Direct messages are a great way to start building a prospect relationship on social media. When these “DMs” sound canned or corny, however, they have the opposite effect – undermining the trust and rapport you hope to establish.
But direct messages don’t have to be a mystery: There is a right and a wrong way to do them. More compelling DMs can mean more follows, more shares, and ultimately, a higher conversion rate among your target audience.
Keep these key points in mind:
1) Avoid “Yes or No” Questions
Your direct message has only a few seconds to capture a prospect’s attention. After about three seconds, they decide whether or not to read the whole thing. The entire message has just 15 seconds to resonate. Asking a question that’s easily, immediately answered is a way to sabotage your own chances and make the prospect feel like reading on will be a chore.
2) Project Confidence and Enthusiasm
Whenever people have the option, they want to deal with others who have a positive message and who believe in what they’re doing. In the effort to sound more polite online, people – especially sales and marketing pros – sometimes undermine themselves with timid wording. The phrase “I was wondering” is a sure way to torpedo your message.
3) Do Your Research Ahead of Time
Since the early days of direct mail, the opening “Dear sir or madam” has been a death sentence. This is particularly true for today’s internet marketers: People want to work with brands who respect and value them as individuals. Though this can be a challenge when prospecting, resources like LinkedIn have made it easier than ever. Know your prospect’s name, job title, and duties before you DM!
4) Personalize Your Approach
Conventional calls to action like “Follow me on Facebook” might work on a landing page, but they’ll backfire more often than not in a direct message. Always use your prospect’s name, as above, but also focus on expressing the value you offer them as soon as you can. Have a clear and compelling value proposition they can spot no later than the second sentence.
5) Make Your Efforts Scalable
To make your direct messages really effective, your own social media account needs to be active and engaged in the conversation. Although no software can produce compelling, customized DMs, there are aspects you can automate: Monitoring hashtags and mentions, for example, and posting general updates. Leave this work to the machines so you can focus on high-value tasks.
When you approach your prospects with respect, common sense, and a little panache, a direct message can be just as effective as any other networking tool. Try these tips today.