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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