Time to Tweak Your Twitter Strategy

by Sherryl Perry

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Hopefully, if you’re reading this post, you have some sort of strategy for participating on social media sites. You need a plan so that you don’t end up like Chris Brogan who found himself following 131,000 people on Twitter. (In 2011, Chris unfollowed everyone and started anew.) My premise has always been to approach social media as an extension of networking face-to-face. It’s still real life, only online. I keep an eye on who I’m following and who I’m re-tweeting for. I also try to thank everyone for sharing my posts and retweeting my tweets. Recently though, I’ve been reading blog posts from bloggers who think thanking everyone may not be the best use of our time.

Thank You for Your RTs

The post that first got me thinking about this was Would you Rather be “Thanked” or Re-tweeted? Brent Carnduff’s intent in writing that article was to generate a discussion and there was lots of it. Here are a few quotes that I found interesting (some are just part of a longer comment).

@DoktorSpinn – “. . . I’m one of those who has been thanking for RTs quite frenetically. But some of my followers have been irritated with me for this reason. . . .”

@Lisapatb – “I think we should still thank people AND Re-tweet them. Give more than we receive. Give more than they expect.

@CarolLynnRivera – “. . . I don’t want my entire Twitter feed to look like a bunch of thank-yous . . .

@gonzogonzo – “. . . I also think ‘following’ folks is a way of thanking them, acknowledging their content as relevant and wanting to get more in your news thread.

@DJThistle – “I think re-tweet is a way of saying thank you, but once in a while you should say thank you and be ‘social’.”

Social Media Automation Services

I’ve noticed that when I first publish a post that quite a few people automatically RT it for me (for which I am very grateful). I know this is partly because some people use a service such as BufferApp.com, Dlvr.it, IFTTT.com or TwitterFeed.com (just to name a few – feel free to mention your favorite in the comment section). These services can be used to automatically deliver content from RSS feeds. Depending on how the person has scheduled their feeds, you often see a flurry of tweets shortly after you’ve published your article. Since these tweets all appear in your Twitter stream at approximately the same time, it’s tempting to thank everyone at once.

Another reason for an influx of RTs (when I first publish a post) is that I’m an active member of a Triberr tribe. For those of you who are not familiar with Triberr, basically it’s an an automated content sharing tool for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of Triberr tribes. Some of you here remember my first foray into Triberr and may have been in a tribe with me.  (I actually disbanded a tribe that I started a long time ago but I am very happy now.)

Thanking a Multitude of People at Once

What happens to me is that right after I’ve published a post, you will see a flurry of “Thank you for the RTs . . .” tweets from me and I do wonder if people find them off putting. (I’d really like to know.) Sometimes, I’ll schedule some of them to post in the middle of the night. My thinking is that if someone is checking their @connections, they’ll still see it and it will be less disruptive to my Twitter Stream.

Now, I’ve read on several blog posts that Triberr members don’t expect RT thanks because “that’s what we do” but at the same time, I value that RT and still want to thank them. Although, I’m less apt to also tweet “you’re welcome”.

Follow Instead of Re-Tweetining

I like the idea of following someone as a way of thanking them for an RT and I’ve been doing that for quite some time now. I still basically follow the same strategy that I explained in an earlier post “What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?” I will not follow someone simply because they tweeted for me. I won’t consider following someone who doesn’t pass this quick assessment:

  • They have a profile pic (not overtly sexy or an egg).
  • Their bio seems legitimate and someone who I’d want to be associated with.
  • They appear to have earned their followers and not simply purchased them (zero tweets and thousands of followers).

Over to You

What are your thoughts? Do you thank everyone who RTs for you? Do you thank someone for following you? (I don’t.) If you’re an active member of Triberr, do you treat those individuals any differently?  I think we’d all like to know. As always, thanks!

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

Walter
Twitter:
March 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I’m pretty new to Twitter, so 130,000 plus followers is a long long way away. But even with my small number of following and followers, I have regular reviews of who I’m following and why.

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
March 5, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Hi Walter,
Unfortunately, I’ve found a lot of people lately who follow me and then a few days later, they unfollow me. If I’ve followed them back, that always makes me feel used. :) (So, I usually unfollow them too – unless it’s someone who is tweeting such valuable content that it’s to my benefit to continue following them.)

There are lots of tools to manage your followers. Which one do you use? The one that I’ve been using the longest is manageflitter.com. Their free version meets my needs and there’s quite a few filters that you can use to view your followers. Good luck on Twitter!
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Top 6 SEO and Social Media How-To Posts of 2012My Profile

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Robert February 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm

To be honest, I haven’t thanked people who retweeted my tweets yet since my website’s main focus is providing news related to Wordpress themes, not a detailed article. That’s why not so many people retweeted my articles.

