If you’re like most business owners, you use social media on a regular basis.
While social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be a major boon for sharing information, they also have another valuable function: direct messaging.
By allowing users to reach you directly (and vice-versa), these social platforms make it easier for people to get in touch, voice their concerns, and inquire about your products, goods, or services. They also make it simple for you to reach out to influencers and build connections your own way.
The question then becomes, how do you use direct messaging in a professional way?
Why Professional Direct Messaging Matters
Have you ever followed a brand or influencer, only to receive an immediate (generic) direct message that says something like, “Thanks for following us! Click this link to learn more.” If so, you’re not alone.
You likely know how frustrating these messages can be.
After all, you’ve taken the time and energy to invest in the company. Why can’t they invest in you with a personalized message?
Generic messages are just one of the problems of modern-day social media messages. In addition to being off-putting for followers, generic messages just reflect poorly on your company. The same goes for poorly-written messages, too-frequent messages, and short, chunky messages that make it seem like you don’t care.
Today, companies that want to succeed on social media need to learn to use direct messaging professionally and productively.
Direct Messaging and Networking
Direct messaging is a powerful tool for networking. Because it allows you to make direct connections with other people in your industry, direct messaging is a powerful method for connecting with people who share your vision and passion.
DM also allows you to share pictures and videos, so it’s a fast and efficient way to expand the reach of your content. Here are just a few of the networking perks social media messaging has to offer:
- Stronger Connections. Social media is a deeply personal platform. On it, people share pictures of their personal lives, information about their job searches, and details about everything from their publications to their families. Because of this, people who use direct messaging can build very deep connections with prospects and leads.
- Easier Access to Influencers. Before social media, finding influencers to connect with was an extensive process. Thanks to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, though, it’s simple to find the people who serve as the voice of your industry, and connect with them. Direct messaging is a fast and comprehensive method of communication, and simplifies the process of reaching out to the influencers you want to reach.
- Rapid Feedback. Feedback is critical for growth, and social media direct messaging makes collecting and implementing feedback simple. No more waiting for customer surveys to return, or reaching out to leads via email or direct mail. Instead, direct messaging allows people to share their thoughts and experiences, and companies to act on that feedback almost immediately.
5 Ways to Improve Your Direct Messaging
Whether you’re a small business or an enterprise-level company looking to improve your social media messages, these tips can help.
1. Don’t Go Straight for the Kill
Social media is ideal for socializing. Don’t immediately hit someone up with a direct message when you’re communicating with someone new for the first time.
Say you want to reach out to a new influencer or someone prominent in your industry. If you just reach out to him or her cold, without first taking the time to interact with their content and online presence, you’re going to come off as spammy.
Instead, get to know a person by interacting with their content before you move on to direct messaging. Comment on their posts, like their material, and share it with your network. Not only does this create recognition, but it also makes your eventual message seem more authentic and meaningful.
2. Develop a Strategic Approach
The more strategic you can be with your messages, the better. Instead of simply firing off direct messages to anyone who catches your attention, think about how you can use the power of social media direct messaging to be as efficient as possible. Here are a few tips:
- Keep it Simple: Nobody wants to read a novel disguised as a message. For best results, keep it short and simple. Include only the most relevant information and cut out useless words and phrases.
- Eliminate Jargon: Jargon or, worse, slang-filled messages will destroy your credibility as a company or individual. Instead of firing off unprofessional and impulsive messages, take the time to write something that reflects well on your brand. Proof every message you send for spelling and grammar mistakes. Jargon and slang don’t create respect, and they can make it harder to produce valuable connections on social media.
- State Your Purpose: If you reach out to someone directly, tell them why you’re getting in touch. A simple line like, “I’ve seen your profile and I believe you’d be a great fit for our company,” or “I’m interested in X product,” is sufficient, and will create a basis for interaction.
- Write a Call to Action (CTA): If you think CTAs are only for blog posts, think again. The best direct messaging includes a CTA that tells the person what to do next. In addition to eliminating guesswork, this also helps brand you as an intentional professional who understands what they want.
3. Do Your Research
If you’re using direct messaging to reach out to an influencer, be sure you’ve done your research beforehand. The more you know about a person, the easier it is to write a compelling and engaging message that begets the response you want.
Be sure to check out a person’s bio, social profiles, and content before reaching out. You may also want to see if you can find a point of connection, such as a shared passion, a book the person is reading, or a similar work background to create common ground in your message.
4. Get Personal
Social media has provided companies with an unheard-of opportunity to get to know their leads and industry influencers. Because of this, there’s no excuse not to get as personal as possible in your direct messaging.
By doing things like mimicking the communication style of your contacts, familiarizing yourself with a person’s background, incorporating details into your messages, and understanding your audience, you can take your direct messages to the next level and create personalized, highly engaging content that people want to respond to.
You should also be sure to tailor your message to the platform you’re using (more professional for LinkedIn, shorter and sweeter for Twitter), since this will boost your response rates.
5. Stay Away from Automated Messages
In a world where virtually everyone uses automation, the suggestion that you avoid automated direct messaging can feel cumbersome. While automation can streamline your online actions, it’s crucial to be careful with how you use it. Otherwise, you run the risk of making your direct messages feel spammy, which is terrible for your lead-building process.
An automated direct message tells your users that you don’t care about them enough to create a personalized message. It also communicates that you don’t have the time to respond to them personally.
Allocate time to create personalized messages when you reach out to new contacts. Not only will it boost your response rates – it will also make your company more attractive for people who interact with it.
Personalized messages are also a big part of building and developing relationships with current and potential customers. Social media is all about getting personal and providing value to create awareness for your brand, which drives sales and conversions over time. Use direct messaging as an opportunity to capitalize on this potential.
The Case for Direct Messaging
In the modern world of social media and digital marketing, direct messaging for business stands out as a fantastic way for companies to connect with leads, reach out to influencers, and create a deeper and more personal online presence.
While there is a learning curve involved with communicating professionally on direct messaging, brands that master it will see returns for years to come.
To learn more about how to use direct messaging effectively, or to partner with a company that can help, contact Thrive Internet Marketing today. Our team of experts can help with all things social media.