Eight Reasons Why You Should Thank Twitter Followers

Credit: Sociable Boost

Twitter is not a one-way street. Your content gets retweeted by a follower, and they get crickets? Thanking followers should be something you incorporate into your daily tweets.

Some folks think “thanks for the RT” is just noise and clutters the stream. Others think it’s a hassle and are on the fence about whether it’s good practice or not. In my blog post last week “How Not To Use Triberr,” the issue of thanking followers popped up in comments.

Adam Toporek who writes Customers That Stick and Ralph Dopping, the Canadian architect who writes The View From Here, both suggested that acknowledging followers for a blog post retweet was not a practice they thought they should engage in.

So, I politely disagreed and thanked them for the idea for today’s post and hope they come back to lend a few cents below (and you, too, of course!).

Two Caveats

Before I share my reasons below, let’s review a few things…

  1. There are MANY ways to thank someone for their acknowledgment. You can comment on their blog in return; you can RT their RT with a thanks at the end; you can follow them on Twitter and say thanks; you can introduce them to someone else in your stream to ensure they’ve met; you can #FollowFriday; you can make up your own way to show appreciation!
  2. Peeps like A-lister bloggers and authors who have tens of thousands of Twitter followers are unable to thank or acknowledge mostly anyone. The stream is so unmanageable especially when you’re publishing top-quality content. I get that, and I don’t expect community leaders to attempt to do a one-off thanks; not possible.  Thus, what’s below is for we who are in building mode – newbies, mid-tier and less-than-12-month bloggers, and peeps who are growing their Twitter stream.

8 Twitter Tips

Here are my 8 reasons why I believe you should thank peeps for their engagement, acknowledgment, and ‘raderie on Twitter:

1. Twitter helps you build community. When you thank someone for an RT, a comment, a compliment, a supportive gesture, etc. it shows you’re paying attention, listening and appreciate someone for their time to engage.

2. When someone engages with your blog by sending along your content, that means they’ve taken time to either read, comment, share, and take the first step to build a relationship. Isn’t a “thanks for that”  peanuts when you think of your content being shared by a relative stranger?

 3. When you don’t know someone who has RT’d a post of yours, it offers you the opportunity to address them by name, say, “nice to tweet you,” and thank them at the same time. You just accomplished a trio of good community.

4. What profession are you in? If you’re in a specialty niche, customer service, like Adam is, then you ought to be building community with like- minded customer-service peeps. If one happens to find your blog and you speak the same language, then all the more reason to acknowledge them and say thanks.

5. Your stream can never be littered unless you’re spamming it with rotten content.  Who is the judge of what litter looks like in a Twitter stream? Has anyone told you that you put out garbage…that a “thank you for acknowledging me with an RT” is trash? Absolutely not. Gratitude is not litter; it humanizes your brand and makes you personable.

6. Why would you regard “thanks so much” as noise? Noise and clutter…hmm. I mentioned that I was choosing not to re-tweet posts from bloggers writing about Halloween family dinners and baby products. These topics are not for my brand or my community. Were I to consistently retweet these to my followers, this would be regarded as noise and a dilution of my brand.

7. Are you self-employed and building a company? If Ralph is an architect blogging for some fun and not to boost his business (because he works for a firm), and I’m in B-to-B social media marketing and PR, then absolutely you betcha I’m going to thank people for acknowledging my content. When someone RTs my content, I recognize immediately if they are new to my stream. That’s how tuned in I am to my followers. Because my followers are organic I have had measured growth, and that’s enabled me to monitor the stream well.

8. What are your goals as a blogger? If you want to be an influencer, thought leader, earn more comments, build a community, monetize and sell products, earn credibility, get ranked, etc. then you need subscribers, right? A thank you to those who pass along your content seems minimal when it comes to these larger goals.

What did I miss; do you agree or disagree?

 

 

 

89 comments
rodeenas
rodeenas

Thanks for writing this post. I love reading great content and RT often. Unfortunately, I don't receive too many "thanks for RT," but it does not discourage me from retweeting good content. You give good reasons as to why we should acknowledge those who acknowledge us. 

