July 16, 2014

I love Twitter for a lot of reasons. There's a lot to like and a lot of really awesome people using it effectively. But then there are those people who don't use it so well - or at least those who have annoying Twitter behaviors. While this post isn't a full rant, it's a mini rant - about how to properly say thank you on Twitter.

Here's the thing, when someone takes the time and effort to share your content on Twitter, you should take the time to thank them for it.

Yes, it's that simple.

Now, there are various ways you can go about thanking them. And these will vary depending on how you use Twitter but you should still be thanking people.

But, first, let's look at what is NOT a good thank you on Twitter. Retweeting someone's Twitter post that shared your content is NOT a thank you. It is selfish and self-aggrandizing.

All this does is acknowledge that you saw they shared it, but that you'd rather more people see that they shared it. It doesn't thank them for their time. It promotes you. It doesn't thank them for reading your post. It promotes you.

So. STOP. Doing. This. (If you currently do.)

Instead, here is how you should thank people on Twitter.

Say Thank You

I know, crazy concept! But actually saying thank you is the best way to say thank you. Reply to their original tweet (so they know what you're thanking them for) and actually say "thank you". Or "thanks". Or "I appreciate it". Or something else with gratitude.

You can even wish them a lovely day, nice weekend, or other greeting. You can ask them a question or start a conversation with them.

Favorite The Tweet

If you get a lot of shares and notifications or maybe you just don't have enough time to thank everyone, you can at least throw up a "favorite" on the tweet to let the person know you saw it and appreciate it.

When possible though, or when someone writes up a comment or summary of your content in their tweet, take the extra time to thank them.

Tweet their Content

One of the most rewarding ways to thank someone (and, yes, it will take more time) is to share their content as reciprocation for them sharing yours. Take a look at their Twitter feed, find a post or link that is of relevance to you and your audience and retweet it to your followers.

So, there's my thoughts on how to say thank you on Twitter, effectively. But I'd love to hear from you too. How do you say thank you on Twitter? Sound off in the comments below!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Great points! While many seem to overlook this on Twitter (even some that are better about it on other sites), a “thank you” still says it all! Thanks Jenn! 😉

    1. A thank you really is one of the best things you can do, Kim! 🙂
      I know I even get “lazy” or don’t check Twitter frequently enough to give the gratitude that I used to – I’m the first to admit this. But to build real relationships, this is important to do.
      Thanks, as always, for your input and thoughts!

  2. Hey Jenn, I agree, there are many bad ways to say thank you that are more annoying than saying nothing. When someone says thank you I click their name and if the last 3 posts are all generic thank you posts it caries little weight. If they use my name I know they are at least talking to me and not batching me with their thank you’s. I tend to thank and retweet, it takes longer but I also have a big account and if they have 500 followers and I have 60,000 then they will feel the big thank you by getting exposure to a larger audience. I love doing this because so few people with larger accounts do this. You have to take time and genuine interest, it always pays in the end.

    1. I totally agree, Ross, that there are many bad ways to thank someone. And like you said, if their feed is filled with thank you’s, yes it’s nice they show gratitude, but then you’re just one of the hundreds they casually thank. I always prefer when someone uses my name or adds a personalized comments that shows they’re talking to me and not just pasting the same “thank you” that they do to everyone else.
      And I think it’s great that you retweet their content or give them a shout out, especially when they’re a smaller account. It does take more time, but that’s what the relationship value of Twitter is about.

  3. 100% agreed. People will always take note if you expend just that little *extra* time to craft a personal message for them!

    We also like to say thank you with a GIF to make the occasion. For example, if a customer sends us a nice tweet about how they love our service, we’ll often tweet back with our thank you, a funny gif of someone dancing and the hashtag #happydance. Or if someone is over-the-top gushing about us, we’ll send a GIF of a cartoon character blushing, etc. Currently, we’re using Giphy.com as a place to find our gifs!

    1. That’s awesome! I love that idea as a way to go above-and-beyond with a thank you that matches the type of tweet they have to say about you!

  4. I agree. I’ve always made time to say thanks for the RT – always appreciated or similar. Case in point MH17 tragedy I’ve been using thanks for the RT – awful situation or something similar. It’s lovely people take time to do it so I think I should make time to thank them

  5. Oh my, thanks for including my tweet! What a nice surprise!

    Truth be told, I’ve used ALL these methods of thanking – including the awful RT of the share, occasionally. Oops?

