Skip to content

Stop Saying Thank You on Social Media & Say Something Meaningful!

Thank You

Thank You

Do you find yourself saying thanks a lot on social media? Ever thought WHY you do that?

In this article, I am going to tell you to stop thanking people. Have I gone mad? I'll tell you why...


I've been blogging for over two years now and it's encouraging to see a lot of people sharing my articles. Some of these people share straight from my blog using one of the social networking share buttons, or from my RSS news feed in Feedly or perhaps on the blogging network, Triberr. I am extremely grateful to these people and I do try and respond to as many of the people who share my articles to say thank you.

But why?

Why do I say thank you on Twitter? A strange question, you ask?

No Thanks!

Thanks TweetsBeing encouraging is part of my nature and I value politeness very highly. I always say please and thank you in real life, so surely it's the same on social media?

Well, kind of...

The thing is, sometimes a "thank you" can lose its value in the noise and sheer volume of posts.

Do you find yourself replying, sending a direct message or commenting with the following?

  1. "Thanks for following me. Looking forward to reading your tweets!"
  2. "Thanks for sharing :-)"
  3. "Thanks for the awesome RTs"

All of the above examples are very polite and encouraging, but what do they actually mean? Have you thought about the meaning of your "thank you" messages or are you just doing what everyone else is doing?

Don't get me wrong, I am doing exactly the same- but recently I was made to think about whether all this thanking was doing any good. I have marketing consultant, Mark Schaefer to thank for that. Thanks, Mark... (oops...!)

It was one of Mark's blog posts entitled "Why I Stopped Thanking People on the Social web" that made me stop and think.  Do read it- it will give you an idea of what I am referring to.

In the article, Mark says that the tipping point came when someone tweeted him:

You are too damn polite... Stop thanking people, will you!

Ouch.

Mark then went on to say...

I knew he had a point. I had reached the thank you tipping point. So I stopped.

This saddened me. I hate it that the more popular you become on the social web, the less engaging you can be. Isn’t that ironic? The very characteristic people appreciate is doomed over time. Authentic social media engagement is not scalable.

I think Mark makes an interesting point.  Social media is about creating meaningful content or building meaningful relationships- and that includes replies.

It's also about knowing who is in your core community and knowing why people are sharing your content in the first place.


Translating Thanks

dictionaries
Photo Credit: Tim Green aka atoach via Compfight cc

So, coming back to the above example "thank you" messages, let's do a bit of translating. Could it be that the above messages could mean the following?....

  1. "Thanks for following me. Looking forward to reading your tweets!"
    TRANSLATION: This is an automated message because I am too busy to send you a hand-crafted one. I might be interested in reading what you say although to be honest I probably don't have that much time to read any of them. I was hoping to reach 10,000 followers, and I'm almost there. Basically, I have no idea why I am tweeting you to say thank you for following me, but it seems like the polite thing to do....
  2. "Thanks for sharing :-)"
    TRANSLATION: I am genuinely thankful that you shared my article, however, I don't have the time to properly engage with you, but I wanted to say thanks because that's the right thing to do- my mummy/mommy & daddy taught me to be polite.
  3. "Thanks for the awesome RTs"
    TRANSLATION: Thanks for retweeting some of my tweets to your followers. I haven't thought about it, but come to think about it, some of your followers may have seen my tweets in their timelines. That's quite good really and it gives me a bit of exposure. Please do keep on doing it! I don't really talk to you much on Twitter, but I do like the fact that you're doing my marketing for me.

OK, please note that I had my tongue firmly in my cheek with the above, but I hope you got my point!


Taking up the Opportunity

Opportunity CenterPart of the issue that Mark Schaefer was referring to, was the lack of value of a "thanks for sharing" type of reply. It's not quite meaningless, but once you start sending out dozens of these a day, they are going to lose their value.

How about doing something a little different?

Instead of just thanking them, why not introduce them to someone else they might find interesting? How about reading one of their articles and giving some feedback? You won't necessarily be able to do that with all your replies, but you could create an opportunity and build upon the relationship.

Photo Credit: MikeLove via Compfight cc

Be Encouraging!

friendship
Photo Credit: eflon via Compfight cc

We've missed something though and it is a biggy...

Encouragement.

Most of us like to be encouraged. If we don't get any feedback it can be a bit depressing. Words of Affirmation is one of the 5 Love Languages (read the book if you haven't already). Each of us accepts and give love and attention in different ways, but one that works well on the social web is Words of Affirmation- encouragement.

