Engage Online As You Do In Person

February 11, 2010

<Originally posted February 9, 2010 on the old site>

Theresa:   “I always wonder if a DM is an auto-response. Yours is definitely not…Thank you for restoring my faith in ppl”

I received this nice DM from a new follower today and it got me thinking. She was responding to my DM, which I send out to all new followers that I choose to follow-back. (No auto-following going on here)

I make a point to send a thank you for following with a comment or question about their particular bio or profile. Customized. No auto-follow. No request to review my site or blog. No generic hello. Something about their profile caught my eye and caused me to want to follow them back and I comment or inquire accordingly.

It’s called engagement, folks.

Why are we on Twitter if not to engage people? I personally believe that we engage people online the very same way we engage face to face.

If you’re out at a gathering, which is the equivalent of an auto-DM?

a) Robotically hand out your business card in a circle and, to one after another, say, “Hi. Here’s my card. We should chat.” Over and over and over. Or:
b) Eye contact. Genuine interest. Personal connection. Shared interests. Good company.

And which person do you look forward to seeing, and perhaps doing business with, again?

I avoid the former (politely) forevermore, but the latter is the one I cannot wait to hang with again and the one I strive to be.

Why should it be different online? Clearly, I cannot make eye-contact with you (although I do try to hypnotize with my profile pic/background) but I can attempt to discover shared interests and to make a connection. To be interested as well as interesting.

At press time, I have just over 1000 followers and I’m not a business or a blogger, per se (I launched two days ago).  I adore and engage with a very high percentage of them on a daily basis.  It’s incredibly time-consuming and equally rewarding.

Anyway, welcome, Theresa, to my little corner of the world. I really do like your plaid background.


ColorMeSocial goes into more, better detail about auto-DMs and the like.  You should really be following him.


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