How to Automate Your Direct Messages on Twitter

Let’s be honest, we have all been annoyed by the spammy direct messages that are constantly flying around Twitter. What was intended for private conversation has become a method for ill-intended “marketers” to spam as many people as possible using the Twitter API.

It has gotten to the point where many users do not even check their direct messages anymore, assuming there is nothing there worth reading (or at least not worth the effort sifting through the garbage).

Hopefully these days are coming to an end. With Twitter’s recent API rules change, applications are no longer allowed to automatically post direct messages to other users unless they’ve been explicitly invited to do so (and getting a new follower is not an explicit invitation).

Here’s the new rule as can be found here:

Sending automated Direct Messages to users
You may not send unsolicited Direct Messages in a bulk or automated manner, and should be thoughtful about the frequency with which you contact users via Direct Message.
You may send automated Direct Messages to users so long as:
* the recipient(s) have requested (i.e. opted in) to be contacted by you via Direct Message or have clearly indicated an intent to be contacted in advance; and
* you provide a clear and easy way for such users to opt-out of receiving automated Direct Messages, and promptly honor all such opt-out requests.
The fact that a user is technically able to receive a Direct Message from you (e.g. because the user follows you, has enabled the ability to receive Direct Messages from any account, or because the user is in a pre-existing Direct Message conversation with you) does not necessarily mean they have requested or expect to receive automated Direct Messages from you.

There you have it.

So if and when Twitter starts enforcing this rule, we can all stop getting the pointless and irritating direct messages like “Thanks for following me. Check out my website!” and hopefully only receive real, authentic private messages.

But wouldn’t it be nice to still provide some sort of automation to direct messages that’s useful, and not spammy?

Enter Heroic Social’s Auto DM Bot, a completely rule-compliant method of welcome users to your Twitter profile.

At Heroic Social, you can set up what’s called a “Welcome Message” to be automatically displayed when other users initiate a conversation via direct message with your account. So if some Twitter user goes to message you for some form of customer support, you can immediately display a message to that user with some general information about where to look.

You can also include buttons, called calls to action, that will take the users to specific URL’s.

Take a look at it in action on @HeroicSocialApp’s Twitter account. As soon as a user clicks the button to send Heroic Social a direct message, the conversation is immediately populated with an initial message encouraging the user to sign up for a free account.

Twitter Welcome Message on @HeroicSocialApp’s account

Notice in the above gif that the direct message states that it was received “Now” indicating that this message was immediately sent when the conversation was open. Notice also that there is a Call to Action button at the bottom labeled “Visit Heroic Social” which will take the user to heroicsocial.com.

Any Twitter user can set up this type of automatic welcome message to users who contact them via direct message by setting it up on Heroic Social’s web app. Let’s talk about how that can be done.

First, you will need to enable receiving direct messages from anyone. This is found on twitter.com in Settings -> Privacy and safety.

Visit your privacy settings on Twitter
Enable the “Receive Direct Messages from anyone” checkbox

Next, login to heroicsocial.com and go to the Twitter tools via the button at the top.

Heroic Social has multiple tools, click the button for the Twitter tools

Then visit the “Auto DM Bot” page from the menu on the left.

Visit the Auto DM Bot page

Here you will see some basic information on what welcome messages are and how to set them up. Click the “Create” button to compose one.

Create a new welcome message

Type in the message that you want sent to people who attempt to initiate a conversation via direct message with you. Then enter your calls to action. These are buttons that will appear at the bottom of the message that can link to web URLs. For example, you can put a link to your website, your Facebook page, your Instagram profile, etc.

Compose a new welcome message and add calls to action to link back to other URLs

After clicking the “Create” button, you will see your new welcome message displayed on the page. You can create multiple welcome messages but only one may be active at a time, which will be the only message automatically put in front of your contacts.

Any of your welcome messages can be set active by clicking the “Start” button underneath them.

Enable a welcome message to go live

And congratulations! You now have an automatic welcome message set up to automatically be sent to people trying to contact you. Try it out! Sign into Twitter under a different account, visit your own profile, and click “Send a Direct Message.” You’ll then see your welcome message shown immediately in the conversation with your call to action buttons underneath.

Welcome message is received immediately when attempting to direct message this account

You can pause or change your welcome message anytime by clicking the “Pause” button on your active welcome message or the “Start” button on a different welcome message.

Click the Pause button to disable a currently active welcome message

That’s it! You can increase the engagement and the number of leads you get from Twitter by automating part of your direct message experience at Heroic Social, which has plenty of great tools for social media management. It’s simple and easy to set up!