If you’re going to be on social media, hopefully you’ve learned that it’s about connection and interaction, sharing interesting content, networking (hate that word), and building a fan base. What about when it’s not, though? What about when it’s about people who are trying to rile us up, or create icky sexual situations, or think they’re funny when in reality they’re just embarrassing themselves? Are those people even worth our time?
DMs (Direct Messages) on Twitter
If you’re on Twitter, you know what a DM is — a private way to converse with someone without your (or their) timeline seeing it. I find this feature useful in connecting with people on a more personal level — no, not in a sexual way (I’ll get to that below) — more as friends chatting about weird Aunt Mary or the fight they had with their husband over lasagne.
However, it’s seemingly also a way for people to send inappropriate messages (‘wanna hook up?’). And if that’s your thing, cool. No judgement here. But what about those of us who are there for business reasons: to connect with readers, bloggers, reviewers, and influencers? Why on earth would you look at my profile and ask if I wanna see a picture of your thing? (And, ewwww. No.)
DMs are also notoriously a way to get hacked. The other day a guy sent me this: ‘Want 771 free followers fast? Click here!’ and while I give him points for alliteration, I immediately knew he’d been hacked. People: check your OUTGOING DMs! When I suggested he’d been hacked and should change his password (an easy fix), he yelled at me for accusing him of something blah blah — to be honest I gave up and blocked him.
The lesson here: don’t EVER click on a link in DM. You are giving away your account info. (Another lesson apparently, don’t try to help someone who has been hacked.) Tip: If you don’t follow someone, they can’t DM you. I like that. 🙂
My solution? Ignore and block. I used to try to help folks, letting them know they’ve been hacked. Now, I realize that it’s just not worth my time. Tip: Tired of receiving #AUTODMs? Go here: http://unfollowers.me/dnd and click on the BIG BLUE button (Do Not DM). This works. Also, do not sign up for any kind of auto DM welcome service. AutoDMs suck and most people will immediately unfollow you.
PMs (Private Messages on Facebook)
PMs on Facebook are the same as DMs, but on Facebook. Again, I find them incredibly useful for connecting privately with friends and clients. And again, it’s also a place for weird people to leave icky messages about hooking up, or a prize, or wanting banking info (I mean).
Don’t believe me? Check your OTHER folder sometime. I dare you not to feel like you have to take six showers when you’re done with that fun task. Unsure about how to find your Other folder? See below:
To get to your Other folder, click Messages on the left side of the homepage, then click Other on the top left. You can move a message to your inbox by replying to it, or by opening the message and selecting Move to Inbox for the Actions menu.
My solution? Again, ignore and block. Don’t interact. Don’t engage. Don’t waste your time. That said, check your Other folder occasionally — there could be an important message in there from someone you don’t know about a real gig or opportunity — doubtful, but you never know!
I have my email listed on my sites, because it’s how many clients find me. Unfortunately, it’s also how trolls and weirdos find us, too. I used to respond to all messages (except the bizarro ones). Now… I don’t. And despite writing tons of free articles and giving out tips daily, people still email me asking for me to help them free of charge. We can’t possibly respond to every piece of mail we receive daily. Some people use filtering programs, which can help quite a bit for time management purposes.
And as much as I’d love to work free of charge and respond to every person, my landlord doesn’t take smiles as payment. I know, right? What an arse.
BLOG COMMENTS Always respond to blog comments. People took the time to read what you wrote — surely you have time to thank them! Use your manners, basically. I love WordPress because it filters spam for me, which is a huge timesaver. It also asks you to approve comments from unknowns — so if you are stalked or trolled, the comment won’t show up (and if it does, simply remove it).
I’m always amazed at how many people don’t respond to comments, yet want to receive them. What is that? Get over yourself. If you want people to respond to your work, acknowledge that: share theirs, leave comments on their blog — don’t expect anything in return and people will surprise you.
And remember, a great way to get traffic to your blog and meet other bloggers: #MondayBlogs. Use the hashtag on Mondays (Tip: I start RTing late Sunday nights, PST for our European, Asian, and Oz friends), share any post, retweet others. Like our Facebook page, and enter our May contest to be our featured blogger!
What are your thoughts on responding? Please share below.