I love it when someone leaves a comment on my articles, but the truth is that most readers of blogs don't.

Talk to most bloggers out there, and they'll tell you the same- they wish they had more comments. The same goes for Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. It's great when someone replies, mentions us or leaves a comment.

However, which would you prefer- 20 "thank you for your article" one line comments or 5 longer comments where they share their thoughts? We need to be encouraging but also add value to the conversation. That's how it is in real life, so why should it be any different online?


"Thanks" Replacement Ideas List

So what should we do instead? I'm not saying we should never just say thank you, but in most cases, you should always be looking to make your engagement more meaningful.

So here is my "thank you" Replacement List.

  1. Ask them what they think
    Ask them what they thought of one aspect of the article. If your article was a list of tools or services, ask them what their favourite was. They may not have read the article, but your tweet may quickly remedy that!
  2. Let them know what you think
    If they have a website or blog, have a visit and read an article. Reply to let them know you've visited with some thoughts.
  3. Introduce them to someone new
    If you've not engaged with them before, check their profile. If relevant, you could introduce them to someone else in your core community they may find interesting. Being in touch with your community is important.
  4. Share a relevant article
    If relevant, share a similar article that you have written
  5. Ask them to subscribe
    Recommend they subscribe to your blog or email newsletter. Use Twitter Lead Generation Cards
  6. Be funny
    Tell a joke or share something funny- make their day!
  7. Encourage them
    Encourage them by sharing with them something you like or admire about them or a quality you see in them.

Using Commun.it to help you

"That's all very well", you say, "but I don't have enough time!".

I  understand- I have the same issue. However, that's why spending time thanking everyone without a strategy isn't going to help you!

Firstly, make your own "thank you" replacement list and save it somewhere where you can easily access it. In order to make things easier, we are going to use a tool called Commun.it* which is a  Twitter Relationship Management Tool. You can quickly respond to people who have shared your content. Commun.it segments people into influencers, supporters and engaged members. For more information see my Complete Guide on Using Commun.it.

communit

With your "thank you replacement" list to hand, you can quickly go through your pending replies and mentions and actually engage much more meaningfully with the core people in your community. You may discover people who you haven't engaged with before- people who you didn't realise were in your community. This is the power of Commun.it.

Commun.it ScreenshotThe best way is to go through the different feeds in Commun.it- one at a time. However, remember to plan!

I'd recommend using the prioritized feed as well as consider to reply and high-value members. As well as that, make sure you monitor tweets containing links to your blog posts- if you do this you can quickly go through the monitoring feed too.

Here are the feeds in Commun.it:

  • PRIORITIZED FEED (the most important pending mentions and people for you to action)
  • FOLLOWERS (consider to reply, re-engage, to follow, unfollow, new followers & new unfollowers)
  • RELATIONSHIPS (high-value members, influencers, Supporters & engaged members)
  • MONITORING (people tweeting posts containing your keywords or links)
  • LEADS (potential people to follow relating to certain keywords)

What do you think?

So, have I got you thinking? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have a plan or strategy in how you engage with people using social media? I'd love to know. As always, please leave your comment below (even if it is a "thank you for your article!" comment!)

 

guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

215 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Rayan

Hi Ian, I have just started learning about marketing and I was serious about using these thanks messages that I came across this article. I think at least it helped me to think better about this and have a better pictures what it can mean using these thanks sentences 😃
thank you for sharing 👍

Maria

Incredible article! Thank you for sharing with us!

Kim Gribble

Hello Ian, I used to just browse on FB once a week, never used Instagram even though I created an account, I still haven’t utilized Twitter yet – just a brief picture of before global pandemic. This has drastically changed with our current situation, I browsed more and eventually started uding social media for promoting products I’m selling.
I have recently started, just now I intentionally searched for “saying thank you to followers ideas” – your article is exactly what appeals to me. I would rather say something meaningful or just keep quiet, but I know the value of saying something; I really appreciate you and taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas with us.

Thank you so much.

Varun Ahuja

Loved the whole article if you can show me same tool for Instagram as i am more active on this platform.

