Twitterquette: To Thank Or Not To Thank?

Before I dive into this, I want to say “hi” to the several new blog followers who have joined in the past week. Hi! *waves enthusiastically* I’m looking forward to chatting with you on posts and via other social media.

I know most of the blog’s new followers came from Twitter because they align with blog share days. Since most of you are fellow Tweeps, I thought I’d address a piece of Twitterquette that I don’t have sorted out for myself. Do you thank other Tweeps for RTs?

RTI consulted the googles, and I found two articles of particular interest. The first is pro-thank, the second is anti-thank (click on those links to read them). Certainly check those out in the quest for a balanced opinion. I will say I’m more in favor of the second post.

For the newer or non-Tweeps among us, let me set up the situation. I’ve been active on Twitter for about nine months. I joined when a fellow author told me about a pitching contest. While the contest went nowhere for me, I quickly figured out Twitter has many benefits, including but not limited to:

1. It’s a quick and easy way to share content with interested parties.

2. You can interact with people who have something in common with you.

3. It’s fun.

A primary feature of Twitter is the retweet (RT), where you share each other’s tweets. Some Tweeps have automated this practice. Tuck that away for later.

I RT frequently on blog sharing days and on #1LineWed (click here for more info on those). I have no qualms about RTing in these cases, because I know the Tweeps are real people intentionally sharing their content for the enrichment and enjoyment of others. I RT blog posts I find interesting and #1LineWed lines I find engaging. I do not expect the writers of these tweets to thank me.

Did you catch that? No thanks necessary.

Here’s why:

1. About eleventy billion tweets are retweeted every day. Adding “thank you” tweets for each of these would greatly increase Twitter noise.

2. When there’s a big list of mentions in one tweet, like “Thanks for the RTs! @SoAndSo @WhatsHisName @Jimbo etc” and you’re included, you get a notification every time someone favorites or RTs that tweet. This can become cumbersome rather quickly. Add to this the fact that like some RTs themselves, many “thank you” tweets are automated (as in, the Tweep didn’t even write it), the excessive favoriting and RTing becomes annoying.

3. I don’t write thank you tweets for the above reasons.

I RT the tweets I like, and I’m fairly certain most of the other legit Tweeps are the same way. I’m not keeping track of who RT’d me for the sole purpose of the returning the favor. I’ll usually reply when someone shares one of my posts and mentions me; at the very least I’ll favorite the tweet so the Tweep will know I saw the share and I appreciate it.

So what’s the right answer? Should we thank or not?

I’m in favor of the alternative forms of thanking – returning RTs, for example – for RTs that are “unusual”. By that I mean they aren’t part of blog share days or #1LineWed. There’s so much RTing going on during those days that it would probably be helpful for everyone to understand their basic premise – RTing is built into the expectations. The hashtags have creators who wrote instructions, and they all say something about RTing. If you participate, you will RT and others will RT you. Ergo, no thanks are necessary.

All that said, I like to give shout outs to Tweeps who make my Twitter life better, and for this I use #FF. This happens on Fridays. I usually write two or three #FF tweets and list top interacters, RTers, or blogging friends. This helps them because my followers may choose to follow them. By limiting my shout outs to one day per week, they are less likely to get buried among the other “thank you” tweets.

What do you think? Are you a proponent of the “thank you” tweet?  

19 thoughts on “Twitterquette: To Thank Or Not To Thank?

  1. Pingback: Searching the Reader – Long Tail Tags | Professional Licensing Helper

  2. Thanks for the article and generating this great discussion! It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and prompted me to write the article you kindly linked to. I’ve also got to thank Mark Schaefer for his article on why he stopped thanking people. I’m definitely for adding value on the social web, and I fear that “thank you” on its own has lost its value. I get so many tweets from people saying “thank you for sharing” or “thank you for following me”. It sounds harsh, but these comments on their own just add to the noise. Perhaps it is down to me being an introvert, and disliking “small talk”. I want to engage with people on a deeper level, and just a plain “thank you” on its own doesn’t quite cut it.


