Category: Merchant Account Provider

Country:  USA 

The argument many people have for using an auto-message is “it brings in sales” or “it lets me tell people about my other social media profiles”, but these two statements hinge on some very big assumptions that don’t necessarily hold true.

Twitter Terms of Use

There are lots of reasons as to why auto-messages are bad news, like the annoyance factor most people experience when receiving them, but possibly most important reason is that auto-messaging, especially automated direct messages, are against Twitters terms of use unless the recipient has expressly consented to receiving them.

This isn’t because Twitter doesn’t have the capacity to program in having standard responses to questions or messages that you can send to new followers or to those who retweet you, but because auto-messaging falls under the classifications of spam.

Auto-Messaging Providers

Because Twitter doesn’t have an auto-messaging service, there are lots of providers out there that will send out auto-messages for you, either as a direct message or as a tweet response. These service providers may also offer analytical services and even charge a monthly subscription to do so. The reason so many people use auto-tweets is that they do have some use. For events such as #throwbackthursday and thanking people for the best retweets from the previous week.

These are still against Twitter’s terms of use policy, but are generally not considered spam as they have the element of interaction that gives them a place in social media – they aren’t telling people to follow you somewhere else or to go and buy your product.

New Followers & the response to auto-messages

The most common use of the auto-message is when people get new followers on Twitter. People will go out and follow as many people as possible and wait for them to return the follow, and when they do, that’s when a direct auto-message arrives.


People don’t follow users on twitter to receive instant auto-messages, they follow because they may have seen an interesting post in your feed, or been told by a friend that you post really good quotes or great images. Someone following you on twitter doesn’t give you the right to bombard them with direct auto-messages or auto-tweets.

“I have a blog/Vlog/free stuff to read and lots of other to do things at my website – check it out”

All of these are genuine auto-messages, all of which were unsolicited and triggered by following people back. The worst offenders for using the direct auto-message tend to be authors and small business owners who are trying to sell products or services to people.

 “Thanks for following me :-) Can I gift you an ebook? Subscribe to my mailing list”

“Thanks for following me, if you’re interested please like on Facebook as well.”

Though you may think that these messages are a great way to raise the profile of a product or a service by informing an audience about it but, like most unsolicited mail, it is largely ignored and there has been a recent shift to people immediately unfollowing and blocking those that send them direct auto-messages.

“Appreciate the follow! Please visit Amazon:”

“Do you get time to read? My Novel is ranked #1 in Top Rated YA Fantasy eBooks on Amazon.”

You may want to say thank you to people for following you, or welcoming them to your social circles with a greeting that inspires some interaction, and if you don’t spend all day responding to your notifications, using an auto-message to welcome or greet people in batches does seem like a sensible thing to do, but you can do the same thing with a tools that monitor your new followers and then tweet them in a weekly round-up when you have some dedicated twitter time set aside.

 “”{users}”Thanks for following! Visit me on FB”

Besides trying to sell items and services to people, trying to get people to follow on facebook as well as connecting on twitter is a common goal, however the tweet above not only is a blatant auto-message, but is not a message that will inspire people to click on the removed link and interact on another social platform as an attempt at trying to personalise the message has backfired and looks extremely unprofessional.

The worst thing about auto-messages is they tell other twitter users that you don’t have the time to engage with them socially and your only interest is promoting yourself. Auto-messages also have zero effect on a good SEO.

Social Media and the need to be social

The idea of social media is to encourage interaction between people over a wide variety of topics, sharing life events and connecting as easily with those who are a few houses away and on the other side of the globe.

Direct messages are a private way to discuss problems or share jokes with people you may not want to have every other twitter user reading.

“Thanks for retweeting my kickstarter, please let me know if there is anything besides the headtalker campaign I can help with.”

This is an example of a great direct message, it’s not an auto-message, but it still looks to follow a set template that the user has designed. “Thanks for retweeting my kickstarter, please let me know if there is anything I can help with.” Is a simple base that thanks people for their interaction and offers some form of reciprocation and can be tailored to almost any situation. High profile figures on twitter i.e. sportsmen, actors, directors, singers etc, don’t send out an auto-message to all their new followers telling them about their latest book or how they have just formed a band and if you are trying to create a professional public image or brand, then there are other ways to inform potential clients about the products and services you have on offer.

Ways around the auto-message

If you want to increase the number of followers you have on your facebook page from your twitter followers list, then post links to content on the page to get users to engage and interact with it in the public arena – not a targeted approach. People scanning through the twitter feed will see your post and click through if you have made it look like something they want to read. After a few of these posts, people will start following your facebook group or page because there is content they want to access, not just because you sent an auto-message.

