“So Meilani,” you may be asking, “How does gratitude increase engagement on my social posts?”
Why I am so glad you asked! Let me start this discussion by asking you a few questions:

Do you feel loyal to folks who interact with you often?
You know who they are. The ones that always make a point to say hi and ask how your biz is going when you run into them at networking mixers. They share, fave, like, or +1 your posts. They mention you or your biz by name in their posts. They answer the questions you put out there.

Do you feel the same loyalty to folks who never interact with you?
You know who they are too. They might smile when they see you at that mixer, but they never bother to talk to you unless they are trying to sell you something. They always ask you to comment on their social posts, but they never respond to yours. They mostly post sales lines, instead of helpful tips or advice.

 

A Little Bit of Backstory

For the last couple of months I was feeling kinda burnt out. I finally started spending a little less time worrying about always being “on” for business, and I created a new hobby blog (not business blog) that is just a creative outlet and has nothing to do with business – no deadlines to meet, no cares whether anyone else reads my posts or not, no need to get followers. This was truly just a creative writing exercise for me that I am doing for fun. Now guess what happened…

…I got back into the habit of writing posts, and tweeting them. I remembered how much I actually like Twitter. I started feeling grateful again. And along with that, I also started feeling rejuvenated and voila…I’m writing this post, and becoming more socially active again.

 

Why Being Grateful is a Best Practice in Social Media

In this example we’re going to talk about Twitter, but really these principles apply across the board, from using other social media sites to in-person networking mixers. Being generally a pretty good follower of and believer in those mystical, magical things called “best practices,” I dutifully adhered to them. Those included spending some time in the Twitter stream and favoriting my connections’ tweets and thanking people for following me or favoriting my posts.

Now do you see where the gratitude part comes in?

Those best practices are rooted in gratitude. I am grateful for and to the folks who actually fave and/or retweet (share) my posts. So I tell them publicly by sending out a “thanks for the follows / shares / faves” tweet, in which I mention them by name.

More often than not, those “thank you” tweets are favorited. And they are sometimes shared too. And new followers arrive. See Example #1 below:

Twitter Gratitude Example 1

 

You can see that my renewed efforts over the last month, posting with gratitude, have resulted in an increase in profile visits, mentions, and followers. See example #2 below:

Twitter-Gratitude-example-2

 

Yes there are other factors in play – just the fact that I’m active again plays a big role. There’s also the time of day and posting frequency, etc., but I haven’t really changed those. I’ve been using Hootsuite which auto-schedules the posts to go out at the best time.  I believe the gratitude plays an important role too – see more examples, below:

 

March-2015-Top-Media-Tweet   
March 2015 – Top media Tweet earned 39 impressions.  No helpful tip, just “come to our event.”

 

May-2015-Top-Tweet

May 2015 Top Tweet earned 80 impressions.  No helpful tip, just “come see my presentation.”

 

June-2015-Top-Tweet

June 2015 Top Tweet earned 245 impressions.  Not business related, just interesting and eye catching photo.

 

July-Top-Media-Tweet

July 2015 Top Media Tweet earned 93 impressions.
Kudos and recognition to someone else for their accomplishments.
Mentions 2 others in the tweet. Both shared the tweet. 

 

July-2015-Top-Tweet

July 2015 Top Tweet earned 517 impressions.  A grateful “thank you” tweet mentioning several other people. 2 reshared to their large pool of followers, providing some additional exposure.

 

Now let’s compare these next two Tweets – both were promoting the same presentation, but one was an outright promo for the event page, while the other contained a helpful tip, plus link to the event page:

Tweet No Helpful Tip

This Tweet that was just a straight promo got no click throughs.

 

Tweet With Helpful Tip

This Tweet of a helpful tip plus link to the event page got click throughs.

 

Posting a helpful tip is showing gratitude to your audience. 

 

In Summary: Practice Gratitude

So if you are looking for ways to increase engagement in your posts, take a look at all the helpful statistics about best time to post, what makes quality content, etc., but also add gratitude into that mix:

  • Thank people for interacting with you.
  • Recognize other people’s achievements.
  • Schedule time to interact with others with Faves, Likes, +1s, click throughs and shares of good posts that come into your stream.

Consciously practice gratitude and not only will you be more popular, you will be happier and more content. 

Will you make a commitment to conscious gratitude in your social posts? Have you already done so, and noticed any benefits? Please share your story. I’m curious about what your experience was.