    • I so get the introvert thing, and I agree about the thank yous losing their value. Maybe instead of the “thank you for sharing”, a better response would be asking about the article itself, though that could be seen as placing the sharer on the spot. It’s tricky, to be sure.
      And THANK YOU for reading and commenting. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s a good example. Today I had 16 notifications, and about 10 were strings of @ peoples names preceded by the words “Thank you,” or “thanks for the RT,” or “thanks for following me and stop by my FB page,” etc.

    To me, a real thank you is to click over to their page, find something interesting, and retweet that. If they are struggling authors with only a few followers, I might even try to put a witty caption in the RT. Hopefully their Tweet going out to my fans and followers is a bigger thank you, more enjoyable for their followers and mine, and better entertainment/marketing/exposure for all involved.

    But that’s just me. I only pretend to know what I’m doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good topic to explore. I’ve come around to this: On any day but especially hashtag days, I thank–and engage with—-anyone who RTs with a comment. I thank auto-RTers with a RT from their blogs as soon as I can. Some RTers don’t blog, or their posts are either unpalatable to me or off-message for my followers; those get a gang thanks eventually. Because my mother taught me to always say thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your last sentence made me laugh. Good job remembering your manners. 🙂 It’s interesting to see the different approaches. It’s smart of you to make sure whatever you RT is in line with what your followers have come to expect. I know that doesn’t always happen in the Twitterverse.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So glad you brought this up! 🙂 I’ve been thinking about it too, and I’m leaning towards your opinion. I try to notice who RTs and faves and replies to my tweets and attempt to return the favour if their content is relevant to me and my followers (as it most often is). I have thanked for RTs a few times, but either it’s been a general “thank you to all the kind people RTing something about X subject that means a lot to me” or else there’s been another specific reason for it (silly me, can’t remember what it was right now, but I remember doing it with something specific in mind). 🙂


    • I’ve done the generic “thank you” tweet without specific mentions too. I wonder how meaningful that is. I admit I don’t RT for RT as much as I probably should, but if the others are like me, I doubt they’re keeping track (this one didn’t return my RT yet! Rawr!!).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad you wrote about whether to thank, or not. I guess that was a thank you. 😉 On a serious note, I have read blogs in favor and not in favor. I believe there are times for a thank you, as there are times for shout outs, but there are more times to favor, which is typically what I do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree. When I tweet someone’s post, I do it because I enjoyed it and think others might. I don’t require thanks for that. The thanks yous could keep going in circles. I think favourite is a nice way of acknowledging a tweet has been seen. I definitely don’t thank those who have RTd my tweet of someone else’s post, but if someone originates a tweet of my post, I may engage in a short conversation or/and better still, tweet something original of theirs. Thanks for sharing your practice. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve tried to make a habit of sharing someone else’s post directly (as opposed to RTing) at least once a day. I follow quite a few blogs so it’s not hard to find something “share worthy”. Those bloggers usually favorite my tweet, and that’s perfect. Some thank me with a mention, which is great too. Then I can answer with a comment about how much I enjoy their blog.
      Btw – I went to tweet this post for #Mondayblogs and saw that you already had. So thanks! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nope. I posted about 10 funny things today. About half were retweeted, but one was RT’d 16 times. If I thanked each of those, my whole feed would be RTs. Who wants to read that?

    Instead, I scroll through the feed and RT whoever’s interesting or funny. Rarely I’ll thank somebody – usually on a slow day. But their thank you is to RT something I did that was good, and I RT something of theirs that was good. In the long run, over 11,000 people follow me and I couldn’t thank them all for anything, so I generically than people about once a week and try to be interesting instead.

    I think the numbers don’t work otherwise, and certainly the entertainment value drops considerably if the whole feed is thank you’s. This being an entertainment biz, I can’t see a bigger crime. Doesn’t mean I don’t love and appreciate my followers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great point about your overall image becoming less interesting with an abundance of thank you tweets. I hadn’t thought about it quite like that.
      And THANK YOU for regularly engaging on this blog. I appreciate it. 😀


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