Sliding into DMs is a bold move that requires confidence. But even more so, you have to strike the right balance of confidence. Most people who slide into DMs either have too much or not enough of it, but it is possible to find the ideal amount.
Remember, a direct message or DM is an unsolicited message. He or she didn’t ask you to message them and they doesn’t owe you anything in reply. So, if you want to stand out in a sea of direct messages and actually get a response, here’s how to slide into DMs without being weird about it.
Follow them first—and make sure they follow you back.
If the person you’re into doesn’t follow you back, chances are pretty low that they’re going to respond to your DM. It’s harsh, but it’s true. You can try, but the odds are automatically lower, and the weird factor is going to go up. That’s just the way it goes.
Make the best first impression possible.
When sending a direct message you truly only get one shot to make a good first impression. Don’t ask something generic or boring like how their day is going (yawn) or use a clichéd pickup line (barf). Just keep it light, short, and sweet. Otherwise you’ll get ignored, deleted, or blocked.
Actually have something to say.
If you’re thinking a “Hey sexy” DM is the way to go, think again. If you want to initiate a direct message, you can’t just call someone cute and say hi. Instead ask a question related to one of their posts (Is that a good spot for brunch?), compliment their puppy (This is my new favorite dog on Instagram), or make a joke about something she posted. Think of a conversation starter that will actually give her a reason to respond.
Bonus points if you distantly know each other or have a friend in common.
Stranger danger is real—especially on the internet. If you’re sliding into the DMs of someone you met at a party, you have a much better shot at getting a response than if you’re messaging someone with zero mutuals. If you don’t have a connection you need to make a connection some other way. (This lake looks so familiar. Where was that hike? I think I’ve been there.)
Don’t treat DMs like dating apps.
It’s one thing to message someone on a dating app. There, people are actively looking to meet new people and hoping to chat with potential matches. But it’s quite another to invade someone’s inbox on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn (yep, it really happens). Most people don’t use social media to find romantic connections, so if you’re inclined to reach out, don’t use your Tinder tactics.
Don’t be thirsty.
If you’re trying to get someone’s attention, you might consider liking and commenting on a lot of their recent photos. But that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do. It makes you seem like a stalker and makes them not want to respond.
Don’t be creepy. At all.
Don’t use crude language, don’t be gross, and don’t send photos of your, um, bathing suit area. Just don’t.
When done tastefully and respectfully, sliding into DMs is perfectly acceptable. Just don’t overthink it; it’s a DM, not a dissertation, and there’s no need to use every single character limit at your disposal. Go with your gut and say what you think they’re likely to respond to. If they don’t reply, it’s not the end of the world. At least you tried.