Social media is about being social, whether you are an individual or are representing a brand. And just as it’s important to know how to show appreciation to others in real life, you want to make sure you understand social media etiquette, too. Having watched many of the same etiquette gaffes play out relative to unwritten Twitter etiquette ideas about how to show appreciation, it seemed time to share these ideas.

These Twitter etiquette ideas for showing appreciation aren’t hard and fast rules. They are simply observations from watching a lot of people interact and seeing some really cool and some really poor ideas for how to show appreciation on Twitter to others.

Showing Appreciation

1. Don’t Put Someone’s Name at the Start of a Shout out Tweet

If you want to give someone a shout out, don’t start the tweet with the person’s Twitter handle. If you start a tweet with someone’s Twitter handle (i.e. you @ reply to them), only you, that person, and anyone following both of you will typically see the tweet. Put their Twitter name somewhere inside the tweet, even if that means you start the tweet with a single period so their name isn’t the first thing in the tweet.

2. Don’t Make Every Thank You a Pat on Your Own Back

Don’t make it a practice to retweet shout outs you receive from others and simply tack on a thank you in front of it. When you do this all the time, it can appear you’re starved for validation (i.e., “I need people who follow me to see someone else liked what I did”). Simply thank them for the kinds words or supportive action, and even consider doing it privately in a direct message to the person (although admittedly some people don’t ever look at direct messages).

Calling Attention to Others

3. Help People You Can Help

It’s great Twitter etiquette to spend more time recognizing and promoting people with fewer followers than you. This may not boost your social influence numbers as much as chasing social media rock stars, but you can have a much more significant impact on making someone feel welcome and appreciated online when you do this.

4. Going beyond Tweeting to Show Appreciation

You can also show appreciation to others for their great content in multiple social media channels. Create a link post with content and people you find really beneficial. You can share these links on your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or other social networking platforms. It’s a nice way to call attention to the people you care about across multiple social media channels.

5. Everybody Appreciates Working Links

At the most basic, retweeting someone else's tweet is a great show of appreciation. Sometimes you may want to take it a step further. If you’re going to create your own tweet of someone else’s great content, make sure you get the link right so your audience will actually be able to see and appreciate the great content someone else created.

Following Great People

6. Follow the People Who Help You

Strongly consider following back people who retweet your content, include you in a #FollowFriday, or give you some other type of shout out tweet. What a great way to connect with someone who actually appreciates your areas of focus as opposed to building automated connections with people who have no clue who you are.

7. If You Still Do #FollowFriday

Throughout the week, create and schedule #FollowFriday tweets for later in the week focused on people who you appreciate the past seven days. And consider doing individual shout-outs with some background on the person as opposed to #FollowFriday tweets comprised of simply 5 or 6 names with no real reason why anyone should follow them.

What are your etiquette ideas when you show appreciation on Twitter?

Do you already use some of these Twitter etiquette ideas? Are there other etiquette ideas you try to follow when you show appreciation on Twitter? What’s working for you? - Mike Brown


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