Can you really slide into the DMs with a "thanks for following" message ethically and without annoying someone?
Inspired by a question in the Social Media for Humans Club this week, that's what I'm chatting about on this episode.
I hang out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexisbushnell/
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Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing: https://socialmediaforhumans.club/
Voice over by Hawke Wood: https://www.spotlight.com/3490-9081-8844
Hello and welcome to Social Media for Humans, the podcast that empowers you to do social differently. Your host. Alexis Bushnell, and her guests discuss their experience of social media as business owners, users, and ultimately humans, with insights and advice to help you find an effective and ethical strategy that works for you. Grab yourself a drinkand join the conversation. Alexis:
Hello, hello! Welcome to a little quick tip episode of the Social Media for Humans podcast. We have a little real talk with you right now, I am filming this the day before you are listening to it because wow life is a situation at the moment! I had planned to film at the end of last week and then stuff happened and then there was very very hotness and my brain does not function, nothing about me functions in very very hotness, so a little bit of the last minutes happening right now! So if you are in a similar situation and you have not sent your email newsletter, not put up some content this week, have a very long to do list because this week has been a disaster for you, you're not alone, hi! But today what I actually want to talk about is automated and or manual "hi, thanks for following me" messages. This is something that has come up in the Social Media for Humans Club this week and people have thoughts and feelings about it and it got me thinking because it wasn't something that I had really thought about. My initial stance was just like "don't do it" because all of the ones I see to be honest are automated, very clearly designed to prime someone you're sending it to to want to buy from you, and some of them are just outright sales which, not cool, maybe don't do that. However there are situations where you would want to send a genuine welcome message, a genuine "thanks for following me" message, and there are situations where that's totally fine, this is, like I say 'social' media, the point is to be sociable with people, the point is to start those conversations with people and to connect, and so sending a "thanks for following me" message or whatever like that is a great way to start a conversation. So how do you do it in a way that isn't icky and weird and horrible? Well this is going to be like "well yeah, of course you're going to say that" but be a human about it. So when you're thinking about writing that message, when you're writing the message itself, don't be in like sales mindset, don't be in like networking mindset, just be in like cool, it's really nice that this person's followed me, we have things in common, maybe we work in the same industry or they're an ideal client and their content looks really cool and interesting, or their profile shows that we have things in common, stuff like that, focus on that stuff. When you send the message start with like "hey, thanks for following me, here's why I'm really thrilled that you followed me," and be genuine about it, like don't have a cut and paste thing. Now the people who struggle with this and who are also for time, you can have cut and paste, so you can like copy some pre-written text but leave blanks. So you have like "hi, thanks for following me," that you can copy and then "I saw on your profile that you" and then you can fill in that bit, that you are really passionate about climate change, that you love cats, that you are a coffee drinker, whatever it is. And then say something about you, you know, like I also am really passionate about climate change and or cats and or I'm a coffee drinker. "So I'm really interested to chat to you about this stuff." And also I genuinely feel, and this might be where I lose you, I genuinely feel that when you're writing things, by and large, your intention, your mood, your energy, however you want to think about it, does come through. There is obviously things that we miss because we don't have the visual cues, we don't have the audio cues if we're just reading written text, but if somebody sends you like a really curt message in reply to something you've sent, you know, you know! If somebody sends you a really sarcastic reply to something, you know! People can get a vibe just through partly through the words that you use and the way that you put them together, but also that is fueled by how you're feeling, what you mean in that moment, what's what's happening for you. So if you are in the mindset of "I'm genuinely excited to chat to this person, this person is somebody I'm really actually interested in, I want to see their content, I want us to get to know each other a bit more, I just think they're a really cool person," that is going to come through. So write those messages when you are in the headspace to connect with people. And also, because this is something that people talk to me a lot about, if you are worried that you are going to come off weird, quirky, not confident, really shy, whatever it is, because you are those things, that's fine, roll with it! If that's who you are, that's who you are, that's okay. You don't have to pretend to be like super duper confident whatever, you don't have to pretend to be quote normal, just be be you. And that's hard, that's hard, I know that, but it does get easier with practice, and it also gets easier as you put who you are out there and then get the feedback and then have people respond to who you are, respond because of who you are, because you're a little bit weird, because you had a bit of a brain fart and you used the wrong word in that message and then you had a little giggle about it with them. Like it's okay to be you in those like first messages and all the rest of the time, so please don't put on like social media telephone voice or whatever it is for those messages, just be you about it. And I would also say try to get into that message what you're looking forward to, like what are you looking forward to seeing from them based on the previous content they've put out. If there's something you have in common, say it's climate change, like maybe they're really knowledgeable about fossil fuels and the green energy alternatives and so maybe at the end of that message you say something like you know, "I would be really interested to see more content from you about green energy options, or about the differences between wind and solar" or something like that that shows you know who they are, you know a little bit about what they're talking about and you are interested to learn more. Only say it for the stuff you're actually interested about, if they also post about aeroplanes, which we learned in the last episode I know nothing about, then maybe don't mention the aeroplanes. So basically the points you want to hit are "thanks for following me, it's really lovely to meet you" or however you phrase that, obviously put all of this all of this into your own words, your own language. Something about "I love that you're passionate about this," or like "this is why I really enjoy your content" or "I'm really inspired by this quote you have on your profile," whatever. Something that is like I see what you're putting out there, this is not an automated message I actually know what you're about and then use that to explain why you think they're your kind of human, you know, because you're also interested in this, or because you have a passion for that, or whatever it is like that, and then try to get in something about what you want to see more of from them, why you want to get to know them a bit more, what specifics of the things that they talk about or that they're interested in or whatever you would like to hear more about, but basically just be a human about it. The person you are DMing is a human, like they have a weird complicated life outside of their DMs, I mean if it's not complicated I need to speak to them about how they're managing that! So they are more than just their whatever their account is, they have a life outside, they know what it is to be a human, so try to connect with them on that human level, just as if you were, and this is gonna not help a lot of you out there I realise this, but as if you were walking up to somebody at a social event, assuming we were not in the situation we are right now, but you know, let's think of a better situation, maybe several years ago, where you could walk up to somebody at an event, and maybe you've seen them speak at the event, and you're like "I really enjoyed your talk on blah blah, this is what was really interesting to me about it, whatever whatever." If you're one of those people who can do that, imagine it's like that. If you're somebody who's like "I would never," okay, forget that, scrap it, it's fine! Just remember that the other person is a human and so are you, there is no perfect "welcome, thank you, whatever" DM message, there is only the wonderfully imperfect version that is personalised for that person. So I am going to scoot now, I will see you next week for a fabulous a guest episode. If you would like to be involved in wonderful discussions like this you can join the Social Media for Humans Club. It's been a really long time since I actually filmed some tip episodes because I bulk filmed and now I'm like "how do I sign these off? What am I supposed to be doing here?" But yeah, if you would like to learn more about using social media for your business to make it work for you, to reduce your stress around social media, there is a Social Media for Humans Club it is £30 per month, there is no like repetitive signing thing, like I'm not just going to take your money every month, you can choose each month. That made it sound complicated! So yeah, come and join us, that'd be fabulous,and take care of yourselves. Hawke:
If you want more regular reminders to find your own way to use social media, follow Alexis on your social platform of choice, all the links will be in the show notes. Until next time, be a human.