I couldn’t let this one slip by today and not post a comment.  As shown in research cited in this eMarketer article “Can Twitter Turn a Revenue Trickle into a Stream?,” consumers definitely want to be marketed to by the companies they follow on Twitter.  What they don’t want, as also shown, is direct messaging from the companies they follow.  These are mutually exclusive ideas.

No company who understands social media directly messages its follows attempting to push product.  However, every company who has a presence on Twitter should post offers and other incentives that link off to a web page where redemption occurs and during which other data is obtained about the customer, such as channel preferences (mobile, email?), permissions and demographics.

It’s at that point where direct messaging could make complete sense.  After all, customers want relevant offers, not blanket ones broadcasted to a Twitter feed.  By facilitating the process of connecting a social follower to a digital marketing relationship, you do your customers a favor, not a disservice.