Many, if not all, social media platforms are a one-to-many model, ensuring that businesses, brands and individuals link to their entire audience at once. But that one-to-many approach might not be enough when it comes to building more personal relationships with your followers.

Often trust building and deeper communication requires a more intimate partnership. This can make the followers feel as if they’re being seen and appreciated at a single level.

Twitter travels very quickly as one of the biggest one-to-many social media sites and it’s pretty easy to get lost in conversation. This is where the Direct Messages (DMs) from Twitter come in.

What is a Twitter Direct Message?

Generally your first goal is to start scrolling when you sign in to Twitter. Yet behind the scenes, conversations occur concealed from the public eye.


Twitter DMs are used to begin one-on – one interactions with someone on Twitter who follows you. Also, DMs can be sent to people who don’t just follow you if they have opted in to receive DMs from someone on the site or if you have Direct Messaging that person before.


Just like public Tweets (which are now 280 characters), Twitter DMs used to be limited to 140 characters. But, in August 2015, Twitter extended Direct Messages ‘ character limit to 10,000. Users can now also submit photos, videos, GIFs and emojis via DM.

How to send a Twitter DM

When it comes to usability, learning how to do DM in the interface of Twitter is simple. Locate the envelope icon on the right hand side of your Twitter profile to submit a DM while using the web app.

Then click on the “New Message” button, and pick the message you want to steer.

And, at the bottom of the page, click the “Messages” envelope button from smartphone. You can also only navigate to the Twitter Profile you want to write, and press the same button for the envelope.

When you are using a social media management tool, sending and tracking DMs on Twitter is much more streamlined.

When and Why to send a DM on Twitter

There are several times where sending a DM on Twitter is sensible for brands and companies. Sending DMs helps to create closer personal relationships with followers. We will elaborate on this further below, but sometimes it may not be necessary to respond publicly to a Tweet depending on the Tweet context or material. Or, occasionally, a new follower or follow-up on a customer service issue can just want to reach out and welcome you. As a brand, you should be prepared to deal with such circumstances that will make your customers happy as well as improve the image of your company.

Taking a Twitter conversation from public to private

If you are running a Twitter account for a company, make sure that the settings in your Twitter Direct Message allow someone to send you a message, even if you are not mutual followers. Do this by navigating to “Settings and Privacy.” Scroll down to the Direct Messages section under the “Privacy and Protection” tab and pick the box that lets you accept Direct Messages from someone else. In the long term, this will actually benefit you, because consumers want to go straight to the source instead of openly speaking out.

Twitter DMs for customer support

We found that consumers ‘ top reasons for reaching out to social media brands are to share their positive experience (59%), have a product or service issue (47%), or whether they have a poor experience (40%). And it is critical that your brand or company know how to manage requests for customer service on all social media channels.

Sometimes, you can be tagged or listed by a Twitter user with a question or message you directly send. When referencing your brand in a public tweet, we suggest that you publicly acknowledge the tweet with a short message asking the user to give you a DM. It, in addition to requesting a follow-up response from that client, makes it clear to your followers that you fix this problem personally and don’t ignore the Message. If you’re in the DM, you can ask them for more information to help fix their problem.

Connecting with influencers

Influencer marketing is an successful way of introducing the brand to new target markets. It’s quick to connect Instagram with influencer marketing. But reaching out on Twitter to industry influencers can be a convincing way to get a conversation started.

By tracking the interactions between professionals in your industry, recognize the right influencers. You can use the Social Listening function of Sprout to monitor developments in the industry while recognizing key opinion leaders who contribute to the conversation.

Sending a generic post isn’t enough for influencer marketing. Get to know the work and effect of the influencer before you engage in a conversation. Influencers probably get hundreds of DMs so making an impression and standing out is critical.

Positioning a possible collaboration as mutually beneficial relationship when you direct message influencers. Specify how your company fits into its sphere of influence and why it would introduce you to its audience. Twitter DMs probably aren’t the place you’ll make an official contract with. But having the introduction to start building a relationship is a great place to do.

Final thoughts

Twitter DMs have the ability to increase brand recognition, increase interaction and create more personal links with your audience.

You have a whole lot of potential at your disposal when you use a social media management tool. Respond to the messages and concerns of followers with features like the Smart Inbox easily, and improve your interaction with your audience. Experiencing firsthand how easy it is to integrate Twitter DMs into the marketing plan for social media.


Last modification: March 21, 2020