Getting the Most Out of Twitter DM Groups

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Remember when Twitter direct messages (DMs) were so full of spam that people were tweeting out #DownWithDMs? Well, it’s been a while since that wave of hatred for direct messages, and nowadays, Twitter users are on DM groups sharing knowledge and getting value. We spoke to podcaster and content strategist, Jennifer Navarrete to understand more about how Twitter DM groups work and why joining one isn’t such a bad idea. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Jennifer Navarrete
Topic: Getting the most out of Twitter DM groups
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What is a Twitter DM group?

It’s like any messaging group on social media—a Twitter DM group is a conversation between three or more people. While the owner of the group can add more people as they see fit, those who aren’t interested can leave the group at any time. As is the case with any group conversation, you can name the group and add a photo to represent what it’s about.

Q2: Why should you create/join a Twitter DM group?

Twitter DM groups are a great way to classify information. You can have private and highly-focused conversations, and also learn something valuable while interacting with those in your group.

However, it’s also important that you don’t randomly add people into a DM group. As Jeremy pointed out, if you’re starting a DM group, make sure to add only those you know and have engaged with in the past.

Q3: How do you create a DM group without being spammy?

Think about why you want to create a DM group in the first place. If you’re doing it just because everyone you know is in a group and you want to join the club, think again. DM groups should be useful to every person in the group. If you’re not sure about what you’ll discuss and how that topic will add value to people’s lives, then it’s best not to go through with it.

Another important thing to do if you don’t want to come across as spammy is to ask people if they want to be in your group, as Madalyn suggested. If people are genuinely interested, then your messages won’t be unwanted.

Q4: How do you ensure your DM group is mutually beneficial for everyone in the group?

Make sure that you only add people who are relevant to the topic you’re discussing. Or create a group to discuss a topic that you know your community wants to talk about. DM groups can be a great way to learn new things together, and they will evolve over time.

It’s also worth considering what kind of relationships the group members already have, as our friends from GiveWP said. If everyone already knows each other, then the dynamics of the group will be different from when people don’t know each other well and have a chance to make friends.

Q5: How can you prevent your group from dying off gradually?

Don’t hold on to something that’s clearly slipping away. As our guest reminded us, some groups are seasonal and that’s perfectly ok. When you realize that your group is no longer serving the best interests of everyone in the group, it’s ok to let the group dismantle.

On the other hand, as Deb suggested, if you notice engagement waning away, you can always ask people if they’re getting what they want from the group. If not, you can try and rebuild the conversation.

Q6: Share some of your best Twitter DM group experiences.

According to Jennifer, some of the best DM group experiences come from sharing knowledge and learning new things. Groups have significantly reduced the learning curve of Twitter Spaces and made it easier for people to have real-time conversations.

Amna told us about a multicultural group she was part of, where people share photos of their location regularly. Groups like this are a great opportunity for participants to get to know each other and each other’s cultures, traditions, and beliefs.

Q7: Are there any ideal topics or discussion points for a Twitter DM group?

Ideal topics are subjective. If you’re already enjoying a conversation with someone and you want to continue that more privately and in a focused manner, that’s when a DM group works best. If you create a group and find that the conversation has stalled or ended, it’s ok to dissolve the group. Not all groups are forever.

As Angel reminded us, your conversations can be both professional and personal, as long as everyone’s comfortable with what you’re sharing and what’s expected of them.

Q8: How do you graciously back out of an unsolicited DM group add?

There’s no one right way to leave a group. Most people will just leave when the conversation is no longer serving them or if they didn’t want to be involved in the first place. If you do this, though, everyone in the group will be notified that you left. Alternatively, you can also let the group owner know that you’re not interested in the conversation anymore and leave with a word of goodbye.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Jennifer have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us next Thursday at 1 pm ET for #TwitterSmarter. We also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5 pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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