Last month, Twitter introduced automated direct messages as an option for businesses. This means that when someone sends a direct message to your business profile, they’ll instantly receive a pre-set reply.

Twitter states these responses are “designed to help businesses create rich, responsive, full-service experiences that directly advance the work of customer service teams and open up new possibilities for how people engage with businesses on Twitter. ”

Sounds good? Here’s how to use them!

Getting set-up

This feature is still being rolled out to all users, but if you’re lucky enough to have access already, here’s how to do it.

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to ensure your app is updated to the latest version. Once updated, simply open your Twitter Dashboard.
  2. From here, head to support settings. You’ll then be able to set a default welcome messages that will be automatically sent to anyone who Direct Messages you. Simple!

Brands already using automated messages are Pizza Hut, Evernote, Spotify and AirBnB, so you’ll be in great company!

What to include in a response

As for what to include, that’s really up to you and will, of course, vary depending on the type of business you run.

You may wish to go for a traditional ‘Hi, how can we help you today?’, Although it can be helpful to choose a response that covers all your bases when you’re away. For example, you might try something along the lines of:

“Hi, thanks for your message! We’ll have someone with you as soon as possible and look forward to our chat!”

This is a way to ensure the user knows they’re being acknowledged, even if you can’t reply right away. This paints you in a better light, as you won’t be accused of ‘ignoring’ questions or comments.

Are automated responses really necessary?

Businesses have already found success on Twitter prior to this new feature, so, of course, you can get by without them.

But if an automated tool is offering to make your job easier and provide an improvement to your customer service, why wouldn’t you take it up on its offer?

Automated responses show your audience and customers that you care about them. They show that although you might not be online, their questions and opinions matter and will be dealt with in good time.

To sum up, it’s a way to ensure you look dedicated and professional without actually doing much at all. That’s something all business can make use of, so go ahead and give it a try.

What do you think about the introduction of automated direct messages? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and whether you’ve had a chance to test them out. Tell us in the comments section below!