I do use DM (direct messages) in Twitter to “email” my Twitter followers and those I follow, esp. if it’s of a more personal nature.My DMs are always real; however, some Twitter users use various tools to create an AutoDM. It can sometimes be hard to tell if a DM is “real” (actually handwritten by a person) or AUTO (generated by a bot based upon some criteria). AutoDMs annoy me and it is one criteria I will use to unfollow (or not follow) someone. 

Characteristics of an AutoDM (individually, not every characteristic indicates an AutoDM, but as a collective criteria> yes)

  • Instant – the moment after you follow someone you receive a DM – if they are not online (their twitter feed can be somewhat of an indicator) then they are AutoDMing. 
  • Generic – even to the point of mentioning themselves by title, official name or career.
  • Promotes their other websites: Blog or facebook account included & hotlinked. 
  • Anon –  no mention of you or addressing of you specifically (or even by the WRONG name).
  • Thanks you. 
  • Includes hashtags and very generic phrases. (Hashtags aren’t really useful in DMs)
  • May try to sell you something. 
  • Ignores your Twitter rules: will DM you even if your Twitter account states that you do not read DMs.
  • Even admits to being a AutoDM.

 Examples (based upon real DMs): 

  • Thanks for following this Artist & Project Manager. You can see my work at blahblahblah.com.
  • Thanks for the follow! Want more ____  in you life? Sign up for our newsletter 
  • Welcome to _________! Your temporary Username is xxxxxxxxxxxx, and your password is xxxxxxxxxxx. [a lot of services you use will send you a DM] 
  • Yep This is an auto message but I thought since your following you might wanna see my latest pictures anyway
  • Glad 2 find U on Twitter! I post … #TEAMFOLLOWBACK
  • Thanks for following me, I look forward to following your tweets
  • Want an #iPad? Follow us at … 
  • Thanks 4 the follow! / 4 the quickest response  4 more info on the  please see …