Are Some Social Media Relationships Becoming Thankless? A Thanksgiving Reminder

It’s Thanksgiving again. That time of year where many of us celebrate the many blessings of our country, family and friends. For me, this is not just a once a year thing, but rather something I focus on in prayer and action on a daily basis. I have so much to be thankful for and I never want to get caught up in the “Keeping up with the Jones” mentality that can consume us at times. I am truly thankful for the blessings God has granted me. I won’t list them, but understand that this is something very heartfelt and deep for me.

Social ListeningI have noticed something increasingly disturbing to me in social media that is contrary to everything I stated in my first paragraph above. It seems that more and more people are becoming thankless in social media.

What do I mean by thankless?

I mean just that. Not saying thank you, not showing gratitude or not bothering to acknowledge those that appear to be less influential.

Let’s Talk Contrasts:

1) Imagine if a stranger came into your store/office and brought a friend with them, specifically to learn about what you do/sell. Would you ignore the stranger?

2) Someone intro’s you via email to a prospect via email as someone or a company that they suggest their friend do business with, or at least start a discussion about doing so. Would you not reply all and begin by thanking the referring individual?

3) You’re at a networking event and you’re walking by a group that is huddled and talking. One of the people in the group says “Hey everyone I want you to meet (your name). They have this incredible product/service you should learn about.” You wouldn’t totally ignore the person that just endorsed you and what you do to their colleagues would you?

What do all of these things have in common? In real life, you would never ignore such generosity. Even if you are rude by nature, just out of pure embarrassment it would be hard to ignore the generous people in these real life scenarios. You would show gratitude and thankfulness, and do so with words.

In Social Media:

I am finding that increasingly this is not occurring in social media. I see people blatantly ignoring those that promote their content. I see people ignoring others thanking them for sharing their content.

  • Is this what society and social media has come to?
  • Is it really that different from the real world?
  • Are you too arrogant and important in your own mind to show gratitude, always?
  • Are you too busy to thank those that helped you and continue to help your success within the social graph?

The answer to all of these ia a definitive no! Gratitude and thankfulness are active and conscious choices that we make. We choose to be thankful and show gratitude. We choose to be humble and lower our self perception by making it a priority and taking the time to do it.

So the holiday of Thanksgiving in social media marketing is an everyday thing, not an annual, short-lived emotional time for over eating. I submit to you that Thanksgiving should be a daily part of social media marketing and something that comes from the heart and is authentic. What I thought was once common sense and normal human etiquette has become a more rare experience. Anyone that tries to say that thanking everyone that shares your content or helps you in any way is stupid, probably has an elevated narcissistic view of themselves.

When I Stop Thanking:

  • When MY thanks are ignored repeatedly
  • When the relationship is solely based on mutual shares of content (i.e. Triberr, etc.) No conversation, no responses.

Let’s Sum This Up:

I show my gratitude as a part of my daily activity as a priority, not as I have “time”. I highly recommend you do as well. It never ceases to amaze me how being grateful fosters a feeling of blessing inside of me, yet how far gratitude goes in building deeper connections with those who make you and your social presence possible and effective.

I for one am thankful for you this holiday… and everyday. Thank you.

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Filed under Marketing, Relationship, Social Media, Social Media Marketing

10 responses to “Are Some Social Media Relationships Becoming Thankless? A Thanksgiving Reminder

  1. What can I say other than as with everything else your do, you certainly “walk the talk” here.
    I’m often surprised that you are so generous with your acknowledgements and thank you’s given how busy you are.

    I’ve been thinking about this subject for awhile as I’ve had the impression that I’m a courier service for a number of bloggers. The reason I share content is because I think my followers will find some value in it. Reciprocation or thanks isn’t assumed or expected.
    But we are human. And humans are inherently social. Validation, acceptance and generosity are important components of community building. Social media are effective tools for creating communities but they’re only as good as the people using them are social.

    People are busy and many have thousands of followers so expecting a thank you for each retweet is impractical. However an occasional acknowledgement goes a long way.
    Thanks for this thoughtful post, Robert.
    I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    • As always Ray, insightful input.

      Yes, I am busy, but gratitude isn’t something you do because you have time or because you have few followers (in my case I have 60k followers). You are thankful and show it because you truly are and make it a priority. Imagine what would happen to people’s results if they made it a priority. We do and not only is it a blessing, it fuels social results.

      I appreciate you brother!

  2. Absolutely love this post Robert! A client recently asked me to basically respond to only social influencers. What about all the other active users? Are they not just as important if not more to be recognized for participating in a social community? Amazing. Makes me what to go out of my way for others even more. I probably will…

  3. Fantastic insight on this topic. I will keep my response short and sweet: Thank you for shining a light on it.

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  5. Robert,
    I don’t believe we have met yet, but I am certainly thrilled to meet you over this post! Thank you for sharing this, much like our parents shared this when we were beginning to interact with others. It seems so very simple ~ basic manners, but I too have noticed that in only the three years I have been learning to “be” online and involved with Social Media, so many have become cold, uncaring and thoughtless….

    Or at least, that is how it seems. I understand how busy life and work becomes, I certainly understand how real life can be frightening and so stressful and the pressures so heavy. But. But we are not alone. We are not doing all “this” alone. I am here. You are here. He is here, so is she. And guess what?! We are ready to help, to connect, to care… for you, for your worries, for your happiness, for your adventures and struggles…

    This is still what I see, here with all of you.

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