BTW, I think I would try this strategy :) Because it’s a great way to express your gratitude towards followers.

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hi Robert,
I just followed you on Twitter and checked out your Twitter stream. The tip to retweet for people who tweeted for you might be a good strategy to test too. (That’s something that I’ve been doing more of lately too.)
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tips for Bloggers | Before You Press that Publish ButtonMy Profile

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Karen Woodham
Twitter:
February 3, 2013 at 5:32 am

Hi Sheryl, I chop and change when it comes to saying thank you to those on Twitter, sometimes I RT, specially if they have some interesting tweets and other times I will say thank you and then again if they do look like an interesting person to follow on twitter and have similar tastes to my own twitter account then I will give them a follow.

I very rarely DM users as most of the time they don’t see those anyway, when it comes to DM, I hate those automated ones that people send you when you follow them and they try to sell you something, sorry, but that’s an instant unfollow in my books ;)
Karen Woodham recently posted..Flight, Denzel Washington in an Oscar Nominated Role, Blazing Minds Film ReviewMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Hi Karen,
It sounds like our Twitter strategies are very similar. I rarely look at DMs myself and recently I’ve adopted your strategy of unfollowing people who are trying to sell to me or blatantly self-promote. Actually, that’s a good use for DMs. – Find people to unfollow. :) Thanks for dropping by.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tips for Bloggers | Before You Press that Publish ButtonMy Profile

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Anita Simmons Kearney
Twitter:
January 31, 2013 at 1:15 pm

I am new to all of this and have been trying for over a year to increase my twitter following, this article gives me hope that if I just be patient I will gain some followers. I only blog part time and most of that is for others…kids gotta eat so a full time job is still in my future for now.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Hi Anita,
One of the reasons that I like Twitter is because I don’t have to spend a lot of time on it. I grab 15 minutes here and there. Twitter can be really helpful when you’re building your online presence. If you get a chance, you might be able to relate to this post that I wrote quite a while ago: http://keepupwiththeweb.com/2-steps-to-stalking-the-popular-kids-and-getting-more-traffic/. It’s a simple strategy that helped to get me off to a good start. :) Thanks for dropping by!

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Patrick Wagner January 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm

When I first started out I had no clue what I was doing, it is with help from bloggers, like you, that actually share information that can be interpreted and used that I have gotten a lot better.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
February 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Hi Patrick,
Thanks for letting me know that you find the information that I share on my blog helpful. Most bloggers are somewhat clueless when they first start blogging. (I felt the same way and I did quite a bit of research before I started.) There’s a wonderful community of bloggers who genuinely want to help and support each other. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments (like this one). It’s always good to get feedback from our blog readers and I’ve been motivated to write many posts based on comments. :)
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Tips for Bloggers | Before You Press that Publish ButtonMy Profile

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Ricky January 29, 2013 at 6:05 am

I don’t have any particular stratergy, the key is to keep experimenting, Twitter is ever-changing and to succeed on it you need to be flexible, but you also need to know where you’re headed.

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Purnima@villa ubud bali January 25, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Interesting tips Sherryl . If someone takes out time to share my content I am in favor of thanking . Apart from this finding content on twitter profile to send a personal message is also a nice way to reciprocate. I have gained lot of insight about thanking rather than just Retweeting .

Reply

Stenn January 25, 2013 at 4:04 am

I find Twellow easy to use and like that you can actually include links to other social sites you are a part of like Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Digg, and many more.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Thanks for the recommendation Stenn. It’s always helpful to hear what services people are using to help manage their social media.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..SEO Gets Social | How to Use Social to Get More out of SearchMy Profile

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Mario January 23, 2013 at 1:36 am

I create special bond with Twitter followers by sending them personal direct messages. I take a moment to check out their bio and their tweets. If they are an ideal prospect, or a potential connection, then I take a moment to introduce myself

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 25, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Hi Mario,
I am really surprised by the number of people who use direct messages on Twitter. I have to admit that I rarely read them.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?My Profile

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Arianne January 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Nice tips for Twitter users, Sherryl. I don’t really thank people who RT my tweets. What I usually do is tweet them or check their twitter profiles. If I find them interesting and if their profile looks legit, I follow them. Nice strategy.

