Hey lovely readers,
Every day I get quite a few DMs (private messages), as do other people on Tech Twitter. Some larger accounts receive up to 20 or more DM requests per day.
Some DM requests, just like emails or text messages, are prioritized over others. Why? Because one looks more interesting than the other, and it’s impossible to respond to all of them. The majority of DM conversations last several days, if not months. Consider adding 20 conversations per day to that. It would almost be a full-time job you won’t get paid for. It’s unmanageable.
I posted a thread on Twitter about how you would make it 100% sure that I won’t reply to your DM. I noticed many people, both with big and smaller accounts, have similar reasons for not responding to someone.
Because of this, I’d like to discuss what you should and should not do when attempting to reach out to someone This should be helpful if you're just starting out or trying to network more on the wonderful world of Tech Twitter. Let’s go!
Do read somebody’s bio
Don’t just message someone just to message someone. I’ve gotten questions like ‘What kind of language do you code in?’, ‘Where are you from?’ and even ‘What’s your name?’. If these people had spent 30 seconds on my Twitter page they would have known all these answers by reading my bio.
People really appreciate it when you give them the impression that you at least checked their account before messaging them. Please do read the bio of the person you’re messaging and do make a comment about something on their account or their content in general.
Don’t just say hi
Many people on Tech Twitter (or other social media) complain about receiving a flood of DMs simply saying 'hi.' Back when I received fewer DMs than I do now, I quickly realized that this leads to either unnecessary small talk, questions like the ones I mentioned in the 'Do read somebody's bio' section, or random men hitting on me. It clearly didn't add any value, so I stopped responding to it entirely, and I've been much happier since.
I'm sure I'm not the only Tech Twitter user who gets annoyed by 'hi' messages, so try to provide more context rather than just a single-word message. Tell the person you're reaching out to who you are and why you're contacting them instead.
Do act friendly and respectful
Most people luckily understand this, but for those who don't, if you notice a mistake in someone's blog/thread/tweet, don't DM them all angry or curse them out. We are all human, and we all make mistakes. Criticism is awesome but only in a calm and non-threatening way.
Also, avoid asking people sexual questions or try to flirt with them. Somebody that wants to flirt with strangers would be using Tinder or Bumble, not Tech Twitter. If you wouldn’t ask your colleague or classmate the question you’re asking somebody in DM, then don’t do it.
This includes but is not limited to:
- Asking for pictures
- Asking for somebody’s relationship status
- Asking if they’re interested in getting married/having kids
- Cutesy nicknames
- Out-of-place compliments about somebody’s appearance
Instead try to come off as kind and respectful, if you have some critics say that in a respectful way and treat people like you would want to be treated and most importantly DON’T be a creep.
Don’t ask people for money / devices
The biggest hoax is that people with active Twitter accounts in the Western world have a lot of money. Many of us cannot afford MacBooks or expensive phones. I wish I could give every one of my followers the largest MacBook Pro available, but I can't. It's also impolite to expect a stranger to simply give you something as a gift, especially something that expensive.
If you wouldn’t ask a co-worker or classmate that you barely know that question in public, don’t do it to somebody online.
Do ask questions
Instead of sending 'hi' or 'I have a question,' ask the question you want to ask right away. This helps people understand why you're contacting them and increases your chances of getting a response. I, for one, enjoy answering questions that can help someone with their career, their tech journey or education. Even silly trivial questions can work as a great topic starter, I’ve sent dad jokes before to people that I wanted to start a conversation with because I didn’t know what to sent.
Don’t ask someone to follow you just because you followed them
It is unnecessary to message someone that you just followed them and tell them they should follow back. It is entirely your choice whether or not to follow them in the first place. There is no Twitter law stating that people must follow you back simply because you pressed the follow button.
Instead, try to create interesting content and start DMing people; if they enjoy the conversation, they will likely check out your profile and follow you.
Do try to reach out to smaller creators
We all want to be friends with people who have a larger following, especially if you're just getting started and see that one person with 50k followers you really admire in your recommended tweets all the time. However, just because they have a large following does not necessarily mean that they are knowledgeable about everything.
Consider looking for smaller creators who may be able to help you just as good if not better with your question; there are some incredible people out there with 100, maybe even 50 followers.
That’s a wrap!
That’s it once again. I hope this blog post was helpful and thank you for reading. If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to leave a message in the comment section or DM me on Twitter at @lovelacecoding. See you later!