Using Gratefulness as a Social Media Tactic

Using Gratefulness as a Social Media Tactic

Years ago, I was running a large Instagram account and part of our social media tactic for it was to develop a community who loved the product and would be willing to let us use their photographs on the account. It was super successful, and I was really proud that the client ended up paying several of the photographers who were engaging with us.

As I was developing this, I decided to meet up with one of the guys in the community who was amazing at public relations as well as an amateur photographer. We were friendly in business, and I knew he could give me some good feedback from the community’s perspective. He surprised me by starting off with, “You have the most polite account on Instagram.”

I decided to take that as a compliment. I know him well enough now that I am sure it was meant that way. And it’s also become a cornerstone of how I run my client accounts. Well, not politeness per se. It’s more about coming from a place of gratefulness, but it can totally read as being polite as well.

What does this look like in practice? Let’s take a look.

Asking for content

We are all overworked right now. When we see a piece of content that fits our brand, of course we’re going to ask for it. It’s a no-brainer social media tactic. But I’m starting to see more and more brand social media accounts expecting a yes in exchange for exposure. That’s the first place you’re going wrong.

Personally, I don’t expect anyone to say yes. This is one of many reasons why I refer to user-generated content as moments of whimsy instead of the backbone of a campaign. I always have something in the wings waiting in case the ask doesn’t work out, whether it is several asks on other pieces of content or something I have created that is ready to go. I feel less dependent on the content I’d really like, so it becomes something nice to have, not something that is vital. Your attitude is instantly better towards a creator if it’s just nice to have their content and you are more grateful for it in that case, rather than desperate. Creators are always more likely to say yes if you are coming from a nicer place.

But things don’t end when they give that yes or no. Regardless of what the answer is, I always say, “Thank you.” It’s a tiny detail, but it’s an important one that will help you get a yes the next time you ask. Why? Not enough people say thank you nowadays. It’s a way to set your brand apart and make someone feel special at the same time.

Adding Gratefulness into Your Posts

If you have a social media plan, it’s likely you know your audience and even have some personas to help develop content for them. Do these personas have any special days dedicated to celebrating them?

Although I’m big on not using made up holidays as a social media tactic, dotting them in when they are connected to your brand is a great idea. But using them to tell your community how special they are and thank them for their kindness? YES, PLEASE!

I like to thank some portion of my clients’ communities monthly. It’s a nice cadence and it helps make sure you hit many different segments. And if you think that sounds like a lot, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Thanksgiving are likely three days when you can thank certain segments of your community. If you’re really having trouble coming up with nine more, just put some random grateful posts into your plan. Either way, I promise you’ll love the magic that comes from this kind of posting.

Other Grateful Social Media Tactics

The first two tactics were a bit on the flashy side. There are other grateful social media tactics you can take that will also take you pretty far.

There are countless other small tactics you can take to add gratefulness into your social media. The bottom line is if you start from a place of being grateful for your fans and what they bring to your social media accounts, it will become a natural and consistent act to thank them. And in the long run, this is one of the most effective social media practices you can possibly do.

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