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Hi Arianne,
It sounds like you’re ahead of the game on this strategy Arianne. :) I’m sure people appreciate the tweets and follows.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..SEO Gets Social | How to Use Social to Get More out of SearchMy Profile

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Ioana January 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Twitter and I -we have been in a constant struggle since the day I made an account..it was funny and frustrating to see I had 10 followers overnight and when I started following back many of them would vanish. I guess it takes some serious social skills and patience to really have the chance to use Twitter as the powerful social tool that it can be.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

It does take patience to establish a following Ioana. When I first started using Twitter, I made an effort to follow people who were blogging to the same reader base that I was writing for. As soon as I found out how CommentLuv works, I made a special effort to leave comments on CommentLuv enabled blogs (like this one) and then I’d follow them on Twitter and share their posts. Most of them eventually followed me back and many started sharing for me too.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that you (and a few others) have not entered your Twitter ID when you’ve left a comment. (Hopefully, that was your choice and not an issue with my CommentLuv.) Lots of times, I’ll follow people who leave comments. As it is, I have no idea what your Twitter ID is.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..What is Your Twitter Strategy for Following Someone?My Profile

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Kyron January 21, 2013 at 4:49 am

I think tweets that contained pictures or links to images received twice the engagement, so that is my supreme strategy, I have not explored Twitter well, now its time. Good post, thanks for sharing.
Kyron recently posted..Plants That Will Breathe Life Back Into Your WorkspaceMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Hi Kyron,
Thanks for weighing in on this and sharing your thoughts about tweeting pictures and links to images. I do not personally do that but I have researched this before and companies like Starbucks uses that strategy very well and they get great results from it.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..SEO Gets Social | How to Use Social to Get More out of SearchMy Profile

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Vianney January 21, 2013 at 3:05 am

It is indeed better that we follow the person who twitted that tweet that caught our attention. By doing so, we can see more of tht person\’s tweets and may gather another followers as well. Thanks for sharing this!

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm

You’re welcome Vianney. I have found that when I following someone who has tweeted for me, they often do follow me back. I haven’t noticed any of them unfollowing me soon after either. That’s a good thing!

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Kelly January 18, 2013 at 1:44 am

I don’t usually reply to people who give me RT’s but it depends (if their profile seem legit). When I started thanking or replying to almost everyone, I got more followers. I think it’s one way to gain new friends and followers in twitterverse.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 18, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Thanks for joining the conversation Kelly. I believe all social media is founded on true conversations and connecting with people. So, it makes sense that by interacting with others, you will get more followers.

BTW – I’ve noticed a few people here (including you) have not taken advantage of leaving their Twitter ID along with their comments. (Hopefully, it just means that you didn’t notice the field and that it doesn’t indicate a problem with CommentLuv.) Since this is a post about Twitter, I was making a special effort to follow people who left their Twitter ID along with their comment.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..The New Wave – Learn the Latest Inbound Marketing TrendsMy Profile

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A.K.Andrew
Twitter:
January 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

Really interesting post Sherryl. I’ve never known what the norm should be re: RT’s & TQ’s. I’m in several groups in Triberr, so have starting adding thanks in with my RT’s. It’s often with the hashtag ‘writing’ so it might say #writing Thanks! RT @ Keepingupwiththeweb Time to tweak your Twitter strategy.http:// etc. I like to both send & receive thanks for RT’s but you don’t want a shedload of TQ’s in your stream. RT’s are a thank you in themselves, so why not combine the two. Sometimes & will group TQ’s instead.
As for followers- I don’t thank them unless they send me a DM. And I def. don’t automatically follow.
A.K.Andrew recently posted..MuseMedium: The Future and Joyce Carol OatesMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Wow! You use Twitter DMs too? (Jeannette mentioned DM’ing people.) Am I the only one who gets so much spam that I rarely read them?

O.K. – I just checked my 10 most recent DMs. 2 of them start out with “Thanks for following. Here’s how to make $300 a day with ZERO Investment” and the remaining 8 all include links to either Facebook pages or their website. Not one DM is from someone who I normally interact with.

Actually, that quick look at DMs got me thinking. Why would I want to be associated with anyone trying to hawk ZERO investment scams? I unfollowed both of those individuals and I may start scanning my DMs as a way of weeding out people who I don’t want to follow any longer. After all, it reflects back on me if someone sees that I’m one of their followers. (Hmmmm….. this may be fodder for another post!) :) Thanks for getting me thinking A.K.!

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Katie January 17, 2013 at 4:28 am

There are some great insights and tips here, automatic re-tweeting defeats the very purpose of Re-tweeting. RT with a comment is the best course of action that gives proof that the post has been actually read. Good post, thanks for sharing.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Hi Katie,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I confess that I don’t always read everything that I RT but I have valid reasons for doing that. There are bloggers who I follow that consistently publish valuable content. If I were to try to read each of their posts, either my business would suffer or I would be sharing less than I am now. (If I did that, people who follow me would be missing some valuable shares.) I will say that it takes a while for a blogger to earn that sort of trust from me. Therefore, I do read a lot of the content that I’m sharing.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..The New Wave – Learn the Latest Inbound Marketing TrendsMy Profile

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Stacey January 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Awesome post as guides for twitter. I will try to follow instead of doing some re-tweeting. In this way, I can be able to read more of her awesome thoughts and build friendship even just online and it could also be a great opportunity trying to win more and more readers. Thanks a lot!!

