Using the auto responder on twitter has been a topic of debate as of late. Seems like the crowd leans more toward not liking than liking it.
I actually like the idea. It’s efficient. It can open a dialog. It tells me a LOT about the person I just followed.
It’s how people use it that I don’t like.
When used properly, twitter is a very effective networking service. Most people who auto respond use text that crams THEIR message down your throat. This is akin to going to an event with a bunch of people who are trying to sell you their product. That’s not good form.
What if you use your auto responder to learn more about your new follower? When I get a message that asks about me I am 60% more likely to respond, than if the message tells me to go check out their blog.
What if your auto responder did both? Yeah, I know, 140 characters isn’t a lot. But you should be concise anyway. How about a message that said- “how can I help you? Here’s a little about me: blog/website address”. That’s less than 140 characters AND it accomplishes two things:
1. It shows you care about them.
2. It gives them the chance to learn more about you.
It is only when both of these things are accomplished can good networking occur.