Tweeting about offers with images, tweeting about joining your mailing list for great offers, holding an open discussion about the fate of dessert wines and the three volume novel, these are all ways to encourage social interaction on twitter and get people to engage with your profile. Then you can have all the links and information about who you are, what you do and what you offer in your profile details, thus eliminating the need for using an auto-message service.

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The short answer is yes. Social media is something that has such a wide variety of platforms that make it up which means that it is constantly changing, the popularity of different platforms wanes over time and different audiences and target markets engage with different types of social media. This means that when it comes to increasing your profits that are several different ways that you can succeed.

Interaction and Increased Profits

Social media is, first and foremost, a social platform, that means interacting with other people, not simply posting and expecting people to come to you for your sparkling wit. Asking questions, posting topical content that is related to your small business, replying to people, commenting on events and reacting to them are all ways to raise your social media profile and get people coming to your profile and reading your information.

For example, when England and Australia were playing against one another in the Ashes cricket tournament at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, the local fire and police services were interacting with people on twitter – these tweets were topical and led to a huge increase in followers for both accounts as well as an increase in interaction.

social media marketing


Now imagine applying this to your own business – if you produce food or cooking equipment, then finding a topical event from Masterchef, Iron Chef or the Great British Bake Off – it doesn’t shout about what you do or what you have to sell, but gets people interacting with you. As soon as interaction increases, then you are one step closer to increasing your profits.

The golden balance is 80 – 20 on social media, especially fast moving networks like twitter. 20% of your post should be your products, your offers, where you can sell; the other 80% should be other content.


Honesty and Authenticity

Though there are lots of different platforms that are used by different people, there is one key rule that is universal across all social media and that is to be authentic. Whether you are promoting a sale or telling people about a new product, honesty and authenticity are what attracts people to a company and keeps them coming back.

As soon as you start lying to people or trying to tricks people with “oh my god, you won’t believe what this girl did to get 50% off” and other such buzz words, people are not going to buy from you. Sites like BuzzFeed, Cheezburger, Upworthy and Tickld use these kinds of titles to get traffic to their pages well, but for these four sites there are hundreds and thousands that do it wrong and have people negatively relating to the brands they are trying to build.

Ocado uses social media to talk to customers who post about their services with a social element – they don’t just post “thanks for your feedback”, they make their comments personal “Glad we could help save you time, we hate it when deadlines get in the way too.” This feeds into their public image of treating every customer as an individual and not only improves their company image, but their repeat business and gaining new customers.

Trying to copy the style or type of posts of other social media users may seem like a sound strategy to duplicating the success of other brands, but it’s more likely to fail than succeed. As a brand you need to decide what your social media image is going to be and stick to it, let people know who you are – Be honest. Be Authentic.


Increasing Conversion, Increasing Income, Increasing Revenue

 Increasing conversion can directly lead to an increase in profits, and not only do you get more traffic to your website, but there is the possibility that you will gain more social media contacts and followers.

But you also need to realize that conversion, income and revenue are not the same thing. Conversion is how many people click on a sale link on social media (a referral) and then make a purchase. Income is the amount of money you receive from your sales before your costs are taken into account and revenue is your profits.

Increasing conversion leads to increasing income and increasing income leads to increasing profits. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that when it comes to the value of each sale and repeat business – you might increase your conversions only to have your total income drop because the overall value of each sale is lower than it previously was.

If this is the case then you may need to address the products you are promoting on social media or how your site is laid out.

When you are simply looking to gather first time buyers, sales and short term promotions work well, especially if it is on a product that has a wide appeal e.g. a bracelet with a Game of Thrones theme that you are releasing to co-inside with the start of the latest series being offered at 60% off could lead to an huge increase in conversion and income for your site in the short term, but it is how you then interact with those customers after that sale that will keep them coming back or recommending your products to friends.


Embrace the negative

The final thing you can do to improve your profits via social media is to embrace the negative. Respond publically to criticism or complaints in a calm and professional manner. Nothing screams bad press like someone complaining and the company they are ranting about telling them they are unimportant by ignoring them or worse – getting dragged into a slagging match, when all the customer wanted was an apology.

Companies like Virgin and Green Flag have excellent ways of dealing with customer complaints through social media. They employ teams to monitor twitter and other social media networks for negative mentions of the company and products. Then they instantly respond asking what they can do to help and actively solve customers’ problems. Being able to deal with customer complaints instead of ignoring them can get you noticed in a very positive way – people are much more willing to part with their money to companies they see as willing to bend over backwards to set things right if things go wrong .

There are so many different ways to address your social media usage no matter if you are new or have been using it for years, so how will you change your social media strategy to help increase your profits?


Category: Merchant Account Provider

Country:  USA 

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