VALENTIN

Thank you, Ian:-(! I found your article not only encouraging and helpful, but … let’s say therapeutic. I am at the very beginning of social media adventure. But I already found my self utterly uncomfortable sending these kinds of “Thank You” replies. While I feel deep appreciation towards the person I never met in my life who found it possible to read/share/comment on my stuff.
In comparison with this feeling, “Thank you” seem very shallow and formal. Now I know that I am not alone. This is the therapeutic part. I did not fully comprehend the importance of being strategic in my appreciation before. So thank you for bringing some clarity here.

David Ballard

I have a comment on the opposite concept of this post — what if you do someone a favor on a social media website (e.g., Facebook) where they ask for help or a recommendation, and you expend time and energy helping provide it to them, and all they do in return is just click the “like” button (thus expending approximately 1% of the energy you just expended on them) instead of writing the words “Thanks for your help” (or something like that) in the comment section (which would require approximately 5% of the energy you just expended on them)? I see this type of specifically (if not exactly intentionally) dismissive behavior time and time again, and to me it seems really quite rude and makes the person seem like they somehow believe that they are entitled to your help, rather than being truly grateful for it as a normal, polite human being should be. Am I crazy to expect someone to actually say the words “Thank you” back to me after I have actually helped them in some substantial manner? Or are we just 100% living in Mad Max times now, where that’s not a thing anymore? Look forward to… Read more »

Ezequiel da Silva

I just wanted to say thank you! Joking, it was an inspiring article, I will come back to read others.

Rocky Gershenovich

Great points there, Translating the thank you, Hilarious indeed

Marley A Hyer

I feel like I need to re-read this article because I just really want to say “thank you”! #olddognewtricks

Manzar

Hey Ian, what about ‘getting giffy’ while saying thank you on social media? We’ve found that GIFS really get our message across to our followers, especially on twitter in a fun, humorous way 🙂 GIFs pull them in and help us continue the conversation!

Dheeraj

Really Appreciable Article , Honestly Said The Thing Actually I liked The most is the step by step explanation of everything needed to be known for a blogger or webmaster to comment , I am going show this to my other blogger freinds too

Chrissy Skeltis

Thank you Ian. I really appreciate your time effort and information.

James Jones

I loved your article!! It has given me plenty to think about moving forward on my social media journey!

Danielle

Thanks! As a novice to Social Media I found this article very helpful. I can see how “Thanks for sharing” can become disingenuous after saying a few times to the same person! Thanks again. The article has really helped me see how I need to create my own unique voice and I don’t want that voice to sound like a bot!

Natalie Graham

This is really useful, especially for me just starting to try and build connections on social media. Commun.it looks a bit daunting, but I’ll try it!

Coralie

Hi Ian.
Have you been stalking my Twitter feed? I think I must have used all of the ‘bad examples’ you gave, and I thought I was networking! You’ve given some great food for thought so I’m going to be trying out the value-add ideas you’ve shared here. Thanks for the encouragement to be more creative which will (I hope) help to drive more engagement with my followers.

Grace Akagwu

I came here looking for advice and also discovered a platform that can help me do it too. Thanks Ian, I’ll start with 1 and 7. Communications.it here I come

Ann Gilis

Hi Ian
I’m truly an Instagram noob and while I was doing research, I came across your highly interesting article. It got me wondering what you think about thank you videos in which you also ask your followers what interests them the most?
Kind regards
Ann

J. Hope Suis

I ran across your article when I Googled… Thanking New Instagram Followers. I have a system in place for Twitter, but not Instagram. I liked some of your ideas and plan to implement one or two to see which ones work the best for me. By the way, you can find me @thehopeboulevard! THANKS for the advice.

dezdigital

It’s in reality a great and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Tonia Miller

Thanks so much!

Stacie

Great Article. I am learning to be social on SM and learning to blog etc. So all your info helps…

Selene Gama

Great article, thanks… ups! Would you like to have a business connection in Tampere – Finland? We have a project named Tampere Ambassadors, I am part of it and would be very happy to give you a “virtual business tour” of out city.

M. Coop

I agree! How was the business connection?

Pixie Pamela Lay

This was a very interesting article and definitely gave me some food for thought. One question though, what do you think about using internet speak or acronyms when thanking followers etc? I’ve got an opinion on the matter but I’m curious to know yours and what/why you came to that conclusion.

Ankur Sinha

Thanks for sharing such a great article with us. This surely helps me in my work.Thanks a lot

John Chigozie

The article is very nice, “thank” you for sharing it! ?

Darcy

I have become so bored of saying “thank you” that I googled to find alternatives, which led me to your post.

