How to Say Thank You on Twitter Without Losing Followers

Thank You Tweets - XL

Most of us were taught to say thank you when someone helps us. Saying thank you is how we usually show people appreciation. Naturally, this has carried over to social media networks like Twitter, where we thank people for sharing our content, following us, and recommending us to others. Really, can we ever say thank you too often?

Yes, actually. It is possible to say thank you too often,  especially when we do it in a public sphere like Twitter.

When saying thank you is more of a habit than a heartfelt expression of gratitude, we are saying it too much. When saying thank you becomes self-serving, we are saying it too much. And when we are using automated tools to thank people, we are definitely going overboard with saying thank you.

Do you ever log into Twitter and see something like this in your feed?

Thanks @someone for the follow 🙂

Thanks @someone for the follow 🙂

Thanks @someone for the follow 🙂

Thanks @someone for the follow 🙂

Thanks @someone for the follow 🙂

Thx @someone @someone @someone
@someone @someone @someone
@someone @denverish for the RTs

Thanks for the #FF, @someone <3 RT
@someone: Follow @denverish @someone
@someone @someone @someone #FF

Thanks for the RT, @someone!

Thanks for the RT, @someone!

Thanks for the RT, @someone!

Thanks for the RT, @someone!

Thanks for the RT, @someone!

Thanks for the RT, @someone!

I am exaggerating by leaving out the more interesting tweets that would be buried in there … somewhere. You get the idea, though. It. Is. Too much.

Do you realize that compulsively tweeting thank yous to your entire feed may cause people to tune out your tweets, mute you, or even unfollow you?

I want to be clear about this. We should absolutely acknowledge people who take the time to share our content and help us build our audience. But we shouldn’t do it at the expense of our other followers. Cluttering their feeds with generic, repetitive thank you tweets is rude. And sending automated DMs is downright spammy.

Luckily, there are are many ways to show your appreciation for people that are even better than using the words “thank you.” Here are some ideas you can put into action right now.

How to Thank New Followers

  • Consider following them back. If you do not follow them back, tweeting out a lame “thanks for the follow” won’t make up for it.
  • Engage them in interesting conversation
  • Comment on their profile
  • Always reply to their questions (unless they are spammy)
  • At minimum, share valuable content with them in your feed. (That’s why they followed you, right?)

Note: For Heaven’t sake, please don’t send automated DMs to your new follows. Especially promotional ones thinly veiled as thank yous. Those. Are. The worst. It’s also a good way to become unfollowed by someone who might have otherwise turned into a RL friend or colleague over time.

How to Thank People Who Share Your Content

  • Retweet their content
  • Add them to one of your public Twitter Lists
  • Consider following them (if you’re not already)
  • At minimum, acknowledge their help by favoriting the retweet

Don’t Be Afraid to Cross Platforms

  • If they have a blog, comment on their most recent blog post
  • Are they on Google+? Add them to one of your circles.
  • Even better, share an article you think they would appreciate with them
  • If they have a Facebook page, consider “liking” it, or leave them a note there

Remember, being a good member of any community is about adding value. That means you should contribute positively to the conversation as often as possible, and avoid detracting from it.

So while it’s nice to say thank you when someone helps you, isn’t it better to return the favor? Sure, it takes time, and requires extra effort on your part. Building any relationship, though, take time and energy — whether it’s online or IRL. My friends, aren’t forming new relationships and strengthening existing ones the most valuable benefits of being social? Seems like a wise investment to me.

19 Responses to “How to Say Thank You on Twitter Without Losing Followers”

  1. That was fantastic, Christy! I’ve got to say- this is one of the most attractive, well written new blogs I’ve read in a while. Everything you said is spot-on. People ‘Thank You’ me to death every day. I can’t stand it! That’s why I NEVER do it. Keep being great! 🙂

  2. honeytreemedia December 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Joshua,

    I’m glad this post was valuable to you, and appreciate your feedback on BuzzBlog! I am curious, how do you show appreciation for people who share your original content without thanking them to death? I am always looking for new ideas 🙂

    Christy

  3. Nice article Christy. I’m sharing this 🙂

  4. Thanks, Josh! I’m glad you find this article useful enough to share it with your audience, and appreciate you getting it in front of more eyeballs. 🙂

  5. Thanks so much for these insights, Christy – answered my exact question about expressing appreciation to new followers without losing existing followers!

  6. Happy to help, Marilyn! Let me know if you have any other online marketing questions I may be able to answer for you. 🙂

  7. Thank you for this article Christy.

  8. And for this awesome article I saaaaaay : Thank You ! Ooooops ! hope that’s not to much 😉

  9. I am fairly new to actually using twitter and am glad I found your post. I got on my own nerves tweeting thank you for the follow and I only did it like 5 times. To be honest I was looking for clever ways to rephrase “Thanks for following.” Now I see that there are other actions that I can take that will say thank you and help further our social media conversation.

  10. Just found your fab article about thanking on Twitter. And as a thank you, I’m linking to it from my blog because it’s excellent. All those thank you @person1, @person2 tweets can get downright annoying!

  11. Thanks, Carol! No kidding, eh? 😉

  12. Was a bit worried that I wasn’t thanking everyone – just haven’t got the time. But, I do some of the things you recommend so feel I’m on the right track. Ta very much!

  13. Hi. It all seems a bit too impersonal to me. It seems it is more & more about self promotion & less about shared promotion. And, unless someone is crude, rude or totally inappropriate what is the harm in following them back. I use twitter but find it is of a more selfish, self absorbed platform for too many.

  14. Great post! You saved me 🙂

  15. Cindy Cloutier March 4, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Discovered your article because I just logged into my Twitter account and found yet another small herd of new followers, which prompted me (finally) to run a “Should I thank everyone who follows me on Twitter?” search. It’s felt awkward to send out those group “thank you” tweets, and in some cases, far more polite than genuine. I’ve read a handful of other short articles on the subject in these few minutes I’ve looked around and found yours to be the most helpful — and lacking that “How can you not *know* this already, you Twitter ignoramus?” feel. (Ok… maybe I’m just feeling sensitive because… guilty.) Thanks for the great suggestions!

  16. Rajashri Ahire August 1, 2016 at 5:03 am

    Thank you Christy, very helpful article. This will help me in my future conversations with my followers.

  17. Excellent post, to the point! I wanted an answer and got one without reading pages and pages of words.
    This has really helped to clear things up, I was so worried about becoming ‘that’ person on twitter but I always want to show appreciation for new followers.. will follow your advice, thank you!

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  1. Why We Love Followup (And You Should, Too!) | Internet Marketing - February 14, 2015

    […] excellent article by Christy Correll of HoneyTree Media outlines some ways to Say Thank You on Twitter Without Losing Followers. If you do say thank you, adding a comment to the tweet beyond the usual, lame “thank you for […]

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