Saying “Thank you, and. . .”

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s talk about what saying thanks really means in the world of social media. Saying “thanks” to your social media followers is something marketing experts suggest you do on a regular basis. It can be a relatively easy way to humanize your brand. But responding “Thanks for the follow” or “Thanks for liking my page!” is not necessarily the best kind of thanks you could give.

First of all, responding to a new follower with a quick “Thanks for the follow!” is as generic as it gets. When you’re around the Thanksgiving table, you (hopefully) don’t just shout, “Thanks for cookin’ this turkey, ma!” and then pile the meat onto your plate. Nothing in this kind of responses indicates what you’re actually thankful for. Your new follower may appreciate your politeness, but you’re not tricking anyone into feeling you’re genuinely thankful for their business. (And bless your mom’s heart if she agrees to cook dinner for you next year after that display of what-you-call-thanks!)

Instead, think of ways you can reach your client or customer base in a more meaningful way. Show them you care about each of them as individuals, not just one more number towards 1k “likes.” It’s easier than you might think, as it really just requires one tiny step past “thanks.” This holiday season, test out the impact that one tiny step can have by saying “Thank you, and…

  • Ask for feedback. “Thanks for following! Might we ask what drew you to our page, so we can make sure we keep doing more of the same?”
  • Include a funny picture. Maybe it’s a GIF of your CEO giving your new follower an air-high-five. Maybe it’s a picture of a cat giving a thumbs-up. Anything to make your new follower laugh!
  • Return the favor. On Twitter especially, it’s easy to shout out some #newfans on #followfriday. Just check your followers list to see who’s connected with you over the past week, and cite them in a #ff post.
  • Make it visible. Getting an automated “Thanks for following!” message sent to your inbox is nothing compared with a public-facing acknowledgement. Imagine sharing a post from a huge brand like Coca Cola and then having them like your post in return, showing your fans that Coca Cola has recognized you individually!

And… to all our clients at ANI– thanks for all the great work you do each day. Let us know if any of these techniques helps you make an impression that lasts longer than the Thanksgiving turkey!

Sharon Bruce
Marketing Consultant

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