To DM or not to DM: Social network etiquette
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Most, if not all, social media sites have opportunities where you can either publicly respond to someone or send a private message. On Twitter it’s called direct messaging (i.e. DM).
For the purpose of this post, I’m primarily referring to Twitter, however these tips can be applied to most networks. Let’s get to it…
Why might you send a direct or private versus a public message?
- Sending personal information like a phone number or email address (It may seem like common sense, but I encourage you NEVER personal information like your social security number over ANY public forum).
- A conversation which will consist of multiple “tweets” or a lengthy post of more than three sentences. (Many people on Twitter will “unfollow” someone who sends multiple “tweets” in a row. Trust me.)
- Asking multiple questions to the same person or the same question asked to multiple people (Your content becomes less valuable when people see the same thing repeated too many times…especially right in a row).
- Correcting a mistake you’ve identified in someone’s blog post or “tweet” (This isn’t required, but it is considered a common courtesy. The person who made the mistake will thank you.)
- Thanking each of your new followers (It’s a nice concept to thank each of your new social media connections, but keep in mind how many responses you’re sending out each day or within a 10 minute period.)
- Making a request to someone (Want to ask someone to write a guest blog post or partner on a project? Don’t put them on the spot in a public forum. Once you agree on a partnership, then by all means, tweet away!)
- Constructive criticism…this is your call. (If you have some pretty serious feedback to give someone, consider the most appropriate venue.)
- Getting someone’s attention! (Want to make a connection with someone, send them a direct message to get things started. A lot of people on Twitter get direct messages sent to their email or mobile phone.)
What tips or rationale have you discovered for why to send a direct versus a public message? Feel free to share with our community.
NOTE: On Twitter in order to “DM” someone you must be “following” one another.