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hi Stacey,
You’re welcome! Thanks for letting me know that you liked my post. I started following people who RT for me and I usually thank them too. I think that reinforces my Twitter ID with them and it serves as a reminder of how I found them in the first place.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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Kelly Wade January 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I think if you follow someone back and thank the Twitter-verse in general (with an occasional personal thank you) that shows that you are grateful for the community atmosphere and mutual benefits you get from the social media tool. I don’t think its necessary to thank each person individually.

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 16, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Hi Kelly,

If I were to thank each person individually, my Twitter stream would be really cluttered. As it is, I’ve recently curtailed trying to thank everyone for each tweet. I’m also going to make more of an effort to engage with people who are new to me to connect on a more personal level. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

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Joy January 16, 2013 at 6:43 am

Cool! I honestly hesitate to twitter because I thought it was sort of lame and overrated, however, your post made me consider having one big time. Thanks a lot! I could use all these info.

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

You’re welcome Joy. I’m glad you found my post helpful (The comments are always a great read too.) I think Twitter is very useful as one component of an overall marketing strategy.

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Alex January 16, 2013 at 3:57 am

There are some great insights and tips here. I believe that we shouldn’t leave out one of the most important element in social media ‘interaction’, as that is one of the most important elements in making a brand or business successful on twitter.

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 16, 2013 at 6:31 pm

That’s true Alex. Interaction plays a huge part in building a brand. We need to connect to our customers and clients on a personal level. Thanks for mentioning that. It’s important.

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Susan Cooper
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

This is indeed a very interesting subject to me. I am very active in Triberr and as a result get lots of RTs. I have not been a good at thanking everyone as I should and I’m just not sure how to go about it affectively. I can see the value, but some of my Triberr buddies quiet simply don’t expect a TY. I do however thank people I know and who made a special effort to tweet my content. I think I could use some advise and help with this.

As far as followers, I do the same as you. I check them out first, review their tweet stream and then make a decision. My followers grow more slowly but I believe they better match with what I’m about. :-)

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Hi Susan,
That’s great that you’re a member of a tribe that works for you. After reading through the comments, I’ve decided to curtail the number of thanks that I tweet. I won’t be thanking people who have my RSS feed in a service like TwitterFeed or a member of a Triberr tribe that I’m in. I agree with Carol Lynn that thanking someone who has just started tweeting for you is a good idea. So, I will continue to thank tribe members who are new to me.

As for following people on Twitter, I think slowly growing the number of followers that you have is a good idea. I use the free versions of TwUnfollow.com and ManageFlitter.com to keep a handle on my followers. TwUnfollow sends me an email (weekly I think) with a list of people who have unfollowed me. (This really helps me weed out people who have followed me and then after I follow them back, they unfollow me.) With ManageFlitter, there are several filters that you can use to identify accounts such as those not following you, “fake” followers and inactive accounts. Using those tools help me to keep the number of followers and following where I want them to be.

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Carol Lynn
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

oooooooo, I’ve been quoted! How cool :)

This is such a weird issue because not thanking people can seem stand-offish and unappreciative but thanking people can appear annoying!

I suppose the only thing I can do is act as I would want others to act. Personally, if I retweet someone who I retweet regularly, they don’t need to thank me every time. But if someone brand new retweets me I usually acknowledge it because if that was me, it would be nice to know they noticed!

The alternative is just to comment back to that person without an actual thank you. Thank you’s are sort of throwaways (too easy!) but responding is actual engagement. Let’s say someone retweets a link I posted. Instead of “thanks” I could say “I hope you enjoyed that post… what did you think of point ABC?” That opens up a conversation.

The other down side to thanking in long streams, is for me, I always go to someone’s Twitter page and scan through the first dozen tweets or so before deciding whether to follow. Now if all I see are thank yous, there is no incentive. It looks very rote.

Ok, so with that all said, I still have to work in a day so sometimes I will spit out a hundred thank yous in a row just so I can not be “that person who ignores everyone”.