BlueBirdBC
BlueBirdBC

Thanks so much for this encouraging post! I still get a total kick out of seeing my content shared. After all I pour my heart and soul into it! And I live on Twitter so it's only natural that I express how happy and thankful I am if you share my content!

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

The 'thank for the RT' debate has changed over the years. I know some who thank privately via DM, others who don't and still others who'll do a group thanks at the end of the day when tweets are less heavy. Some consider it noise, others showmanship. I don't really considered it either but then, it's all about how you do it. Do I RT myself to show that so-and-so RT me? No. Do I bombard my stream? No, I don't have that many RTs. 

 

The issue w/ Triberr and chiming in on what @Adam | Customer Experience and @Erin F. mentioned, that's totally different. All the 'thanks' would border on noise ala commenting communities or even 'do follow' groups - you're part of the group sharing each other's stuff anyway, it'd almost be spam. It's very autobot and not engagement. IDK - if a Tribe member went out of their way to write a custom RT, put their comment in - then maybe yes a thanks is in order.

 

FWIW I thank people; and like @jennwhinnem don't expect it all the time, but also don't like being ignored. So, healthy balance and as always, YMMV.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Jayme, a thought-provoking post. I just looked back at what I said, and I think my position is slightly different than your interpretation above. I come from the thank everyone philosophy (hey, I even wrote a blog post about the power of the handwritten thank you note!), but at some point, the numbers become unsustainable in certain mediums. Right now, I am still at the questioning phase — once someone gets to a certain number of tweets, is it actually worse to thank everyone for every tweet — especially things like Triberr tweets?  At what point, do the thank you’s not only lose value but actually degrade the quality of the experience for everyone.

 

One thing that seems certain based on the comments here is that there is a dichotomy based on each person’s Triberr experience. I wouldn’t have even questioned whether thanking was a good idea until my Triberr reach exploded by inclusion in 3 large tribes. To Bill’s point, the numbers can be overwhelming at some point. If you thank everyone who tweets you, and everyone you tweet thanks you — what does your twitter stream look like and is there room for real conversations?

 

I still default to saying thank you, as it is my nature, but numbers are numbers, and I know that it will not scale long term. I’ve been thinking about this very topic for years regarding email as well.

 

Okay, so I think you might have inspired a blog post, especially since this discussion has relevance to customer service in the digital age. I will save the rest of my thoughts for then!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

I used to DM a thanks to every, single peson who tweeted our blog posts. I had to stop that practice earlier this year because of time, travel, and the book tour. And, Triberr fills so much of my stream and so many people have their brains on automate when they approve the posts in their stream, it seems redundant to thank them every, single day. But, I spent five years doing it and advise it to everyone starting out on Twitter. It builds relationships, helps you network, and is just a nice thing to do.

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem

Jayme you got me thinking - thank you! It's true I don't tend to thank Triberr tweeters - I figure the fact that we share each other's stuff is thanks in itself. But other people, yes, I do. I simply don't get so many RTs that I can't do it.

 

I'm surprised Adam doesn't think thanking is something he should do. I'm gonna go look at the previous post's comments to find out why; I'm sure there's a good reason.

 

I just know it bugs me when I take the time to share someone's content in a meaningful way, and I get no reaction, I get peeved. NOW, I don't need a note every time. I have relationships with some people and they help me when I need, or when I comment on their blogs I am acknowledged, etc., I just hate the crickets of it!

ScottAllen1
ScottAllen1

I'm thinking you haven't been on Triberr very long. :-)My last post got 68 shares on Triberr, plus about double that from non-Triberr peeps. 200 retweets? Where would I even start? At about 7-8 names per tweet, it would take 25 tweets to thank everyone, and that seems excessive to me.

 

I'm thinking about maybe just doing a once a day, "Thanks to @Person1 @Person2 @Person3 and the other 96 people who RT'd me today."

