Social Media Etiquette: Saying Thank You without Saying “Thank You”

The majority of us were undoubtedly raised to say “Thank You” when someone did anything for us.  We can never seem to say it enough.  The Social Media landscape entails an abundance of giving.  Does proper social media etiquette align with our upbringing?  Do we need to say “Thank You” every time someone mentions or re-tweets something of ours, or are other actions more welcomed?  I wrote a title similar to this one about six months ago, but never published.  Last week Brent Carnduff wrote a piece that asked “Would you Rather be “Thanked” or Re-tweeted?” that motivated bringing this to life.

thank you social media etiquette
photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc
While we’ll focus on Twitter for this article, in most cases these methods work for other social networks.  In lieu of responding with “Thank You” each time, here is a list of alternatives that the recipient will appreciate and value.

Retweet – Well, of course.  It’s always kind to reciprocate with a Retweet, and you can generally find a tweet in the users recent history that works for you.  Use Buffer, Hootsuite, or Twitter to schedule the Retweet and your “Thank You” is on its way.

Add to a Twitter List – We all have 20 lists where we can put up to 500 users.  Most users out there neglect the use of lists.  I have two different lists “Thanks for the RT” and “Thanks for Sharing” to thanks users.  Come up with your own list name and start adding users to those lists.  When you add a user to a list they’ll see it their mentions that they were added.  Most users appreciate this greatly.  You will continue to compile this list, and can retweet future tweets of those you think would be a good connection.

Cross Networks – There is no rule where you must show thanks on the same network.  Instead of showing your thanks on Twitter, go to their Facebook Fan page or Google Plus account and +1 and/or share some posts.  This is more of an effort, but mixing it up will show the recipient that you’re on top of your game, and more importantly have interest in them.

Klout and Kred Love – If you have loaded the Chrome Extensions you can see the Klout and Kred numbers if users participate.  If they are active, here’s another opportunity to show your thanks.  Give the user a +K and/or Kred as a token of your appreciation.

Comment on their Blog – This is the crème de la crème way of saying thank you.  If you see a link in the profile of the user, click onto it and see if there is a blog.  Find a recent post and comment.  Use the shares buttons, and spread across Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.  If you really want to make an impression, try this a few times this week to different users.

You can never go wrong with a “Thank You” – When you do go with the standard “Thank you” as a reply take a look at the user’s profile and look to add something.  It could be something about their location, occupation, or hobby.  This gives the message a personal feel, and again the user will appreciate the effort. This is being social.


Steven Hughes
Social Media advocate with 20+ years in Sales and Marketing. Steve writes about Social Media, Blogging, Marketing, and business at GeeklessTech. Steve is a current contributor to and Dashburst. When away from the computer Steve enjoys running and spending time with his two daughters.
Steven Hughes

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