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10 WebsiteCompass When to Use DMs DMs are like text messages you send through a social media platform, though with some differences. The primary one is that you might not always know the person you’re DMing well. DMs can be used to jump start conversations, make plans, or begin business deals. Here are some scenarios in which you might want to use a DM: • An old high school friend connects with you on Facebook. You want to tell them how something they said back then inspired you but don’t want to share it with all your Facebook friends. You also don’t know their email address or any other way to reach them, so you send them a DM to share your thoughts. • You’ve reconnected with a former work colleague on Twitter and want to ask them to get a cup of coffee to catch up on both of your professional lives. It’s not appropriate information for a tweet, and you know they spend a lot of time on Twitter, so you send them a DM to make your plans. • For professional networking purposes, you connect with many colleagues on LinkedIn. In an effort to start conversations with people you don’t know well, you send each new connection a DM to say hello and introduce yourself and your expertise. How DMs Work Rather than showing up on a user’s timeline, DMs show up in a separate section. They appear in a format similar to text messages, in which you can see the back-and-forth exchange between yourself and the other person. When you receive a DM, you’ll see a notification icon letting you know it’s there. Each platform has its own rules for who you can DM with. For example, on Twitter, you may only send a DM to someone who is following you. Some platforms The ABCs of DMs Learn the “how,”“when,” and “why” of direct messages Social media is for broadcasting your thoughts, images, and videos to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of followers. But what if you have something to say to just one person? Direct messages, known as DMs, are the solution, and they’re available on all the most popular platforms. Social Media Basics FAST FACT: “Slide into someone’s DMs”means to send them a DM, often for romantic reasons.