KDillabough
KDillabough

I strive to thank people for RTs/sharing, but I don't always bat a thousand. I think it's courteous to do so, but if time doesn't permit for each and every one, I know I'll get around to it in a next go-round. I often like to add a little extra comment when I can, as well. Sometimes it's a simple, "thanks: I appreciate it!" and sometimes I'm able to tie it into something else. For example, today someone RT'd my "do you give good voice" post, and I knew she was getting over laryngitis, so I was able to add "thanks, and I hope your voice is back in the pink!"As we get involved with more tribes with greater reach, I agree with @bdorman264 (ooooh, did I say that out loud?) that numbers can become unwieldy, and I think saying "thanks" without putting any thought into it is foolish. Like everything in life, it takes judgment, timing and sensibility to decide when and with what frequency we're able to thank. My goal is to thank people far more often than not. Cheers! Kaarina

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

I have always believed in thanking people for RTs. It just seems like the friendly thing to do. I also like it when someone acknowledges my help with spreading their word, so I figure other people might like it, too.

Latest blog post: Writing for Fun

bdorman264
bdorman264

I'm nowhere close to an A-list blogger, but I know some..........:).

 

Check out my twitter stream; I would like to thank all who share my posts, but it is ridiculous. First of all, I have over 1,000 tribe mates. Let's say I share 1/2 of the posts in my Triberr stream.....and 1/2 of them acknowledge and thank me for doing so. Let's take that original 1/2 and they tweet my posts; I already have in excess of 1,000 tweets potentially a day generated from my site. If I started thanking everybody it would be overwhelming (and some have dropped me already just for that reason).

 

I guess the solution is to get out of all those mega-tribes and just play in your own tribes, huh? I want to engage and acknowledge, but I haven't figured out an effective way to do so and be in Triberr too.

 

Help me....... 

lauraclick
lauraclick

Totally agree, Jayme. If someone takes the time to share my content, I want to let them know I appreciate it. I think it's a simple, yet important thing to do. 

 

And, as you mentioned, there are plenty of ways to acknowledge people. If you can't get around to thanking every tweet, you can certainly respond in the comments, which also means a lot to people. And, if you can't get around to thanking EVERY person because you're getting hundreds of tweets, I definitely think you should thank first-timers so they'll be encouraged to come back and share again.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @rodeenas You're so welcome and appreciate you stopping in! This new tribe has pushed my thanks probably to limits for followers, but I really don't want to short shrift anyone for sharing...I am going to have to change that practice soon, though.  I can't keep up! That's good, right? LOL...enjoy your day!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @Tweet4OK You're absolutely 100% spot on! You do put your heart and soul into your work and when someone says something to acknowledge that it makes it all worthwhile; yet, we're not really writing for that reason, right? I live on Twitter, too; my fave channel. Let's be sure we're connected there! Thanks for being here.

Erin F.
Erin F.

 @3HatsComm  @Adam | Customer Experience  @jennwhinnem Some people from my tribes do write custom tweets (Where is @bdorman264 ?). I thank him for those, but I'm less responsive to the automated ones. I remember I kept thanking a person who was sharing my posts and never heard a word in reply. I finally figured out that the tweets were on auto-pilot. 

 

Since I'm running a tribe (crew), I get to decide how things move. I know we share each other's content, but I made it clear at the outset that sharing was a perk, not an obligation. I'm also hoping to have some lively conversation and to create opportunities for collaboration with my crew. Sorry; I refer to it as a crew because we're going with a pirate theme.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @Adam | Customer Experience Thanks for your input, Adam; particularly since I picked on you. But, I stand by my conviction that you can never litter a stream unless you're spamming it. If you think saying thank you is spam...well, I'm gonna need to think on that one. 

 

Also, it's been 8 days...I will not be able to thank everyone because all of a sudden my stream has exploded, too, with many, many RTs of about 4 posts running in parallel. I have no idea how to manage this. But, thank you is word one. 

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @jennwhinnem Hey, Jenn? If you get a moment to come back? I just deactivated that annoying social sharing plug in and installed this really cool floating thing on the left that glides along with you as you scroll. Will you please do a user test with a tweet and see if that is more acceptable to you? Thanks for letting me know it was annoying. 

