Twitter Management: Are Your Tweets Costing You Followers?

Twitter management

Are Your Tweets Making You Lose Followers?

So you think you've got the hang of this Twitter "thing."  Maybe you've been using my tips and spending a great deal of time and energy following many people in your niche on Twitter, and combined with regularly Tweeting great content, you've done a great job of getting more followers.

But did you know that it’s also possible to lose followers on this social network? And if you’re using the ‘auto direct message,' you need to stop and read this right now.

Twitter Terms of Service Outlawing Automatic Follow-Back

The Automated Direct Message, aka the Auto DM, is one of the most popular tools that internet marketers use on Twitter. And if you’re using it properly, then you won’t have any problems. But if you're abusing it, you can face some serious consequences that can make Twitter marketing for your business much more challenging.

In fact – Twitter has gotten so serious about this, that they have recently taken steps to outlaw auto follow backs and to block third party apps from doing an auto follow back and auto direct message of people who follow you. 

You might have used this in the past as a fast way to build audience and your platform, but as of now, the auto follow back is being disabled on third party apps. Each and every person you want to follow on Twitter must be manually approved.

While I am disappointed to see the auto follow back feature disabled, I can understand how it was getting to be annoying for many regular Twitter users, especially combined with the automatic DM. 

Examples of Bad Auto DMs on Twitter

Here's the kind of auto follow back/auto DMs I'm talking about when it comes to inappropriate ways to market your business on Twitter.

  • Hey, why don't you check out my website at…
  • You're probably interested in my service…
  • Buy my product now!

This is exactly the kind of auto DM that can cause you to hurt your brand and actually lose followers on Twitter.

It's especially obvious that you're marketing in a spammy way if you're automatically sending these kinds of tweets to followers who hardly know you!  I wouldn't blame them if they immediately unfollowed you.  Personally, I would too! 

You know, there are some people who devote a lot of talk about how to phrase tweets just right to get away with as much "push marketing" as possible. 

But it honestly just comes down to good communication filled with value for people in your niche.  If you're using Twitter to share value and begin a true conversation with your followers from the first time you communicate with them, your list of followers should continue to grow. 

But if you're using Twitter to deliver a sales message that's only barely disguised as providing value, your followers will see through that and will likely choose not to follow you pretty quickly.

What's the best way to figure out how to market your business using Twitter? 


Just imagine yourself in the shoes of your followers. How would you feel if someone sends you a tweet like the ones you send out.  If it's a tweet you wouldn't want to receive, don't send it.

What are your thoughts on Twitter's change to its TOS?  Leave a comment below! 


  1. I positively hate those auto DMs! Nothing will get a person unfollowed faster!

  2. Fortunately, I don't use the automatic DM, but I agree — it's really aggravating to get them from people who think that "push" marketing is the way to build their business. They lose me right there. 

  3. Though I've never DM'd anyone a sales pitch or other annoying garbage, I have moved away from using them. My own inbox is full of DM garbage. It's one of the quickest ways to get me to unfollow someone. So much better to focus on actually getting to know someone and building a relationship with them.

  4. I advise NO auto direct messages what-so-ever.  The Twitter direct message feature could be such a great feature if it weren't cluttered with nothingness.  It should be left for quick messages to other Twitter users to ask for a connection, a chat, a notice that a webinar will be delayed, etc.

  5. As always, another great tip on the use twitter. The golden rule does indeed apply here, "If it's a tweet you wouldn't want to receive, don't send it." But how much does twitter resolve issues with regards to using foul words?

  6. So far so good for me, But I am mindful of the changes too!

  7. I just cannot commit the time to personally message each and every new twitter follower, so for me the new rules are frustrating.  There is only so much social media time in my life.  Though I wasn't leading peeps directly to my website or to buying from me in my auto dm's, I was encouraging them to connect with me on facebook.  (then once I have them on facebook I can get to know them better and continue the funnel from there).  With kids and multiple businesses, there's only so much social media time.  Thanks for the article!

  8. This is another great article & a great topic! I strongly advise my clients against the Auto DM approach as well. If the relationship is nourtured properly, then a personalized DM is appropriate. Just like any other sales process, people don't want to feel like they are being sold something, and they definitely don't want to feel like they are getting the same treatment as every other single person. They like to be treated as unique and special. Proper social media engagement can provide that feeling.

  9. Great post! A good reminder too! I need to revise my auto DM, it's not sales based but I think it needs an update! Thanks!

  10. I never have used this spammy feature fortunately, seeing I haven’t “launched” my book yet. Now that it’s almost ready for publication this advice is timely and appreciated!

  11. I thought auto follow back was fine until two things started happening. One was the auto DMs. The other was redemail notification of new followers

  12. NdI thought auto follow back was fine until two things started happening. One was the auto DMs. The other was redundant email notifications of new followers. I would go to thank them for their follows, forgetting that it was already done.

  13. Your article is very helpful Edmund. I would defeinitely not entertain any sales DM and unfollow rightaway.

     Can twitter only have strangers as followers? How to expect some leads from twitter then?

  14. Fantastic observations about the DM's.  They can be very annoying and it makes the creator seem desperate.  I can totally see why Twitter is disabling this feature.  


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