One Sure Way to Lose Followers


If you’re looking for one sure way to lose followers (and credibility in social), I can help. Not because I do it, but because I have experienced it firsthand. What is it, you ask?

The Auto Message.

I few months ago I began following someone in the loyalty business. Within minutes of hitting the “follow” button, I received a message from him. It read…

“Thanks for following. When your favorite brands communicate to you, how often is the message highly relevant?”

Interesting, I thought. It sounded less like an auto message because of the pointed question. So, although I normally don’t respond, this time I did. I gave a thoughtful, albeit short, response.  That was two months ago. I still haven’t heard back.

In a related story, three days later, I followed a woman, also in the loyalty industry. Moments later, I received a message. The EXACT same message – verbatim – I had received from the gentleman three days prior. I looked deeper into her profile and realized she works for this man. So, it was an auto message. I didn’t bother responding to hers.

The Lesson: 86 the auto messages. Unless you truly do intend to continue the conversation with  anyone who is thoughtful enough to respond to you. If you can’t understand that social media is about connecting, learning and sharing with people and brands, why are you wasting your time?

And if this person did receive my response, then why did he not thank me for taking the time to write it? Unacceptable.

I’ve received other auto message with requests to “check out my website” or “find me on LinkedIn,” etc. These aren’t necessarily bad, but I’ve never followed the calls to action. And I’m curious whether others just ignore them, or if they work for you.

Your turn: Do you use an auto message? Why or why not? 


About Beth M. Wood

Beth M. Wood is a marketing and writing professional. She's been working in the marketing industry since the early 90s, and feeding her shopping habit with copywriting gigs since 2004. On August 1, 2013, she made the jump to full-time freelance writer, marketer, and social media manager. Beth is highly adept at creating and managing integrated marketing programs that get brands noticed. She's also well known for creating and maintaing a strong brand voice across all channels. She is a word geek, a grammar snob and a boot camp junkie. Which means she believes in giving 100% to every project she takes on - large or small. She earned her BA in writing from Webster University and serves as Senior Content Strategist at Scorch.
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