Last week, I talked about why you shouldn’t use auto DMs on Twitter. Today, I wanted to talk about something similar: autoresponders.

As I mentioned last week, some people on Twitter use software designed to take one action when triggered by another action (e.g. sending auto DMs whenever someone follows you). This software doesn’t just automate direct messages though. You could mention someone in a tweet when they follow you or thank them for mentioning you in a recent tweet of theirs.

Here are some examples I’ve experienced in the last couple of months:

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That last one was my favourite. I typically say you’re welcome when someone thanks me for doing something (RTs, mentions, likes, etc). This ends up creating this never-ending back and forth of them saying thank you for the mention and me saying you’re welcome (while mentioning them). My final tweet to him looked like this:

You’re welcome for the mention while saying you’re welcome for the mention while saying you’re welcome for the mention.

He blocked me eventually. Which contrasts the first person, who simply stopped using the autoresponder when he realized the loop it had created.

While autoresponder tweets are better than auto DMs, they’re not that much better. They tell people that you can’t take the time to engage one-on-one with them. And despite being on a medium built on social interaction, such actions are neither social nor interactive. They’re antithetical to social media.

To be clear, if someone mentions you in a tweet, feel free to thank them for it. Just make sure you take the time to respond personally.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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