It’s kind of a funny debate if you think about it. Where else is everyone so hung up on whether or not to thank a person :)
Carol Lynn recently posted..Foursquare: The Red-Headed Stepchild Of Social Or A Local Marketing Ally?My Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Hi Carol Lynn,

Your quote made my list because it really resonated with me. I had a nagging feeling that the way I had been thanking everyone was cluttering my Twitter stream and that it didn’t look natural. When I read through the comments on Brent’s post, it validated my suspicions. Also, I agree with you that if someone is deciding whether or not to follow me, I would prefer that they see the topics that I’m tweeting and not a list of thank yous.

I like your suggestion to reply to the person to engage them in a conversation. Although, sometimes that throws me a little when someone does that to me. I’m usually taken back because by then, I’ve usually forgotten the tweet. :)

Thanks for taking the time to drop by and weigh in on this. It’s good to have discussions like these.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How To Set up Google Authorship & the Rel=Author TagMy Profile

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Carol Lynn
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Oh absolutely (on forgetting the tweet) – I always have to go back and figure out what someone is talking about. And to confess, sometimes I even have to go back and re-read the link I tweeted! It’s definitely more work. But that’s social for you. No free lunch, right :)
Carol Lynn recently posted..Foursquare: The Red-Headed Stepchild Of Social Or A Local Marketing Ally?My Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

True. It’s what engagement means. I often find myself having to re-read the link too. :)

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Catarina Alexon
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 6:29 am

Used to thank friends on Twitterfeed for re-tweeting. But then someone told me there was no need to do so. So I stopped.

Like you I only follow back people it makes sense to follow. If they have no picture, follow 800 people and have 68 followers I don’t follow them back:-)
Catarina Alexon recently posted..Rising inequality – the main risk facing the world?My Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

Hi Catarina,
After reading through the comments, I’ve decided to not thank everyone the way I have been. It has reached the point where I’m cluttering my Twitter stream with thank yous. Even though I sometimes schedule them to post in the wee hours of the morning, they’re still in my stream. I’m sure the people who I won’t be thanking anymore (like you :) ) will understand.

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Leora
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Unfortunately, I’ve become rather cynical about new followers. I keep thinking they want to sell me something as opposed to want to connect in a back and forth relationship. If they have a real name, they have some profession related to mine, live somewhat nearby – then maybe I’ll pay attention. Too many numbers hunters.

I’m happy to be thanked, happy to be RTed, happy to be connected! You always tweet in a polite and considerate fashion.

Reply

Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm

There are too many number hunters Leora. I’ve become very leery of people with thousands of followers and hundreds of tweets. Why are all those people following them? I suspect many of these people are buying followers and I don’t want to be associated with them.

I’m happy to stay connected too and thanks. :)

Reply

George
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Automatic re-tweeting defeats the very purpose of Re-tweeting. RT with a comment is the best course of action that gives proof that the post has been actually read.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

George,
I call it automatic tweeting when I have RSS feeds automatically shared on Twitter. Over the years I have formed trusting relationships with several bloggers. I’m confident that the content that they provide is of the highest quality. By automatically sharing their posts, I’m providing quality content to my followers and at the same time, supporting those bloggers. I still visit their sites when I can and contribute to the conversation on their sites.

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Jeri
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm

A few weeks ago, I went through a phase where I started questioning whether or not to always thank people for their RTs. I stopped doing so, and the number of RTs I got dipped. I guess I’ve decided it’s best to try to err on the side of showing thanks, but also recognizing priorities on the days when I don’t really have time to mention everyone. In the end, I suppose sending a RT for that person is better than just thanking them. When I can, I will do both.

Also, you won a book by R. P. Thead. Would you like a print or Kindle copy?
Jeri recently posted..Author Interview: Candy KormanMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Hi Jeri,

That’s interesting that the number of RTs you received dipped when you stopped thanking people. Were the people that you had been thanking retweeting for you automatically (for example with TwitterFeed or Dlvr.it) or part of a tribe or commenting group?

After reading the comments here, I’ve stopped thanking other bloggers who I know either have my RSS feed automatically delivered or are a member of a Triberr tribe (and who aren’t personally thanking me).

Great! I’m glad to hear I won a book. I’ll look for that email and answer it. Thanks.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..How To Set up Google Authorship & the Rel=Author TagMy Profile

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Jeri
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I don’t use automated TY’s, but I had been diligent in my daily thanks for a few months. I also don’t belong to Triberr, etc. (not yet anyway). But I guess a few of my regular RT tweeps must have felt a bit overlooked when my regular mentions stopped. I guess it’s a bit like the teacher who always points out good things, and the day they don’t, everyone is like, “What’s up with that?” In a way, it’s also partially of me bending over backward to be all-inclusive. Once a teacher, always a teacher! My entire Twitter philosophy is basically driven by the same recognition tactics I implemented in the classroom. Hmmm, as I ramble on, I’m thinking that could make a good post for my blog!
Jeri recently posted..Book Review: The Indomitable Spirit of Edmonia Lewis by Harry and Albert HendersonMy Profile

