When I started participating in the many writing challenges and prompts on Twitter, I sent thank-yous without a second thought. That was what I saw others doing. If someone liked or retweeted me, I tagged them in a new tweet thanking them. And if multiple people engaged, I ended up with tweets full of @-tags.
Then I saw someone tweet the question (to no one in particular) if all the mass thank-yous were really necessary. It made me a little self-conscious. He raised an interesting question: Was thanking everyone individually the right custom, or was it spam? Did I like being @-tagged and thanked for whatever support I’d shown?
Yes, I do. Still, I tried a more generic mass thank-you, one without specific users tagged.
The result: no one really cared. Not only do the people you’re thanking have a low chance of seeing your tweet, but it feels insincere. It’s like sending one thank-you card to a relative and asking them to pass your sentiments on to the rest of the family.
Not only is it a polite, sincere expression of gratitude; it’s a way to be social with your Twitter network. They are real people putting in a real effort, and it deserves recognition. The same sort of recognition they gave you when engaging with your content. Without them, you’d have no reason to tweet at all.
After experimenting for a few months with tweeting my thanks and not acknowledging likes and retweets altogether, I can say there is merit to sending all those thank-yous. More people followed me after I thanked them than if I said nothing. And of those who followed me, more of them remained followers after I thanked them.
It may be tedious. It may look like spam. It may even irritate some. But an @-tagged thank you is more powerful than a generic, all-encompassing one. It is far more powerful than silence.
Happy tweeting, friends.