DMs, DM sliding, sliding into the DMs, if you’ve recently come into contact with a 13-24 year old with a steady wifi connection; you may have heard some combination of this innocuous jumble of words and acronyms. But what does it mean? And better yet, why should you care? Slip into something comfortable, because today Lightspan Digital is going to indoctrinate you into the world of the direct message–all while showing you how to maximize the feature for your clients.
First things first; let’s define the term “DM”. DM is short for “direct message” and is a feature generally reserved for social sharing sites like Instagram and Twitter. Direct messages are private messages sent from one social media user to another that allows them to communicate confidentially away from the prying eyes of other users.
Over the course of the last few months, DMs have been trending as a result of new developments including: the ability to DM anyone (a privilege formerly reserved to two accounts that followed each other) and the removal of their 140 character message limit. These innovations once again stress the importance of maximizing the feature for your social media marketing efforts.
Now that you’re all caught up with the DM and its functions, let’s unpack the act of DM sliding and how to make it work for you and your marketing objectives.
Being the good internet anthropologists we are, we first consulted the internet archive of record, Urban Dictionary for their take on the act of sliding into the DMs. A preliminary search yielded the following results:
Throughout the centuries, as new technologies arise, mankind inevitably tries to leverage them as a way to hook up. We’ve seen it with the telephone, instant messenger, dating websites, and now social networks. Direct messaging is no different. Many Twitter users make a habit of utilizing the function to connect with potential suitors; although success varies greatly.
Translated into digital marketing activities, DM sliding is a helpful way of fostering relationships on behalf of your clients by taking public conversations private. And much like the act of courting, great relationships don’t happen overnight.
Here are 5 tips for seeding connections for your clients on Twitter.
Find a complementary person or brand
The first step in creating positive connections is to identify potential partners. Just as we look for someone that complements us in our personal lives, it is important to pick compatible brands and/or people when engaging in outreach activities for your clients.
When researching complementary brands for one of our clients, an interior design book, we first considered the interests of their audience–design-minded homeowners and renters. Interior designers agree that the most cost-effective way to transform a space is with a splash of paint. With that in mind, we set our sights on building a relationship with a prominent paint brand.
Remember: to ensure that you’re connecting with the right people online, take the time to not only consider the objectives of your clients, but also the interests and motivators of their target audiences. Engaging in this activity will guarantee that your outreach is not only on brand, but on strategy. It will also allow you to make the most out of your newly developed relationships.
Identify common interests
In the case of our client and the complementary paint company, both brands share a mutual goal of bringing harmony to homes with smart, stress-free, impactful and intentional design. Knowing these mutual points of interests provided us with a wealth of topics to engage the brand with.
At Lightspan Digital, we live by our tried and true validate, state, and ask method when interacting with people online for the first time. This three-pronged approach allows us to join the conversation while contributing and moving it along. This mode of introduction also demonstrates your knowledge and interest for a given subject at the onset.
Once you’ve identified your mutual interests and have introductions out of the way, it’s time to illustrate your value.
Illustrate your value
No one likes dating someone who agrees with every single thing they say. The same goes when building brand relationships. Having intersecting points of view is not enough. It is equally important, if not more so, to have a unique perspective and stance. If a brand addressed all of their target audience’s pain points on their own, they wouldn’t need your support and vice versa.
Demonstrate your value and utility by showing your expertise on a given subject. Our client excels at distilling complex interior design concepts into seven key fundamentals. Their hands on and example-driven approach to design proved useful to the paint company in attracting audiences new to home transformation. The trusted name and quality of the paint brand’s products increased the authority and reputation of our client. As a result, we determined that both parties could benefit by forming a relationship. When searching out partnerships, always strive for a win-win scenario. What you get out of the exchange is not enough. Relationships are all about give and take. Remember to offer something in return.
So, how did we go about demonstrating our client’s expertise? The key is regular engagement. Think of it as internet flirting. When showing that you like someone, consistent interaction is key. Whenever the paint brand would share a piece of content relevant to our brand and it’s audience, we would share it with some original commentary. The paint brand returned the favor, and after a few weeks of interaction, we were officially internet friends!
Slide into their DMs (i.e. pitch them)
Okay, it’s the moment of truth. You’ve already connected with them online and have had a series of positive interactions. Now it’s time to make things official and DTR (define the relationship).
As previously stated, with Twitter’s newest direct messaging updates, it is now easier than ever to connect with brands or groups of influencers (think bloggers) via DM. When crafting your message, don’t forget to compliment them on their product and/or social influence before asking to collaborate.
Additionally, closed mouths don’t get fed. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they have coming down the marketing and product pipeline, this is a great way to present yourself as a resource and again, pitch them when appropriate.
Keep showing them love
Don’t stop interacting with a brand after the initial DM slide. The point is to create AND sustain relationships. By routinely, retweeting, liking, and talking to partners, Lightspan has been able to introduce exciting opportunities to our clients like co-sponsored giveaways, guest blog posts and product features on external sites.
Everyone could use a little extra love, so don’t be afraid to dish it out. You never know what you’ll get in return!
So in review, in order to successfully slide into the DMs on behalf of your clients, it’s essential to:
- Find your perfect match
- Identify common interests
- Illustrate your value
- Slide into the DMs
- Keep showing love!
By following these five steps, you’re well on your way to creating and keeping positive relationships for your clients. Who knows! It might even work in your personal life! What are your go to outreach methods? Share them in the comments section below!