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

 @jennwhinnem Jenn, see my comment above for clarification. I think perhaps I wasn't clear in my original comments -- you know how commenting goes. I am just questioning how all of this scales and whether at a certain point the Twitter stream stops providing value to followers. I am glad @ginidietrich commented above. It is good to see how someone who has that kind of turbo charged tweet volume manages the situation.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @ScottAllen1       Au contraire, Scott!  Since the very first months...I haven't been in power sharing tribes and for good reason! My Twitter stream has always been manageable as I'm on all day, but this morning I gave up doing a good job...I have a feeling I'm going to revise my thinking. It's been 8 days only...

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @KDillabough  @bdorman264 When there are fewer thanks to share, it's simpler, easy and more genuine to go the extra step to personalize. I don't agree that not putting thought into a thanks is foolish; heck, the step was taken to show appreciation in the first place, wasn't it? And, I have to defend myself, here; I'd rather say thanks to many than thank you to none. Hmmm, maybe an empty thanks is because of multi-tasking? LOL

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @ExtremelyAvg I agree! And, I am working on getting you invited to our tribe...Thanks for coming over, Brian! i love your insight, humor and imagery!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @bdorman264 You're not wrong. Since I joined that power sharing tribe a week ago, I've now been invited to 2 more tribes with more than 100 mates and about 3 other tribes. I am completely overwhelmed and know I shouldn't accept ... but what if there is really good content I should share?

 

Wait, WTheck am I talking about? We're not in business to push tribes' content; I get paid to deliver billable work, and, and, and...

 

Same sinking canoe, Bill!

rdopping
rdopping

 @lauraclick I think it comes down to how much time you have. I try to be nice to everyone too but lately there are just too many to thank everyone. It's a nice problem to have but also a management issue. 

 

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  BTW, the increase in shares has not done too much for my traffic. So, for example, last week Friday I posted and I got 40+ tweets up to now but my site traffic did not increase hardly at all which tells me I get approvals and shares to twitter but not much "real" engagement to the site.

 

A few new friends are great (like you @lauraclick  ) and that what it is about for me but thought that most here should consider what the value is to them. For me it's engagement in the comments and conversation. If Triberr brings that then I will put more into it.

 

Finding new and interesting people is a given for me but not necessarily from a singe source but more organically  (i.e. through comments, on Facebook vs just Triberr). Anyway, there is no right way. Just your way. 

 

Thanks for the share today and the tweet (proof in the pudding, that).

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @lauraclick AGREE! This power sharing tribe I'm im and now another (b/c it's  SEO and social media) has so many new people sending out my content. I have to make the effort to greet them and say thanks and then follow. I am guilty if I don't...taking 10 minutes to say TU in a few tweets w/ multiple peeps in the same content is not difficult. Great seeing you!

3HatsComm
3HatsComm

 @Adam | Customer Experience  @jennwhinnem  @ginidietrich Scale is a big part of it, as is value. Agree Adam it'll get to a point it's unmanageable and that it's obviously being gamed (someone keeps RTing you, hoping for a mention). But then if you've already rigged your stream to tweet dozens, hundreds of links and shares - does it matter for a few more 'thanks' tweets at the end of the day? Again, I don't know from having big numbers so I'm just typing out loud. FWIW.

KDillabough
KDillabough

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  @bdorman264 I think I need to elaborate: I mean when someone simply pushes a button without any thought, THAT'S foolish. And as far as the thanking many rather than none...we're on the same page. I don't think your thanks are empty, Jayme, otherwise you wouldn't even be talking about it. A foolish or empty thanks is when it's given with no thought, no meaning behind it. A simple "thanks" is more than sufficient when given with intention. We're saying the same thing girlfriend:) Cheers! Kaarina

ScottAllen1
ScottAllen1

 @rdopping  It may not be immediately generating traffic, but it's definitely helping build quality social links, which will slowly but surely help your search engine rankings.

Erin F.
Erin F.

  @ExtremelyAvg  There you are. An invitation to the Merry Mutineers. We're about creativity and collaboration and thinking. Basically, a crew that serves my self-centered wishes. I'm the captain even if Jack Steiner says he's one, too...

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