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Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Sherryl — this is a good topic: should we thank people for RTs? I personally do it most of the time. However, I will often send a direct message, if we are following each other, rather than an @ thank you which shows up in their stream. I’m often reprinted in a blogging newsletter so I only thank the editor every few times I get mentioned. He knows I’m grateful. I belong to a small retweeting group — we request RTs but we don’t thank each other because that’s what the group is for. I guess I’d prefer to err on the side of being polite. I know I enjoy receiving a thank you. But I do agree that when you follow someone and they ask immediately for a FB Like I find that a little pushy.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Hi Jeannette,
Thanks for joining the discussion. It’s really helping me to understand how people are feeling especially when it’s a reciprocal arrangement. I plan on paying more attention to who is thanking me and if they thank me for RTs, I’ll continue. Otherwise, I’m going to stop. That will help a little on the number of thanks that I’ve been tweeting.

I have to confess that I never read DMs. My direct message folder is so full with spam that I can’t remember the last time I checked it.

It’s interesting that you mentioned the @ thank you showing up in their stream. That has been part of my motivation for thanking people that way. I knew they would see it and I thought it would be building a little bit of brand awareness when other people see tweets with their name in it too. (I often follow people who I see mentioned in tweets from bloggers who I respect and follow.)

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Jeannette Paladino
Twitter:
January 13, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Sherryl — I can certainly understand your POV about building brand awareness when you tweet appears in someone’s stream. Interestingly, I receive hardly any spam in my direct message folder – I don’t know why. When someone RTs a message that someone else retweeted I usually don’t send a thank you. I feel they probably already forgot they retweeted it because we don’t have a relationship. I see those, too, because I subscribe to Twepe which has been acquired by SEOMoz and I don’t know how longer they will be offering the service which sends me a daily summary of who has tweeted and retweeted my posts.
Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Does Your Personal Brand Reflect Who You Are and What You Do?My Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 14, 2013 at 11:50 am

I’m not familiar with Twepe Jeanette. I thought you were using HootSuite. I’ve been using a combination of the free versions of BufferApp, Dlvr.It, ManageFlitter and TwitterFeed but I haven’t committed totally to one service. I wonder what SEOMoz intends to do with Twepe. Maybe there’s something even better on the horizon.

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Doreen Pendgracs
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

Hi Sherryl: To answer your Q’s, I usually, but not always, thank people for mentions & RT’s.

I don’t thank new followers, but do follow back if they seem like an interesting/good connection, and may also (or otherwise) RT them.

I am in a tribe on Triberr, but don’t find it to be a very good match for me. There are a few members who RT my new posts, but they rarely comment on my blogs. I feel I get much better support from the BHB group you started on LI. Thx for that and everything!
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Hi Doreen,
Your approach to people who follow you is the same as mine. Actually, if someone thanks me for following them and then immediately asks me to do something else for them (for example “like my FB page”), I’m already a little suspect of their intentions. That’s not a great way to start a new relationship.

Like you, Triberr did not work for me either when I first started. It was the wrong group for me. My one attempt to start a tribe myself failed mainly because I did not invest the time in it to do it strategically.

You are entirely welcome. I would like to take credit for starting the BHB group on LinkedIn but I started out as a member and when Laura Sherman (who was managing it at the time) decided to focus her energies elsewhere, she asked me to take over her duties. It is a really supportive group thanks to active participants like you and many others. Again, it all comes back to community building doesn’t it? :)

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Scotty
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 9:13 am

First off, I think Twitter is tremendously important as a business and marketing tool. Second, I agree with all of your points completely. Thirdly, keep it coming, you could do a 5-6 part series on this topic and still not cover it adequately.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for the encouragement and for taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed my article. Last year, I wrote a 2-part series for the American Express “Business Knowledge Share” group on LinkedIn. If you or anyone else wants to check it out, you can find it here: http://linkd.in/ZUPQm7. You need to be a member of the group to read my post but I believe that group can be a valuable resource.

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Jennifer Woodard
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 8:30 am

Sherryl,I have to admit that twitter is some of those site that I do not actively participate. I keep saying I am going to do better, but can’t seem to get with it. Maybe one day I will figure out something that works for me. I would like to use it to develop better relationships, just don’t seem to be able to take the time out to get involved.Great article,Jenn

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Hi Jenn. Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you enjoyed my article. You mention taking the time for Twitter and one of the reasons I’m fond of Twitter is because of time. As you can tell from my comments, replies and posts on LinkedIn, I’m rarely at a loss of words. So, for me to be limited to 140 characters is perfect! :)

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Jennifer Woodard
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Sherryl,

I have worked hard to cut down my articles maybe more practice on twitter would help me get even better, LOL.

