5 Ways to Use Twitter DM groups in Your Social Media Strategy


Group Direct Messaging has just been rolled out on Twitter. Does it bring anything new to the table when it comes to connecting with your customers? How can a Twitter marketing strategy be put to work in your business? We take a look…

What is Group Direct Messaging?

Social media platforms are all too often spoken of in the same breath as if they all perform basically the same function. In reality, each platform has its distinct characteristics which makes it a good fit for some tasks in your social media strategy – but less so for others.

As an example, think about how just how public the conversation is across different platforms. With Facebook, users have the option of restricting the visibility of posts to defined groups of contacts if they so wish – meaning that they don’t necessarily have to share everything with everyone. Compare this to Twitter. Up until recently, where a member wishes to post something and wants more than one person to see it, everyone sees it.

Twitter’s Group Direct Messaging offers a new variation to your Twitter marketing strategy. It is essentially a group private messaging feature – allowing you to start a ‘private’ direct message conversation with a group of up to 20 Twitter users.

So why should you care? After all, if you’re in the business of promoting a brand, what possible reason would there be to limit the number of users you are reaching out to? Sometimes though, a semi-private silo is a useful tool. Here are 5 examples:

Reaching out to opinion formers

Of course, you value each of your customers and brand followers – it’s just that sometimes the views of certain individuals are especially welcome. If you are lucky enough to count a select group of industry insiders among your followers, a DM Group could be the ideal environment to sound them out away from the general noise.

Carrying on the conversation…

You’ve managed to get a public conversation started and you are getting some interesting reactions. A certain sub-group of followers are expressing views that you’d like to explore further. Siphoning off this group into a semi-private forum could be a useful way of doing this.

A useful split-testing tool?

Especially if you’re serious about getting the most out of email marketing, you should already be familiar with A/B testing. Trying out a new idea on a group of 20 Twitter followers may provide a further fresh perspective and there’s particular scope here for taking advantage of the platform’s immediacy. Many a Twitter storm has been triggered by a rashly expressed first reaction. Why not use this ‘knee-jerk’ element to try out new logo or tagline ideas?

Rewarding active followers

Shortly after Group DM was launched, Adidas showed how it could be put to use from a customer reward perspective when three active participants in the company’s #therewillbehaters campaign were invited to a 30-minute Group DM chat with Real Madrid star, Karim Benzema. Your offerings may not be in the same league – but is there scope for offering core supporters a brand-related treat?

Ideal for events?

Twitter can be ideal for drumming up interest and building participation prior to face-to-face events. Post-event, Twitter still has an important role to play. A private DM Group may be just the ticket to keep the conversation going among individuals with niche interests in common.

All of this assumes, of course, that you have the followers in the first place! Are you reaching out to the right people with content that’s actually of interest? If your Twitter board is a wasteland while your competitors go from strength to strength, now’s the time for a social media strategy rethink.

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Matt Hodkinson

About the author: Matt Hodkinson

Chief Exec Agent, veteran inbound and social marketer, and the prior 17+ years spent in the Tech industry. Annoying colleagues with classic house music and 80's movie quotes. Family and friends delight in exclaiming... "Haven't seen you on TV for a while, Matt"!