    1. My pleasure to include you Louise 🙂 You do a great job of thanking people!
      I personally don’t like the RT even when it’s the “Thanks for the share RT @so-and-so …. ” I feel like it just promotes your own content, while being masked as a thank you. Simply replying to the tweet with a thank you let’s the person know which one you’re thanking them for – and it’s easier and less time consuming.

  6. Thanks Jenn. I make every effort to thank people and have followed great examples so I appreciate you emphasizing it. I question when someone is thanked in a “group thank you” and other people mentioned thank the originator while keeping all the other people listed. It’s crazy getting constant notifications for that same tweet and doesn’t make sense. If I’m in a “group thank you” tweet I simply thank the originator. Is that wrong?

  7. I agree totally Jenn! This needs to be done on all social platforms not just Twitter. I know what you mean when people simply favorite the tweet.

    I try to take the time and say thank you and it’s nice when someone else does the same. It’s relationship marketing 101.

    1. I don’t think it’s necessary to thank in return… if they ask a question or you want to continue the conversation, then you should respond. And if they share something of yours, then, yes, you can thank them too 😉

  8. This is great Jenn! I do think it’s okay to retweet someone’s tweet about our content from time to time, but I agree it does not take the place of a thank you. I wrote a post a few years ago on my blog called “The Twitter Thanking Crisis.” Many people agreed with my points (similar to yours) but some disagreed. One point of contention that I still stand by today is encouraging people NOT to write thank you tweets that all their followers need to see. So, I agree with you that replying to someone’s tweet with a thank you is the way to go as opposed to crafting a new tweet where the person’s handle is in the middle of the tweet, meaning it goes in the regular public stream. Writing a thank you tweet that all 1000+ or more followers need to see still feels like it’s more about “you” than the other person. And yes, taking the time to tweet something of that person’s is still the most genuine, albeit time-consuming, way to say thanks. I’d like to share my post link here because I think it’s right up your alley. I’m not really a fan of leaving links in someone else’s comment section though. If you choose to edit it out, I totally understand! http://ninabadzin.com/2011/05/31/the-twitter-thanking-crisis/

    1. I love your post, Nina! Thank you for chiming in and sharing your post (it’s completely relevant and worth the share 🙂 )
      You are absolutely right about the @reply vs. the everyone-can-read-it thank you post. It should be a direct reply to the person who shared your post.
      And there is something to be said for thanking EVERYone. When your audience is smaller and your shares are minimal, I think it’s good to thank everyone. It builds relationships and you’re not writing 50 a day. But as you grow, there needs to be a rationalization about how often and who you’re going to thank – or as you said, you clog up the tweet stream.
      I am also glad you cover the #FF tweets in your post. This is a topic that should definitely be addressed and I like the way you suggest responding to them.
      Thank you again!

  9. Someone needed to say it and you said it very well Jenn. I’m sharing because well, it’s a word that needs to be shared. Thanks and I look forward to reading more.

    BTW my good friend Lynn Abate-Johnson @peoplefw gets the credit for sharing this post into my stream.

    1. Thanks Les! And I’m so glad Lynn shared this for you to find – she’s pretty awesome 🙂
      And I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and really appreciate you sharing it with your audience!

  10. I completely agree with your post. I always make time to do the rounds of thank yous each morning. But I see so many people simply retweet something that I tweeted of theirs with no other acknowledgment. And those that do it have a huge number of followers and work as social media consultants. So I do not get what they are thinking when they do that.

    If I see someone new tweet my posts, I check out their twitter profile and their site to see if there is anything I can promote to help them out as well. It is all about helping each other out.

    1. That is amazing that you take so much time to find out about those who share your content and that you try to find something to share in return! Kudos to you! I’m sure your fans and followers appreciate this a ton 🙂

  11. In the world of social media, including Twitter, saying thank you is becoming a lost art. We would never meet someone in person and have them say something nice about us, our work, or our writing without thanking them. Social media is no different. Thank you still goes a long way. It’s time Very Well Spent. Thank you, Les for writing. And thank you, Mia for sharing with me.

    1. Hi Marcia! Thanks for your comment and I’m so glad you adhere to a good thanking process 🙂
      You bring up an excellent point, that we would never ignore compliments or thoughtful acts in person, so we shouldn’t ignore them online either.

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