Jenn

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Ileane
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 6:54 am

Hi Sherryl, Happy New Year!
I hope 2013 is treating you well so far.

I think it’s really up the individual if they want to thank people or not. It’s really all about your personality and the amount of time you have on your hands.

What I tend to do is thank someone for a group of retweets – not each and every time. I want people to know that I appreciate them and also that I notice them and wonder how they are doing if I haven’t chatted with them in awhile.

That’s exactly why I stopped by to visit your blog today with my belated new year wishes. Better late than never right?

Thanks for the post and wishing you all the best in 2013.
Ileane recently posted..Time For Your Transformation from Blogger to WebmasterMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Hi Ileane for the visit! Your dropping by and commenting definitely makes me feel appreciated.

This conversation has been good for me because thanking people had become a habit. When I had fewer people to thank, it made sense but it was definitely time to rethink that strategy. Now that I’m hearing from other people that being thanked isn’t really expected or necessary, I’m going to look for other ways to thank my supporters. Bottom line – there are so many ways to show appreciation that go much deeper than a “Thanks for the RTs”.

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2013 too. I feel that it will be a good year for both of us.

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Heather Stone January 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Hi Sherryl,
Sounds like a great strategy, actually. Viewing social media as an extension of your regular conversations is certainly the right perspective. By contrast, those who think of social media as a means of broadcasting their messages very quickly run into the “noise” issue. Talking with a few friends in a crowded room is a much more practical solution than trying to make yourself heard above the din. Thanks for sharing this with the BizSugar community.
Heather Stone recently posted..Why People Hate SEOMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Hi Heather,
Thanks for dropping by. I’m sure you recognize many other members of the BizSugar community leaving comments here. :)

I really like your analogy comparing online social media to being in a crowded room. If anyone is overwhelmed by social media, they could benefit from thinking of online networking that way and approach it the same way that they network in real life. There will always be people making noise though – probably the same people that go around networking events thrusting their business cards in everyone’s hand.

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Valerie Remy-Milora
Twitter:
January 11, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I think the most important part of social media is develop relationships and actually interact with your followers and those you follow. My criteria for following is very similar to yours. As for thanking, I do from time to time but not as an automatic and I have asked myself the same questions you do. in general I get a favorable response when I do Thank someone for a retweet so for now I think that is a good strategy for me. I retweet and \”favorite\” fairly regularly when I like the content and feel it\’s worth sharing. I love when people do the same. It lets me know what my tribe responds to best so I can keep sharing that type of content with them. Never heard of Tribberr but I will investigate as it sounds like a valuable tool

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hi Valerie,
I’m glad you mentioned flagging tweets as favorites. That’s something that I don’t do that often and I should. When I find valuable content (that I want to keep in mind for the future), I’ll often take steps to track the article in one of my spreadsheets but I am not in the habit of making the tweet a favorite. (I’ll start doing that too.)

Triberr did not work well for me when I first tried it but I’m to blame for a lot of that. The first tribe that I was invited to join was not a good fit for me. Then, I started a tribe but mainly invited people who I was already sharing with. (I ended up disbanding it.) I had no plans of joining any more tribes when a blogger who I totally respect invited me to join a new tribe that she was forming. She was strategically inviting people who are in niches that are aligned to my focus area.

BTW – Beware of “atomic” Triberr tribes. The “chiefs” of those tribes are paying a fee and in many cases, they’re set up for auto-sharing.

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Devon
Twitter:
January 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I have SO much to learn about Twitter. Thank you for posting this, it’s advice that really helps navigate through the crazy social media world. Most of the posts that I read end up being more confusing. Very helpful!

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hi Devon,
Thanks for letting me know that you found my post helpful. I find that the comments always add to my article. Thanks so much for weighing in on this.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Top 6 SEO and Social Media How-To Posts of 2012My Profile

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Monique Bowen
Twitter:
January 11, 2013 at 10:33 am

Sherryl – I agree with Susan Oakes (previous comment) – do what feels right to you.

However, I also tend to believe that this is ‘social’ media we’re talking about here. Regular people who don’t use Twitter for business purposes get that. They use Twitter to share ideas/links/photos, talk to one another, joke around, flirt, etc. (My cousin met her future husband on Twitter!) As business people we tend to forget that at the heart of it all, Twitter is a socializing tool.

I wouldn’t say there’s a need to thank your Triberr mates. I don’t thank people for following me. But I still think it’s perfectly okay to thank someone for RT your stuff. Relationships are born one step at a time. If you don’t start with Twitter, then where do you start?

