By Rachel Thompson | Blog

Apr 20
Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams (Image via



People use links like crack on Twitter. Which is great! How else can we find out about all this cool, great stuff? Like charitable causes (seen Caine’s Arcade yet), art, amazing peeps, and yes, great books.


We, as authors, must promote our books. If you build it, they will come. Right?


I’m not disagreeing with you. If you read my last post, you’ll see I give you twenty-five ways to promote besides spamming constant links on Twitter (occasional links – totally cool).


My issue is when it’s all me, me, me. My book, buy me, like me. Who talks like that in real life? (Only self-involved narcissists, whom we will say to at a party, “I’ll be right back. My aardvark is having a pink nail polish emergency,” and we are OUTTA THERE before they double dip another chip.)


On Twitter I call them Twarcissists.


Where it’s especially insidious is in AutoDMs.


Since I started @BadRedheadMedia as an official stream in February, I’ve been asking people what their thoughts are on autoDMs in general for the purposes of writing this post.


“AutoDMs. Suck or not? Your thoughts.”


Most people told me they HATE them with a passion for these reasons:


  • Spammy
  • Impersonal
  • Waste of time to check


That feedback is incredibly valuable and to be honest, not all that surprising. Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer. However, I think what we’re talking about here are actually two different things:


  • AutoDMs with links
  • AutoDMs without links.


Let’s deconstruct.


But first, let’s back up.


DMs: For those unfamiliar with Twitter, what is a DM? It’s a direct message, a private message only you and the person you are tweeting with can see. These do not show up on your timeline with all your other messages, mentions, or your home feed.


AutoDMs: An autoDM is generated by a third-party application (meaning not Twitter) program such as Social Oomph, which welcomes followers. You create these yourself. Most say ‘Thank you for following,’ or something boring like that (more in a moment). People set these up to go out automatically once a follower has followed you.


Why do this? If you are aggressively growing your following, managing several accounts, have a large following, or simply can’t respond to every follow.


TYPES: There are two types of AutoDMs as I mentioned above.


  • Those with links
  • And those without.


1) Without Links: The boring one above that says ‘Hey thanks I’m boring but wanted to be polite so catch ya on the flip side,’ clearly has NO link.


Which is fine. Nice. White bread. And because these are such snoozers, people know it’s not really you and therefore feel cheated. (If it really IS you, let’s chat later about ‘engaging your audience.’)


Confession: Though I’ve mentioned it before so it’s not a big secret – I use auto welcome DMs but NEVER WITH A LINK, because it’s spammy and annoying.


Confession #2: When I asked people above if they thought autoDMs sucked or not, that was an autoDM (no link though. I win!).


The best autoDM welcomes should be conversation starters!


On my personal author @RachelintheOC stream, here’s an example of just one of my welcomes: If a man falls in the forest & no one sees him, did it really happen? #SoMancode


You can bet people talk with me about that.


Okay. It looks like you are still with me, so moving on.


2) AutoDMs with links: These are the ones not only considered bad manners, poor etiquette, and all that doghouse stuff, but well, think of it this way: compare showing someone your link before you’ve ever conversed with them to showing a girl your junk without even a hi- howdy-do. As Gunther says in “Friends” to the dude in shorts without any briefs on, “Hey buddy, this is a family place. Put the mouse back in the house.”


In all seriousness, if you are attempting to sell something (your book, your business, your spiritual or religious beliefs found only on the back of your goat’s tail), please please please, I beg of you, stop spamming people with a link in an AutoDM.


We are inundated with linky spam as it is. You are sick of it. We are sick of it. Even the people with the links in their DMs are sick of it and are complaining about it! And don’t even get me started on TrueTwit (a link to prevent more links…um, what?)


WHAT TO DO? Tweeps are like puppies, especially new tweeps. Read me! Tweet me! RT me! Read my stuff! I’m amazing!!! Buy my book! Like my Facebook page!


Besides needing a lesson in punctuation, they kinda have an excuse. They don’t know any better. But if you’ve been at this awhile, you do. You know better.


So do better.


No matter how terrific a writer you are, you are turning us off. So cool your jets there, tiger.


I know. You need the link crack. I get it.


But you also need help.

I am your intervention.

It’s time for Link Rehab.


  • Remove the link in your autoDM. Go on. You can do it. Sounds like a no-brainer but that’s the first step to admitting you need help.
  • We all clap. You’ve admitted you need help. Yay you!
  • I offer a substitute, if you will. A tricky tip: Add your (up to two) sell links to your Twitter bio. Yuh-huh.
  • Here’s an even better tricky tip: create customized sell links in

Check out my Amazon Mancode link here on my Twitter bio. What’s so great about that? I know exactly how many clicks I get from Twitter to Amazon. (I’ll wait while that sinks in.) Because as we all know, Skynet Amazon provides no data on that. (I’ll wait a bit longer.)

  • Get to know a person. Chit. Chat. Read their stuff. Don’t just shove your naked junk in their mouse house. And stuff.
  • Make people care. Tell a story. Be that person people want to get to know. Not the one we run to our imaginary aardvark to get away from.


Irony: now that you’re sufficiently ready to tell me I’m wrong since it took a link to get you here in the first place, I’ll stop talking and start listening.


Your turn.




About the Author

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge: How to energize your book sales in a month - created to help authors market their book. She is also the author of Broken Places (one of IndieReader's "Best of 2015" top books and 2015 Honorable Mention Winner in the San Francisco Book Festival), and the multi award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,, and Self-Publishers Monthly. Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and two live Twitter chats: #BookMarketingChat (co-hosted with TheRuralVA, Emilie Rabitoy) and #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with C. Streetlights and Judith Staff. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Leave a Comment:

(11) comments

Bri Clark April 21, 2012

Thanks you thank you! And I was guilty! I autodm mt new followers. However , it’s a conversation starter. And it works cause they keep responding.

Great post.

    Rachel Thompson April 23, 2012

    Thank you, Bri for commenting. I agree, if it’s a conversation starter and people respond back, it’s cool. Others disagree. That’s okay. We all can’t agree on everything! It’s the link that people object to and for good reason. xo

Karen April 23, 2012

No auto DM’s here! Don’t send them and don’t like getting them! I don’t even auto tweet.

    Rachel Thompson April 23, 2012

    Karen, that’s awesome. Everyone has to do what’s absolutely right for them. Rock on, chica.

Amanda Taylor July 29, 2012

When I first started Twitter I was so tempted to do that, but something didn’t feel right. My gut told me is this spamming? I listened to it instead of what everyone else was doing. At first if they spammed me with a link then I send a link back (back when I was manual).

I had a similar post in mind for a while, but it’s a different flavor. Probably write in a few weeks.

Woodrow February 27, 2013

Hey very cool blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog
and take the feeds also…I am happy to find numerous useful
information here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for
sharing. . . . . .

Reply May 1, 2013

Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to
look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and
will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and excellent

    Rachel Thompson May 1, 2013

    thank you so much! I’m happy to help.
    any questions, let me know.

    My web designer is sugarbeatbc at gmail dot com if that helps 🙂


[…] Link Rehab. the First Step: Admitting You Need Help ( […]

todolima June 14, 2013

Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this
information together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of
time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this brilliant blog!

I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this
blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

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