Twitter Auto-DMs: Are They Spam? | social media


social mediaIn April, Twitter made headlines for trying to address the growing spam problem on its platform by filing suit against companies utilizing the Twitter API to automate following and tweeting based on keywords.

Questions have arisen surrounding automation tools that allow users to manage their Twitter account and what qualifies as spam.

The process employed by the tools Twitter is targeting are similar to those used by many social media marketers. For example, some send automatic direct messages (Auto-DMs) to new followers. The question is is this a useful way to foster engagement or is it just another form of spam.


An Experiment


Some may argue that Auto-DMing shows interest in one’s followers and a source for increasing engagement. However, the actual goal appears to be focused on increasing click-through rates or increasing one’s followers.

An informal experiment using a dummy account to follow individuals interested in social media found that after following 938 different accounts, 68 direct messages were received from 54 different accounts with duplicate messages sent from some accounts.

Some of the more common exampled received from these accounts were:

  • “Got a social media question 4 me? Or get lots of answer in my book”
  • “Networking is the way to wealth they say, want to also connect on LinkedIn?”

At times it was difficult to tell the difference between the actual spam attempting to phish account data and those that were not. The account used in the study replied to every message possible with a question or witty response aimed to prompt another reply. Of the 32 responses sent, only two replied.

Professional Perspectives

Professional Perspectives

Kate Gardiner, head of freelance web strategy firm Distill used to emply the practice of Auto-DMing as a strategy for acknowledging her audience.  She found that it helped to increase follower retention but had little affect on click-through rates. “We found we did better putting our great content for people to engage with consistently. While it took a lot more time and effort it seems to be worth it,” said Kate.

Leah Jones, a Vice President at Olson PR, found similar results as Kate but made a point that any one who employed Auto-DMing as part of their strategy didn’t do so under her direction. “Spam outside of email is in the eye of the beholder. If all of your users feel it’s spam, then it’s spam. I don’t see anyone on the receiving end of Auto-DMs who want to receive it. It offers very little value if any,” said Leah.

Based on their experience, Kate and Leah found that using Auto-DMs was not a viable strategy for engaging followers on Twitter.

Everything In Moderation

social media

However, at times, automation of social media can sometimes be helpful. For example, pre-writing and scheduling tweets can help to optimize the dissemination of your content and create consistency that followers can rely on.

One of the most valuable aspects of social media is the ability to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. This benefit can be lost all together by using too much automation and lead to frustration among followers if they reach out and never receive a response. Social media marketers will benefit more from publishing and sharing great content and being more human than they will by sending Auto-DMs.

[Sources: Twitter, Beth McShane; Image credits: Jim CapaldiMai Le, Highways Agency]


8 Companies With Great Facebook Timeline Cover Images

sitemapsFacebook Timeline is the standard design for all brand and business Facebook Pages. There’s been extensive chatter regarding how the change impacts companies, nevertheless the general consensus is the addition of the cover photograph has the possiblity to be a big asset for graphic storytelling.

Below are 8 businesses which have selected the cover photograph as a method to show off their products, their people plus their missions about Facebook.

1. The New York Times

If personnel is a driving force behind your success, focusing on your employees can be a powerful image for your fans. If personnel is the driving force behind your success, focusing on your team can be a powerful image to present to your fans. The New York Times aced this approach with a wonderfully organized staff photograph which shows applauding employees standing about 2 floors of its newsroom. It’s an particularly effective image to employ for a brand which is predominantly focused about words, plus serves because a reminder of the human element which powers among the world’s top journalism entities.

2. Converse

Photo collage has proven a prevalent approach for the cover photograph. It’s an simple method to combine many facets of the brand, that is absolutely appealing whenever we run a diversified firm or market a wide range of products.

Converse offers a excellent illustration of the strategy with a grid of its boots used inside a range of artsy shots. The color filters plus fuzziness inside every pic provide an total retro vibe to the collage that’s perfect for the classic sneaker brand. This Page is reminder to consider regarding the way you may use technologies like Photoshop or Instagram to provide additional character to the brand’s images.

3. Ben & Jerry’s

The ice cream organization from Vermont has constantly been experienced at advertising both its community relations initiatives as well as its delicious product. Ben & Jerry’s is a brand with sturdy name recognition, and signifies the business will depend about its trademark visual design for a Facebook cover picture.

Its easy shape matches the vibe of the branding — no need for words should you have perfect images! The Page header doesn’t even mention the product till the final line of the Regarding page. Should you have nationally-known branding, employ it to the benefit to create a cover image which looks more approachable plus less blatantly like advertising.

4. Game of Thrones

One bold image could communicate volumes regarding the tone plus fashion of the product, inside this case, a tv show. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” created an image of the hand grasping a thorny crown. The harshness fits the show’s gritty, no-holds-barred fantasy planet.

