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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!


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

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!

Photo Credit: eflon via Compfight cc

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


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 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* which is a  Twitter Relationship Management Tool. You can quickly respond to people who have shared your content. segments people into influencers, supporters and engaged members. For more information see my Complete Guide on Using


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 ScreenshotThe best way is to go through the different feeds in 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

  • 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!)



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Good discussion loved it. Looking for such articles. I really found and discussion arround in post is superb


Thank you so much for provided a valuable information.

SMM Panel (SMM Flare)

Fantastic article. Super interesting! We spend a lot of our life on social media these days. We should use it for our growth and doing something meaningful.

Kristy balanga

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing these great tips. It’s much


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


Wow! I love it. Thank you for sharing. I usally show my art on social media


Without saying thank you, I am going to share this article.


To me, it’s better to add value than thank people. I find the article great! 👌


The article was inspiring, I will come back to read more of your work.

I read a lot of blogs, and this one is the best blogging site that I’ve seen so far. It’s easy to use, reliable, and has all the features that you need from a blog.


Wonderful article. It was so interesting to read. Very nice message is given.


WoW! I’m getting more inspiration from the comments.. because your post.. thanks ?

Rahul S

Thank you for such an awesome article, I have bookmarked it.

David parker

wow… great article …thanks for this wonderful idea it will help me a lot to grow my instagram account……thanks for sharing


Thanks, Ian, we spent a lot of time in our daily life on social media. But the return outcome is zero. Cause we just killing our time on it. We should use it for our growth and doing something meaningful.

Linda Berg

I’m older, and I’ve noticed that a lot of kids and teens are not saying thank you. They are mumbling something inaudible. So why should the new generation read this? There are far too many harsh words of criticism. And I think it’s important to be polite. Thanks! ?

Jesica S.

Thanks Ian, great tips for growing my social media accounts!

Birla New Launch

Your site always offers some really interesting information. Thank you for sharing it with us. 


Hi Ian, thank you for the great post. I found it very informative and helpful. It certainly made me think about how I have been responding when people share my posts. I loved the article and will certainly be following your posts in future. Thank you again ?.


Hello Ian,
Let me start by saying how informative this was for me. Life as it is today is running on such a fast paste, I think we forget to slow down and think about these small things and just how important they are for any kind of business owner.
I am new to online business and its much harder than a brick and mortar store in my opinion. With so many new businesses to compete with I spend more time researching information than anything else. LOL that’s ok with me, I love gaining knowledge it’s more like an addiction if I’m not reading something online, I’m listening to YouTube videos or podcast.
WOOHOO! This is my first time to comment. I never thought about how it probably is nice for bloggers to hear how they have helped someone.
Thanks for sharing this tip
Warm regards,


Thanks for this amazing article its helpful for me. I want to thanks you again.

Stephanie Raffaele

In addition to making the customer feel great about themselves for being worthy to go on your business feed, it can lead to them sharing your reply to them or even screenshotting the evidence of you favouriting or sharing their content.

Tory Crawford

Your article is very well-written with a lot of useful, original and bold views on this topic. Thanks for sharing this informative content.


thanks for this amazing tool it help me a lot to grow my twitte account

Nikita Bhandari

I love the idea of recommending someone. Will be using this to announce my 300 followers


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 ?


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.


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


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!


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!


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. looks a bit daunting, but I’ll try it!


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. 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

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.


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!


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! ?