Sherman Social – Social Media Agency + Digital Marketing Agency


Kill the Auto-DM. Please, and thank you.

Kill the Auto-DM. Please, and thank you.



I asked my followers what they looked for when following someone on Twitter. Expecting to get responses like, ‘someone educated in social media’ or ‘someone that makes me laugh’, I received answers about everyone’s pet peeves of their fellow Twitter users. Number one? Auto-DMs. Number two? Profile photos that are not of their faces, but rather of their kids, dogs, etc.

So, while I am sure there many out there waiting for me to condemn the dog photo Auto-DMers out there, I am going to remain true to myself and give you the #1 piece of advice you need for Twitter –> Be yourself. Seriously. If you want a photo of your dog as your profile pic, put up the photo of your dog. If you want your kids as your profile pic, go for it. That’s your preference, and that says something about YOU to your followers.

HOWEVER, if you want to set up an automated service that sends tacky Auto-DMs to anyone and everyone that follows you—> STOP. That is not being YOU. That is called being a robot, and, believe me, it is NOT flattering.

Out of everyone involved in the conversation today, almost ALL agreed they immediately unfollow someone that has the nerve to send them an Auto-DM. I, personally, am just offended by them. If I have 65K followers, and don’t use an Auto-DM service, then you certainly don’t need one at 200 followers. If you are at a point where you have to Auto-DM, then you are at a point where you don’t need to be on Twitter, because you DON’T GET THE POINT.

Let me give you an example of just how ridiculous you look when you send an Auto-DM:

  • I sent out a Tweet telling followers it’s not cool to Auto-DM me, and literally received an Auto-DM five seconds later.

  • I was asked a question in an Auto-DM, but could not answer it because that person never followed me back!

  • I was asked if I needed help with social media with my business in an Auto-DM, when social media is my profession!

  • I have seen millions of Auto-DMs come through with “via-”

  • AND, my #1 pet peeve, I have received Auto-DMs with “Sorry for this stinky Auto-DM”…Are you F*ing kidding me?!

Take the time to authentically message your followers. They took the time to seek you out and follow you.You just look like an ass when you Auto-DM someone back. It would be better to not message anyone at all. Seriously.

– Marji J. Sherman

Marji J. Sherman

Expert in NFTs, metaverse, social, and digital marketing.

  • Anonymous

    Hi M,
    Now if an auto-DM came through with the prospect of providing funds for the purchase of (say) a good book, I might just ‘vote’ to allow it to continue as a practice.

    I also don’t mind if someone responds with a basic DM saying ‘thanks for following’ or perhaps directs me to their website (which I’d probably seen on their Twitter profile, and might even have checked out anyway)

    I’m sure someone will dream up a good idea to replace the auto-DM very soon (in fact I imagine those ideas are already out there…. somewhere)


    May 28, 2014 at 12:18 am
  • Anonymous

    Auto-follows, auto-DMs… Twitter is full of bots chatting to each other. If all the fake and dormant accounts were stripped out, and all the bots silenced, Twitter’s stock would collapse; and the rest of us would not have to put up with self-professed social media gurus.

    June 14, 2014 at 3:51 pm
  • Hi Marji i’m not a fan of DMs auto or otherwise There have been times when twitter pals needed to communicate with me confidentially i.e. a personal matter they only wished to discuss w/me & not all of twitter or personal info like my mailing address etc was needed when i’d won a contest [YaY! :D]. But those are the exceptions to my not wanting/needing DMs Your suggestion that people post the image they prefer to represent them as their avatar, i cannot applaud enough Yes! Hello—the point IS to be one’s self & maybe one’s self representationally is a pic of your pet or in my case platform maryjanes that say ‘yes i’m a boomer, & a child of the disco era too’ 😀 Now as to what i look for when following or being followed it varies but basically i want to be informed respected & in some cases entertained & i try to respond in kind. Also it’s nice when someone wants to engage me but doesn’t demand a quid pro quo. i don’t have a lot of twitter peeves but one that is at the top of my list are people i’m already following persistently requesting i do so. Recently that has happened for a few wks & this person has also piggy-backed other friends on my timeline w/the request. One of those friends responded with “um—no” They’re brutally frank that way—one of the things i like best about them. This person making the request is thisclose to me unfollowing them. If the only reason they engage me is to ask me to do something i’ve already done and they can’t take the time to acknowledge that then really why am i following them. *sigh* THX Marji for asking & allowing me to rant 😀

