So we’ve been on Twitter a while and we have gotten a few followers. Regardless of how self-serving it may seem, if you are anything like me at all, you love to see your name in lights. I get excited when I get an email from Twitter announcing that a tweet of mine has been favorited or ReTweeted or that I got a mention.
If we have learned anything in social media work it is this: those mentions and ReTweets are a gold mine. We cannot afford to let them just sit out there. Apart from the opportunity it presents us to engage people and keep our brand in front of them (whatever that “brand” may be: a product, message or cause), it is also poor social media etiquette to not respond - some way - in kind.
But here’s the rub: “Thanks for the RT @HeyOverbey” is boring, mundane and downright intolerable. How do we avoid the monotonous? The more followers we have, the more our timeline becomes valuable real estate. And when we sign off at night, the last thing we want to do is leave our last 3 tweets - the ones that display on our snapshot profile - hanging out there as mentions to someone that people do not know or care about it. Leaving people with that is like telling an inside joke at a party and excluding the crowd. They half smile, sure, but inside they hate those with the goofy joke. Who does that? “Oh, sorry, it’s an inside joke. You had to be there.” No, not at the party!
So we need to get imaginative. In the frenetic day-to-day of the social media world, it is easy to get lazy and I have been guilty of it, to be sure. But I will confess that when I go to someone else’s timeline and they do it, I shake my head… however hypocritical it may be.
Here are a few ways we can freshen up the way in which we respond to those who took time out to engage us. They are strategic and purposeful. If executed properly, they satisfy professional etiquette and they position us and our timeline in an artful and pointed manner.
1 - Always link the responding Tweet by using the reply function on Twitter. It seems like a no-brainer but we all have seen the stand-alone thank you Tweet and wondered if there was some secret meeting on Twitter we were left out of. Using the reply function lets everyone in on the otherwise “inside joke”.
2 - Klout is a source of contention and chagrin for some - even mockery for others. But with corporate American jumping in on Klout and establishing them as a real player in the game, we can hardly dismiss it out of hand. Chances are, most of the people we interact with on Twitter are on Klout. We get 10 +K per day to give away. We can use some of those to thank someone for a RT or mention. When we give the +K, Klout produces the Tweet option box and we have the chance to edit the phrasing. I have said things like, “I love seeing my name in lights! @susanavello mentioned me on Twitter so I gave her +K in blogging…” We can play around with the language but I am here to report that I have gotten a lot of response from this way of thanking someone for their ReTweets.
3- Don’t directly thank them. Instead, using the reply function to link our Tweet to their efforts, we can post a link to their blog or site. “Have you folks checked out @new_resource’s blog! He is killing it this week in #HR writing. Read him at…” No boring “thank you” here. But by linking the Tweet he will get the “thank you” idea and our followers will have a Tweet to read with value in it to them!
4- #FF sucks! I know it’s not dead… yet. But it aggravates the love right out of me to see a block of #FF tweets in my feed. Ick. I am inpatient and somewhat controlling though. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! But not exactly. I still participate in Follow Friday but with a twist. I like to add value and a reason for my followers to pay attention by putting a blurb in about the person. Posting “Stuck on your job search? Following @Resume_Strategy and @CornOnTheJob will pull you outta the mud! #FF” is so much better than saying “thanks for the mention”. And it tells my followers WHY I think they should #FF someone. Any other way, I think, is a close cousin to spamming.
5- Alternative language to saying “thank you”. If all else is failing us and we just have the itch to say thanks, we can try saying it in a different way! That whole variety is the spice of life deal. It at least provokes a reader’s mind in a different medium than the monotonous. Continuing to use the reply function, we can play around with these words and phrases:
+ Phenomenal + Sensational + You are amazing
+ You make me look so good + No one holds a candle to you
+ Your social media presence speaks volumes. Gracias for the support!
+ Much obliged for the RT! I enjoyed your blog post yesterday on_______
+ You’re one of the reasons I love coming to Twitter, thanks!
+ You’re the bees knees + Cheers + Let me know how I can help
+ Brilliant content today in your timeline, thank you.
+ Fantastic + Incredible + Amazing
6 - Post a link to someone’s tweetreach. Like Paula Dean does, we can start everything with butter. If we want to lay it on especially thick we can, still using the reply feature, post a link to someone’s tweetreach. “You are rockin’ it this week @animal. Your tweetreach is: 124,512 people & impressions http://www…” I bet you 10 ReTweets this gets attention and is a lot higher quality than TY.
7 - Post a link to our reader’s comments on our blog. If someone has mentioned our blog and also commented there we can post in the reply Tweet: “Appreciate your comments on my blog post about facebook. Insightful. http://www…”
8 - Dig up their old chart toppers. We can really go the extra mile by taking some time to go through their old tweets, blog posts or videos and post the link to them when we reply in thanks: “You’re amazing, thanks! Your YouTube video from last August on setting up Linkedin Groups is a must-see for newbies. http://www…”
I think we get the idea.
As with any effort on social media, we have to mention that our response must be genuine. Any feigned emotion will easily be spotted and turned away from on Twitter. When we are honest in our praise and professional sucking up, it will play out in our Tweet. It will have that ring. As we toy around with the verbiage, our own voice will come out.
People’s time is precious. We don’t want to waste it with the stale and dusty. I am convinced that as social media use becomes more ubiquitous, we not only can build a better thank you on Twitter… we have to.
thank me give me +K for it later.