9 quick and easy ways to acknowledge your online community

Are you a giver or a taker? Are you grateful for the people who support you? Do you thank them? Do you reciprocate in some way? Or do you just take?

I'm extremely grateful for every hit I get to my blog. Each comment makes me happy. Every "like" makes me giddy. When someone shares my posts via tweet, it makes me smile. I am thankful for each and every one of you and honored that you've chosen to spend your precious time reading what I've written. I don't take any of it for granted and am humbled that you're here.

If you're trying to develop your online network, remember that people have choices. They can choose to engage with you and your content, or they can ignore you. And if they decide to spend their time with you, how will you thank them?

Here are nine of my favorite ways to say thank you to your online network:
Acknowledge Comments: It's amazing to me how many bloggers ignore their readers and allow comments to land in a big black hole. If someone takes the time to comment, let them know that they've been heard.

Subscribe to YouTube Channels
: Regardless if you're an active YouTube user or not, find your friends' channels and subscribe to them. "Friends" are nice, but "subscribers" are better.

Tweet and Retweet
: Tweets are a quick and easy way to share the love. If someone has supported you, why not support them back and share their content via tweet?

Like Facebook Pages: Do the most active members of your online community have Facebook business pages? If so, throw them a "like". It's free and they'll appreciate it! (If I haven't liked your Facebook page yet, let me know!)

Follow Their Blogs: If someone follows your content, it's a nice gesture to follow theirs back. I've recently created a bundle in Google Reader and added the blogs of those who are most active on my site. Can you do the same? (To subscribe to my bundle, click HERE. If you're not on it, you probably don't have an RSS option for Google Reader. I tried to add several of you, but could only do so via Yahoo!. If I missed you and you have an RSS feed that works with Google Reader, let me know so I can add you!)

Sign up for Their e-Newsletters:  Does someone in your network write a weekly or monthly newsletter? Are they, perhaps, just getting started and want to grow their subscriber numbers? Sign up and chances are you'll be their new best friend!

Create a Special Twitter List
: Lists are a great way to acknowledge people. I recently created one called "My Favorite Blog Commenters" and add people to it who have been kind enough to comment on my posts (if I've missed you, let me know!). Can you create something similar to show people that you appreciate them?

Leave Comments on Other Blogs: If someone comments on your blog, return the favor by commenting on their blog. One good deed deserves another.

Write a Recommendation: If your online connection has developed into a more substantial business relationship, how about writing them a recommendation on LinkedIn? Who doesn't like it when someone says something nice about them, hmmm? 

What did I miss? How do you thank your online community? Let's hear it, my friends! (And, thank you all for your readership!)


  1. good list- my only suggestion- pick the rss feed or the newsletter- too often they are the SAME thing
    ok done with gripe
    good stuff A

  2. I often lose track of the tweets because there are so many, and I have other tasks to attend during my days. I also appreciate mentions, followers, people who like us on Facebook. ...but, so many tweets, so little time!

  3. I wish everyone would have at least half the etiquette you do Amber. You're a pro and very much appreciated.

  4. OMG today should be called Thankful Thursday. My day has been chock full of thanks...both giving and receiving...and it is WONDERFUL that you did this post today. I am particular to the Tweet/ReTweet. I receive a lot of thanks for the RTs and basically, that is my way of saying "TYVM", It makes me crazy when people take the time to thank me for a RT but then NEVER RT anything I tweet....I LOVE TO RETWEET MY TWEETERS! : ) lol..that almost sounds obscene...lol

    Okay enough of cracking myself up there...

    I am also thankful that you reminded me about lists. When I first started building up my Twitter following I had some pretty cool lists that I was pretty good with keeping up to date...but they have been neglected lately...especially as I am reminded that I have not added my newest friend - AMBER!! - to any of my lists...so I am going to do that in a few minutes.

    It hadn't dawned on me really to subscribe to the YouTube Channels...but that would be a lot of fun to do....just don't get on YouTube too often...but this will give me a good excuse to do so.

    As always...Thank You for such wonderful advice on such a wonderful blog!

    Now I need to go say some prayers of Thanks on this Thursday : )

  5. Pick and choose whatever works best for you. Indeed, some people are better at varying their content than others. :-)

  6. We're all different, that's for sure! They all make me happy, so I'm not choosy ;-)

  7. Every day should be Thanksgiving, shouldn't it? Thank you for being such an active contributor to this blog, Rachel!

  8. Great ideas all.. going to incorporate them all right now. Thanks!

  9. Your comments have returned to you! Yay! This is a great post! And it matters just as much to someone who has hundreds of people following and commenting as it does to someone who has a few and gets one comment. I do find it mind boggling that there are over 200 million active blogs in existence. I could become the Blogmentor! Not sure if my eyes are up to it though. ;-)

  10. Fantastic! Go, go, go!

    Thanks for reading and chiming in, Jennifer ;-)

  11. Yay! My comments are back! All except the few that were posted during the days I was having the migration problems. Hopefully, I can get those back eventually, too.

    I read a story once about a guy who commented on 100 blogs a day. Now, that is time consuming stuff! I suspect he was on an intake of only Red Bull and Pixy Stix!

    Thanks for stopping by, Cheri! Always a pleasure.

    BTW, your nickname list is growing: Honorary Ginger, Blogmentor... ;-)

  12. As always, good stuff Amber. I really hadn't realized how much stuff I was already doing right. I've just been doing stuff that I would want people doing for me.