    August 10, 2014 at 1:43 am
  • or justunfollow or whatever the heck it’s called seems good at first, until you learn that it sends stuff out on your behalf like it’s doing you some sort of favor. bzzzt. wrong, justunfollow. you are not doing me any favor, you are doing me a disservice! thanks Marji

    August 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm
  • Roses are red violets are blue if you Auto Dm me I’ll unfollow you. Powerful piece of an everlasting question that bothers so many of us. Keep up the great writing
    Kind regards,

    August 31, 2014 at 8:49 pm
  • Wow! I didn’t realize that one could auto-DM. This article explains a lot of annoying Direct Messages.

    August 31, 2014 at 10:08 pm
  • This also ruins life for those of us who *manual* DM just out of kindness. For example, a blogger I’m interested in just followed me and I manually DMmed – “Thanks for the follow :)”. Now that person probably thinks I’m auto DMing and a maybe even a robot…
    Great post! Thanks!

    November 15, 2014 at 9:13 pm
    • I was thinking the same thing Steve!

      February 3, 2015 at 5:20 pm
    • Actually, the Manual DM is fine.. Just make sure you say their real name.. some detail to prove you are not actually a robot.

      February 3, 2015 at 5:31 pm
  • The auto DM asking me to like their facebook page minutes after I follow is my number one reason to unfollow someone. I want to say to them, if you just met me at a party, would you be all over me asking me to like you before you actually gave me a chance to know you? People who don’t take the time to establish relationships with their followers on twitter are missing the magic of twitter.

    November 29, 2014 at 1:13 am
  • Thank you for writing this. An Auto DM makes me go and unfollow an account most of the time. I say most of the time because I understand certain big brands may just have to do this. But a real person should not have to do this. Say hello personally.. or don’t say anything.

    February 3, 2015 at 5:28 pm
  • NINA

    I block those accounts that sends me autodm, not interested at all, I find it totally pointless.

    November 24, 2015 at 6:52 am
  • My take is that people follow for their own reasons. I do not automatically follow back, I follow those who post the things I benefit from reading. And I never use auto-messaging, it’s insincere at best, and insulting at its worst.

    November 26, 2015 at 4:48 am
  • V.A.Smith

    I’ve always gave pause about putting a photo of myself on any of my social media sites. After a lot of thinking, I decided my dog is more photogenic than I am. I mean, wouldn’t you rather see a cute little dog than some old lady who is badly in need of a makeover? Besides, I am my own worst critic and, to be honest, very shy.
    Yeah, I know, by the way I express myself, you would think I would have no problem of posting a photo of myself.

    As for Instant DMs, I don’t do them. That’s just rude. I will send a DM if I feel I have something to say that should be kept private, meaning, I don’t want to embarrass the person I am corresponding with nor myself.

    Don’t expect me to reciprocate just because you hit my “Follow” button. If I feel you are only following me because you think I’m gonna put money in your pocket, think again. I’m lucky if there is ever a time I have money in my own pocket! I don’t follow people who will be “bombing” my page with inane “memes”, get rich quick schemes, retweets of your retweets (seriously?)…I think you get my drift.

    As to who I will follow, ya better be interesting and have something to share with me that I will find useful. Oh, heck! Why not add me because you just want a friend! Now that is something I am all out for!

    July 21, 2016 at 11:23 pm
    • Haha, I love your comment! You do you on social media. I love your approach to doing whatever you feel is appropriate, even if it includes a photo of a dog as your profile pic 😉 – M.

      August 18, 2016 at 11:50 pm

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