The accompanying text is concise, complementing instead of detracting within the total impact of the cover photograph. Just as with Ben & Jerry’s above, simplicity is the friend. And this show proves which we don’t want a nationally-known brand campaign because a foundation for effective imagery.

5. Smirnoff US

There are numerous designers generating creative positioning of the cover photograph plus profile, however Smirnoff US is regarded as the greatest. The vodka brand generally favors the ambiance of the sexy young person’s party inside its advertising, and the cover pic for the U.S. company is not a exception. However the unexpected 3D impact of the hand reacjing out found on the left to grab the bottle inside its profile picture adds a whimsical twist to the otherwise standard advertising approach.

6. Zipcar

Brands relying on inspirational pictures are a dime a dozen. That’s to not state the approach doesn’t have its merits. However why not elevate the standard inspirational picture with smart text? Zipcar nailed it with this photograph of 2 females about a beach at sunset overlaid with all the text “Un-zipping-believable” plus “Get out and zip.” The copy conveys a carefree attitude of adventure up against the quiet force of the picture, creating it more powerful than the shot will be about its own.

7. Sharpie

Consider showcasing the product inside an unexpected light. Sharpie has a well-known product frequently associated with an workplace context, however the brand decided to highlight the potential for the creative uses.

Many visitors are impressed at the cover photo’s detailed pen drawings performed about paper cups. Art created by this unusual mixture of media lends a quirkiness plus individuality we wouldn’t naturally associate with workplace supplies.

8. 826 National

The appropriate photograph could highlight the mission perfectly, whether or not you’re marketing anything. This image for nonprofit 826 National shows the group’s focus about kids plus literacy, nevertheless has an extra charm which permeates the entire business. A boy lost the tooth carrying up a book with a story regarding the Tooth Fairy? Adorable. The lesson here is the fact that a honest presentation of the human interest side can be extremely touching (plus effective).


Let us help you build a stellar Facebook page. Click here to find out more.

[Image credit: Marco Gomes]




Corporations Favor Social Media, Blogging Declines

sitemapsNew research has found which more firms are forgoing blogging in favor of engaging with consumers from social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has studied the social media behavior of 7 of the best 25, an 28 of the best 100 firms within the 2011 Inc. 500 list.

Its newest report has revealed that blogging has declined for the first-time amidst Inc 500 businesses. Just 37 % of those studied employ a blog in their advertising efforts, compared to 91 % which utilize social media.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook is the best platform amidst the group with 74 % utilizing it. The social network narrowly beat out LinkedIn, that is chosen by 73 %. Twitter rounds out the best 3 with 64 percent.

90 percent of Inc. 500 firms believe social media is significant for brand awareness plus standing administration, 88 percent employ these tools for generating internet traffic, and 81 percent depend about it for lead generation.

While 92 percent of those polled accepted to acquiring blogging effective, the utilization of blogs has dropped to 37 percent from 50 percent in 2010. Fortune 500 firm blogs are furthermore found on the low side at 23 percent.

Social media is growing plus more marketers are turning into it to aid with firm objectives. But, whilst interest is excellent, we don’t suggest that you ditch the blog to focus completely about social platforms. Instead, it’s value re-evaluating the objectives plus determining how these tools — blogs included — will allow you to achieve them.

[Image credit: Panasonic]




Facebook Pages For Local Business Outperform Corporations


Although engagement is still building Facebook Pages, a new study shows that it is in the companies best interest to maintain separate Pages for local stores or branches in addition to a main corporate Page.

The study —  performed by Mainstay Salire — found that Facebook Pages for local branches of business create fives times more reach and engagement than corporate Pages.

Mainstay Salire looked at 14 million interactions on Hearsay Social clients’ Facebook Pages in a variety of industries during December 2011.

“Marketing is about serving the right message at the right time, and that’s best done at the local level,” explained Clara Shih CEO of Hearsay Social.

One of the pros of getting a neighborhood presence is the fact that you are able to create extra relevancy by referencing the weather or even a local sports team. “It feels like you’re hearing from a human being,” Shih said.

Many shoppers create local Pages by checking into a company or place. Instead of leaving these Pages on the Facebook unmonitored, own them.

Managing numerous local Pages will require unified brand messaging plus extra time, however it may be too early to call it quits. According to Shih, a amount of companies — including 24 Hour Fitness and Farmer’s Insurance — have experienced positive results since permitting local employees to manage Pages.

If you’re unsure, it’s worth experimenting by creating one or two local Pages and measuring their performance over time. If successful, you can continue to branch out. Facebook has also made it easier to manage multiple Pages by introducing a new notification that will alert you to Page activity through your personal account.


Let ZeroZen help you optimize your local Facebook Page. Click here to learn more.

[Via: Inside Facebook, Image credit: Social Woodlands]