Stacie

Me too! and I am especially bored with LOL!!!!!

Hank Thanks Alot

Thanks for sharing. Oops…there I go again…….

mike

Yes, i’ve seen the same thing on everywhere on social media. Thanks for sharing the meaningful idea.

Bestvela

When someone share content from my blog. I do say “thank you” but along with that I also ask if they find the content helpful and what’s the next post they want to see on my blog.
Br,
Michael John

steve john

*very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it

Mary

Don’t worry after reading your article I’m not going to say “thank you” just for the formality. You’re right people saying “thank you” just for completing formality and it seems that another feel good when you say them “thank you”. I want to ask you that when you are going to reveal the list of “thanks” replacement ideas, it works.

Junayet Sajib

Great idea. If we say thank you with a meaning full word then it can easily make little smile. You are also awesome. Keep it up.

NEET Exam Planner

Yehhhh, you’re right i try my best to not say thanks in my posts and others too.

GabrielCornea

That was so retarded! Seriously? You would just forget the hundreds of people who appreciate a “thank you” just because some sociopathic grumpy cat doesn’t need it? Punishing thousands for the guilt of one is stupid. Being human, polite and grateful is not!

Raajive

Gabriel you said it all in just two sentences, I was going thru all the messages and was trying to convince myself but found it hard.

Mason

Lots of people on social are observers rather than contributors. For a lot of people, getting a little thank you graphic back from someone or a business comes out of left field which can be a nice surprise. People either feel good about Thank You’s, or they are indifferent. No one will take a Thank You negatively besides a very select few (whom most wouldn’t want to interact with regardless). When someone does a little action, like following your page, a simple Thank You graphic is perfect. It’s when they do something that takes more effort that requires more effort in return (comments, shares of specific content, direct messages, etc.). It can be over whelming for some people if you try and get more personal when all they did was like a page or post. Mirror the person you’re interacting with!

Tim

I hear ya… unless you get semi creative with it. I do it everyday as a form of marketing. I’m a songwriter with songs on various internet radio and social platforms. People play our stuff… they don’t have to. But they do. All of them appreciate the additional exposure. Lots of times I will include another artist as a shout-out if I like a song… I almost always include 4 pix on every tweet depending on the response. To me it’s just good will and a form of marketing. Unsuspecting songwriters or bands appreciate a shoutout and connects the community. There’s some people who never even follow you back. Even after a shout-out… they’re just not even paying attention. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to acknowledge someone who Tweets your art.
Tits and cat pictures? Yeah… who gives a crap right? Lots of people with nothing to offer…
So in the spirit of marketing… I say thank you for an interesting article ??
And invite anyone to follow us on twitter @TolbertToz
#nothingtolose
#TooMuchFun
See ya there!
Later
Tim

Paula Negro Pastori

This mostly started in the USA and is a problem that goes beyond SM exchanges. In the USA people say words like: thank you, welcome, sorry, love you, honey etc way too often even when is not needed. Here is Europe we are more careful and don’t need to say those words so fast or often. Just think how often we are on a phone call talking to friends or having getting some tech support help yet during the course of the conversation 10 or 20s thank you go back and forth for not reason at all. And even when nobody is able to help us with our problem we are thanking that person before hanging up. In Europe thank you has to have some merit and needs to be earned same as telling someone “I love you.” I got to got to be so over the top, when I studied in the USA, that I used to tell my North American friends something like, “you already said thank you 5 times in less than 10 minutes so next time is ok if you can say it only once.” I studied for 4 years in America, two years in the… Read more »

Jim

Ian, Thanks for the article.

**Paula, what an amazing blessing to have studied in the USA.
I have traveled to 53 countries and lived in 8 before coming back to my home in the USA. I laugh at your ignorant comments at how you look down on the niceties of the US. It is pretty ridiculous of you to criticize the US for “being too nice”. Yes, maybe in other countries it may have negative connotations. My wife is from Shanghai and admittedly they are the same as in Europe in many ways. Anyway, RESPECT other peoples’ cultures. Understand?

Mason

You would hate Canada, we think the American’s are rude with their lack of manners. Not saying words of benevolence every 30 seconds is considered to be passive aggressive. There is a strong understanding in Canada that the words do not mean anything; the context and intent is everything. We are hyperbolic with our phrasing of words in every sense of the word.

