up on my blog or page or whatever.

When people set these kinds of auto responses up on their Twitter page, they are broadcasting to all who can hear that they do not understand Twitter, how social networking works, and that they do not care. Each one of these impersonal, unfeeling “thank you” messages lets the recipient know the user on the other end doesn’t have time to know their own followers. Instead they set up a program to follow back anyone who follows them and send them a quick piece of spam – and make no mistake, a link sent to someone who didn’t ask for it is always spam.

I emplore you – if you send auto responses to people who friend you, stop. Twitter is about making real one-on-one connections with other people. If you are tweeting for your business, it is particularly important to make friends with those people who have taken the time to follow you. They are showing an express interest in what you do. You need to reach out to them directly and get to know them. Otherwise you are wasting the opportunity that Twitter really affords.

While Twitter does have a large number of users, and many of them are potential customers, the key to converting them is not ruining their day with blind messages and links.

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