If you crack a good joke at a party, and a lot of people laugh at it, do you say – “thanks for laughing at my joke”? I certainly hope not!
By the same logic, i see no reason why you should thank someone for “liking” your facebook post or “retweeting” your tweet.
This saying thank you btw appears on 9 out of 10 “do’s” lists of Social Media etiquette! I have been told by folks that i never say thank you for RT – and thats a sure fire way of losing twitter followers!
Sure, both gestures show appreciation for your content. And yes, sure, there should be satisfaction in that – but huge gratitude? NO!
First of all, “likes” and “retweets” are both fairly passive forms of responses – not to take away the kudos due to Messrs Zuckerberg and Dorsey for making responding so easy (this “ease of use” is part of the reason why the platforms are so successful after all). But these mechanisms also have a flip side – the ease of using them perpetrates “respondent laziness”. This passivity basically means – you dont get a sense of what the true driving emotion behind this “like” is — is it agreement/ real liking/ a “call to action”…what?
Its like fulfilling an obligation of responding but not being more vocal about it. In some cases, the obligation is – not so much the appreciation of the content, but loyalty to a friend (she’s my best friend so i must “like” everything she says) or even the “reciprocal effect” (she liked my post so i must like hers, otherwise she wont like my next one…). In many cases “like” expresses JUST that – a “lift of the eyebrow” acknowledgement of quiet wit/ a clever hit/ something that struck a chord. The “like” is the reward for something you already gave the liker — resonance you gave the reader with your post/ a quiet chuckle or a slight nod. The transaction is over! Don’t reopen it (and load more obligations on the other side) by saying thank you!
Ofcourse, to the author, the likes or retweets are important – intact, most of us do check Facebook/ twitter repeatedly after posting something – a picture, a comment, a diatribe, a blog – to see what responses we got. Take this a step further – and you get into the “counting” mode – the metrics game of how many fans/ how many likes — take this a step further again – and you start measuring your klout or kred score as if your life depended on it.
This behavior (of saying thank you) IS acceptable if you are a brand (whether personal, or product/ service) – i.e. when you are in the “selling” mode – after all, then the journey almost becomes the goal — so, getting fans/ followers/ subscribers/ likers/ retweeters – that is the goal – in the quest for the higher authority or “influence” rank.
But for most of us – individuals – we are using social networks as a medium of self expression, and of engaging with like minded people – i would say, if someone posts a comment, or replies to you – Do ALWAYS reply back/ write/ engage in the dialogue. There is nothing more unpardonable and discourteous than letting a comment hang in cyber space. Ofcourse if someone congratulates you on an achievement, express thanks. – but say “thank yew” for a “like”??? NOOOO….
would you agree?