Sue

You have just read my mind! I was thinking “I can’t keep saying thank you – so you have now got me thinking of some genuine comments I can make on my Instagram
redbubble_traveldreams

Mark John

Just read your post and would like to thank you for maintaining such a cool blog.

Stephane Richard

I was feeling saying thank tou could end up counter productive, that by searching the internet that I found your article. Quite useful and pertinent, I’m going to put this in practice. It might takenmore time but certainly generates a stronger relationship with followers on the long run.

SEO

When someone share content from my blog. I do say “thank you” but along with that I also ask if they find the content helpful and what’s the next post they want to see on my blog.

Chris Moore

I don’t disagree with the great Mark Schaefer on much but on this one I do. While I accept that there has to be an intention to promote further conversation and trust, a simple “thank you” is never a bad thing. I thank new followers, people who have shared my content and re-tweeted my stuff, those who have commented or engaged with me in some other way. I do it in a personal way, not a copy and paste way.

When I advise businesses on improving their customer service saying “thank you” forms the backbone. I look upon it as a simple act that builds goodwill, I give the analogy of paying in to a sort of goodwill account, when something goes awry and a customer needs to be placated or helped out you can draw on that goodwill account to not only solve a situation but as importantly, not lose a customer.

It’s all of the above and you know what, it’s just a nice thing to do.

Ray Berard

A response to the distance past. Although this was written almost three years ago I find it still relevant today. I just wish I had seen it back then. Currently my social media voice is predominately on Twitter although I am somewhat on Snapchat, Periscope, Busker, Anchor and Facebook. However I do not have a blog basically because I really don’t have anything to write about. I have been on Twitter since its inception but not really active until the latter part of last year. I too was looking for engagement and needed a way to say TY without appearing as a one liner like everyone else. So I searched for an idea that would make that happen and EmojiNote was created. And although I am having a blast with it I am finding myself doing the same as before but with an image doing my talking. But the one thing I don’t want to do is automate the process. Each and every EmojiNote is created individually and I review every tweet I reply to. A lot of them I even have to dig a bit to find a name because it is that important to me to add to… Read more »

Ammar Ali

Hey Ian,

When someone share content from my blog. I do say “thank you” but along with that I also ask if they find the content helpful and what’s the next post they want to see on my blog.

Isn’t that cool? 😉

Sarah Jones

yes, Yes, and oh wow, COOL. Translation: I’m so very glad that I found this article AND i look forward to reading the email you sent me at the beginning. I believe in the power of communication and the basic “manners” that I grew up with. I absolutely want to send every follower a note saying Thank You, but it does start to feel like I am cutting cookies. I loved your content, suggestions and sense of humor throughout! And then the tools at the end are inspiring and COOL 🙂 thank you again. Sooo, If you have had a manic Monday and you have felt Discouraged at all, DON’T. You just motivated and helped a little fish down here 🙂

If you happen to have any suggestions in the arena of nutrition and wellness, I included website at end.
Twitter: @gustinegoose

Segundo

That is so true. I really don’t like it when they keep saying thanks. Engaging with them is the best options. Keeps them interested.

James

Nice Reading ! Thank You 🙂

Colton

Can’t tell if this comment is being satirical, genuine, or auto-generated. Whatever the intent, truly hilarious.

Bruno

nice reading! And this ar just a few NO”s that people tend to do online, just like “im sorry” on “excuse me” on unnecessary situations.
Great tips posted on this article

TourWizard

This is a great article! I agree with the list of things you should NOT say but I have a little comment to make about asking your visitors to subscribe. I think that this should come naturally, otherwise you might end up looking spamy.

Gloria

First Ian, let me say that you were a “Divine Find” today, and I do appreciate all that you do! I was just sitting here having a conversation with my husband, and telling him I don’t completely understand the use of the “Mute” button because I’m just learning how to engage with Twitter. I started using Twitter, other social media, attempting to set up of a website, and writing because, unfortunately, I have been ill for several months, and I was to serve. Before becoming ill, that was my life – “Encouraging” – Not being able to fulfill a passion can be very devastating, and depressing. Finally, I have enough energy to at least write, even though at times it can be very challenging. Whenever there is a new follower, I do not just thank them, I visit their page, read their profile, try to get insight on who they might be. Yes it is time consuming, but being home ill, I have nothing but time. (when not sleeping). I love sharing encouraging comments along with the “Thank you”. I DM every single new follow, and believe me they are increasing quickly. Being superficial is very uncomfortable to me, so… Read more »