Monique

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 11:08 am

Hi Monique,
Your cousin met her future husband on Twitter? (I’m happily married but I should tell my daughter that. :) )

I agree with Susan too. (She and I automated tweeting each others RSS feeds probably about 2 years ago.) This discussion has been helpful. I do like to thank everyone but I have had concerns about boring people with to many thank yous in my Twitter stream. So, as of today, I’m not going to do that any more.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

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Randy Pickard
Twitter:
January 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

Sherryl – I agree that retweeting is the best form of thanking someone. As mentioned in the post, a stream that is filled with thank you\’s and personal messages does not seem worthy of following.
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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

That’s a good point Randy. Reading through everyone’s comment, I agree that it’s not necessary to thank everyone. It’s going to be a hard habit to break though. :)

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Ray January 11, 2013 at 4:02 am

I do some automation with Hootsuite. Some people say they don’t like it, but I think it is an amazing free tool. To see everything all in one place and screen saves me some time. I am not very good at keeping track of who followed who, thanking people, replying and all that. I do it to some extent, but it seems like it can be time-consuming if you hit everyone back. I couldn’t imagine if you had hundreds to thank, follow, or retweet. Not saying I would ignore them all, but I think we do need some limits and it can be difficult to thank, follow, or retweet everyone.
Ray recently posted..Cloud Hosting Storage and Your WebsiteMy Profile

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 10:56 am

Thanks for mentioning Hootsuite Ray. I tried that tool when I first started blogging and I found it a little overwhelming. (I know many people love it.) It has reached the point where I need to take a serious look at selecting one tool to handle social media. Some of the tools that I’m using now have premium versions and it may be worthwhile to invest in one. I’ll take another look at Hootsuite too before I decide.

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babanature January 10, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Hello Shherryl,This is a totally awesome post. i have not fully unleashed the full potential of my twitter but i know it\’s a great source for traffic flow. i\’ve joined some communities that are willing to retweet your tweet for free like justretweet and easytweet and i tell you that they help alot. and i always thank them because thanking someone is the key to a longer relationship. thanks

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 10:49 am

Personally, I’m leery about joining communities where everyone automatically shares your content (and it’s expected that you automatically share theirs). That strategy can help drive traffic to your site but is it the right traffic?

In the case of Triberr, I do not tweet for all of the members of my tribe. I focus on sharing content that I believe my followers will find valuable. Until I get to know someone, that means I read/(at least scan) their articles before sharing them. As you say, the key is to build relationships. Thanks for taking the time to weigh in on this. It’s a good discussion.

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Susan Oakes
Twitter:
January 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Hi Sherryl,

I don’t belong to Triberr but for those who automatically tweet my posts I don’t thank as it is a reciprocal arrangement. If I thank people I usually do it individually and over time. And I will RT an article of theirs if it is appropriate. I sometimes follow them back but it is a case of “it depends” on a number of factors including the ones you mentioned.

My philosophy is do your own thing and if it feels right and is helping your business and relationships then do whatever you like.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 10:33 am

Hi Susan,
I’ve always thanked everyone but I’m beginning to think that I shouldn’t. The people who I’ve already built relationships with (for example those who automatically tweet for me) already know that I appreciate their support. It would certainly help clear my Twitter stream a little and save some time. I should also concentrate on thanking more people individually.

Thanks for weighing in on this. Your approach (as usual) helps to “simplify”. :)

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Brent Carnduff
Twitter:
January 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Interesting article Sherryl – thanks for the mention : ). You bring up an interesting point, and one that I’ve been thinking about throughout this discussion – thanking other Triberr members. If a re-tweet is a good way to thank someone, isn’t that pretty much what we do at Triberr, re-tweet each others content? I really enjoy the interaction, and it feels right to acknowledge the people that are sharing, but it is really becoming a time management challenge. Maybe the answer lies in not thanking other tribe members (not always anyway) then mixing thank yous and re-tweets for other twitter members. I agree with your follow strategy. I follow anyone that follows me that seems like a real account and isn’t offensive.

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Sherryl Perry
Twitter:
January 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Thanks for the inspiration Brent. I’m so in the habit of thanking people that it’s difficult to distinguish, oh – they’re from Triberr and not thank them. Also, some Triberr members also reciprocate by saying “you’re welcome”. So, I think they appreciate the thanks. Other members I realize never thank me. So, in those cases it’s easy to assume that it’s unnecessary to thank them. I think (in my mind) how well I know someone comes into play too. There are some members in my tribe who I have been following and sharing for so long (before Triberr) that I feel like we’re friends and it’s just a continuation of an online conversation. I am very curious though if my thanking people is annoying anone.

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