Today I found a really interesting post by Angie Schottmuller on Jay Baer’s site, Convinceandconvert.com. The article is called 7 ways to thank someone for a retweet. Angie makes a lot of really good points and a lot of excellent recommendations, but I see things a bit differently, so I thought I would tack on my perspective. Here’s hoping you join the conversation!
Are you being genuine or are you being a braggart?
It’s very easy to identify things that rub you the wrong way in Twitter world. That’s why you see so many posts like, “Calling BS on this” or “Why I hate people who…xyz”. Once you do that though, it’s sometimes hard to tell if you are actually executing an activity that drives someone else nuts.
For me, showing gratitude on Twitter always feels like walking on thin ice. As Angie points out in her post, if you say “Thank you for the RT!” a million times a day, a few things can happen. First, it can look like you’re just trying to fill your stream with all of the wonderful RTs you’ve gotten. Second, the actual thank you can start to look like it’s playing second fiddle to your self-promotion, which can be icky (that’s a professional term). If you tack on a link to your post every time you say thank you to someone, the waters start to look like they could catch on fire for all of the ick (that’s a Northeast Ohio reference, btw).
Where I diverge from Angie’s perspective
All of the above I agree with Angie on 100%. Where I kind of wade off into a different pond is how I approach saying thank you. Angie notes in her post that there are other ways to say thank you rather than just saying, like a robot, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” True, but do you still need to type out some version of gratitude in a tweet if someone supports you? I feel the answer is yes.
In particular, I strongly disagree with the idea of retweeting a retweet. As I noted in the comments over on Angie’s post, the RTing of Retweets may be my biggest pet peeve in Twitter world. It just gets downright ridiculous sometimes. You’ve probably seen this scenario before, for example:
Someone mentions you and a few other people for follow Friday.
One of the other people mentioned retweets that tweet. OK, fine.
Then the original poster retweets the retweet because they are mentioned with an #ff. Well, that’s kind of silly isn’t it?
To me, retweeting a retweet doesn’t show a lot of humanity. It’s pushing the Retweet button, and it can sometimes make you look silly if you don’t look carefully at what you’re doing.
So how do I say thank you?
I have a few rules that I follow when thanking people.
1. I give priority to people who add a comment or a thought along with a tweet of my post. This tells me that they actually read the post and formed an opinion, which (lord knows) takes a lot of time. I want to make sure I acknowledge those folks by name, individually.
2. If a lot of people retweet my post over a short period of time, I will group them together so that I am not saying thank you 27 times in an hour. Well, I don’t usually get 27 RTs in an hour, but you know what I mean!
3. If someone retweets my post AND leaves a comment, or retweets my post and then starts to follow, I try to thank them for both actions at once.
In essence, for me, expressing gratitude on Twitter is quite simply more about the person you are thanking, less about you. Following the person is good advice. Adding the person to a list is good advice, but you never quite know how people will react to things like that. To me, it’s always a safe bet, a human bet, to just say thank you, and try to personalize it.
Five easy ways to personalize a thank you
To avoid sounding like a thank you robot, I try to personalize my tweets where I’m thanking people so that they know it’s really about them. Here are five ways to go about that.
1. Thanks for the RT! I haven’t talked to you lately. How are you?
2. Thank you for retweeting my post. I’m heading over to your blog later today!
3. Thanks for the RT – I really appreciate it!
4. Thank you for the RT and for the great comment you left. I appreciate both!
5. Thanks. By the way, your post inspired me to write that, so thank you for the inspiration!
You see? You are really talking to the person that way, rather than just saying “Hey thanks.” To me, that avoids the “spammy” problem Angie wants to help you avoid.
So those are some of my thoughts on how to say thank you on Twitter. Where do you come in on the issue? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and don’t forget to visit Angie’s post as well!
Image by sebile akcan. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/sebileakc