I am interested to talk this week about a conversation that I had on Twitter,  which is interesting in itself because I don’t have many conversations on Twitter. 

This conversation came about when I received the following message from a follower in Canada objecting to our use of DM’s (Direct Messages).   


Here is the whole conversation:


Now, I am not suggesting that @W_Goddard  is a bad person or undesirable in any way.  In fact I know that he is a good man because I have read his blog and I am aware that he believes and practices a thing that he calls “social good”  which is absolutely lovely,  you can visit his blog and read about it here.

What interests me is that whilst @W_Goddard thinks that DM’s are a terrible way to start a relationship,  he seems to think that barking instructions at us across the Atlantic is a good way to initiate things.  What I find astounding is @W_Goddard’s absolute confidence that DM’s are bad.

So who decided that DM’s are bad?

How are they bad?

Why are they bad?

My view on Social Media marketing is that it is all brand new and the jury is out on the whole thing.

Does it work?

Does it deliver return on investment?

Is it worth the time and energy?

These are the important questions.

The simple fact is that if you are going to engage in Twitter marketing you have to make a decision pretty early on, whether to send automated dm’s or not.  If you attract a lot of followers it quickly becomes impossible to keep pace with everyone you have to thank manually,  and surely it is universally rude not to thank people? 

We made the decision that we would thank people and give them something in return for following us and that has worked pretty well for us for about 5 years, we have around 62,000 followers and they seem to be quite happy. We have come up with a way of using DM’s to communicate a little bit of respect and give something to the people that take the trouble to follow us. We think that is a little bit of “social good.”

The elephant in the room here of course is that whilst Twitter is incredible and lovely, and great, huge swathes of it are just junk, it is rammed full of spam and bots and dross. And that is a bit annoying, but it may well be worth putting up with. We have developed systems and processes for cutting through the rubbish that work pretty well and make sure that we continue to see a benefit.

As a marketing company we are obliged to test the waters. We are currently doing some pretty clunky LinkedIn Marketing and getting dogs abuse, literally, in return. But guess what, it is also generating some interest and leads.

I think the actual issue I have with all of this is the suggestion that actually it is marketing that is bad, and that is the bane of our lives. Marketing isn’t bad, marketing is necessary and is the only difference between successful and unsuccessful businesses.