    About half of my activity on Twitter is using the auto RT function whenever I see a tweet that I enjoyed. Sometimes I wish people were doing that more with my tweets, but there are just too many people who still seem to resist the auto retweet. If they do a retweet, they just click reply, type RT and send it. With the auto RT, I can see when I get retweeted, but I only have about 6 retweets showing up. I see my name more in the @mentions where someone may have RTd me, but even that isn't very often.

    Another point about auto retweets is I am discovering people who are retweeting me who I have never heard of. I automatically check them out and have started following some of them. Where they got my tweets from I have no idea as the person didn't auto retweet and their names get truncated. So I have no idea who to thank and include.

    I do love the few lists I have right now. I have one list for the people on Twitter who do pay attention to me. When I am in catch up mode, I go through that list first so that I won't miss what those people have to say, since they deserve it. Then I go through my normal main timeline, and if I find someone else who starts to reply back to me and retweet me, I add them to that exclusive list. Ideally, that exclusive list becomes more and more non-exclusive because i hope to have everyone who is following me replying and retweeting me.

    You and I fairly recently had an exchange of tweets which prompted you to send out a tweet asking that your followers check me out. That didn't get me very many new followers, but the ones it did give me have been quality followers and have gotten me even more followers from that. The way I showed my appreciation was to follow your lead. One of my followers was having some of the same problems as I was. Another of her followers also picked up on this and we both separately asked our followers to check her out. Last I checked she had almost doubled her followers which made me happy. So that may also be something you would want to add to your list. Watch those you follow and if they only have a few followers as she did, tweet your followers to check this person out. Even if it only gets them a few new people, it may actually change the way they think of Twitter as it did me.

    Thank you for being my friend and all of the help you have provided me. I know that I will need more as time goes on and am sure that I will be able to count on your help. :-)

  13. Love this! It's so true. building a little community instead of just blasting articles out to people.

  14. You said it, Monica! No one likes a person with a megaphone. Monologues are for actors, not real people :-)

  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic, Tim. Showing kindness to others never goes out of style.

    Do be careful with the goal of getting everyone to reply and retweet you, though. That shouldn't be your ultimate goal (in my opinion, at least). Build the relationships first. Establish credibility. Define your character.

    The engagement component will come, but your end game shouldn't be all about you. It's about community. That's why when I asked people to welcome you that they did. The network I've cultivated is all about quality, not quantity. We help each other and listen to one another. It's not all about me. It's not all about them. it's about US.

    Just my two cents on the subject. Keep up the tweeting!

  16. See, this is why I come here. You always have such good advice. I do most of these things now, except the YouTube thing. Didn't even know about that. And what's with people who don't answer their comments. That's the most fun part to me. Of course, if you don't have Disqus or some such system, you never know if you got an answer. I can't understand why people stay on that antiquated Blogger system -- and don't even get me started about word verification.

  17. Great advice! :-) Thanks for the reminders.

  18. Hey Jayne! Awwww, thanks!

    I'd say half of the blogs I see have no involvement from the actual blogger. Kinda blows me away. I'm with you. Comments are most fun part!

    Thanks for adding to the discussion! Always good to see you 'round these parts of the interweb ;-)

  19. Twitter lists. Great idea that I hadn't thought of. Thanks! Now what to do about those lurkers.

  20. Social media is full of lurkers. It's unavoidable. Just like death and taxes ;-)

  21. Well, I didn't see where calling me out because I changed my list name you were under was one of the 9.................hmmmmm.

    I try to acknowledge, pimp, tweet, retweet anything I can do to show support. I've had a lot of help along my journey and I just want to be able to play it forward if I can.

    I did get scolded (twice) for RT'ing from my phone but not opening the post before adding a comment. Apparently it does nothing for your numbers for the people who keep track of that and they didn't want me sending something downstream w/ a quippy quote that had nothing to do w/ the content of the post. It made me a little gun shy now..........

    I'm just trying to do the right thing out here; sometimes I just play a big doof but unfortunately sometimes it's real..........

    Common sense and expressing gratitude are just good things to do. You can't go wrong with that approach I believe.

  22. Oh, come on. I was kidding with you about the list and I did it via DM. I'm a kidder! Or, haven't you realized that yet?

    Yes, indeedy! I agree with you. Common sense and gratitude are a winning combination for sure!

  23. No, the question is don't you realize I am the kidder? I got your back baby but don't ever think I'll let your britches get too big. Oh no. Billy boy has his eye on you.

    I did write a post about one of our encounters but it was over something I did, not you. I actually had a few comments.........:)

    I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  24. I don't wear britches, so no danger of them getting too big ;-)

    You talking about the "Excuse Me, I'm Talking" post? I tried to add your blog to the Google bundle feed I mentioned above, but your RSS is only available through My Yahoo!. Several that I wanted to add were like that ;-(

  25. I know too much trouble, have patience my dear; Ms Gini has sternly instructed me to get a self hosted site and I'm working on it.

    It's sad when my tech wizadry is a crackberry, free WordPress acct and my work lap top. Whooooeeee.............it's a miracle I'm seen at all.

  26. You don't have to self host to get an RSS feed that goes to Google Reader. My RSS has that option and I'm on Blogger, which is free.

  27. So true!! What I find is that most of the commenters on my blog comment TO ME. Via email or verbally. I encourage them to comment publicly but I don't know why they refrain. My blog is not professional; it's just fun, silly stuff. I love the stats that show that people ARE reading, if not commenting, and I know they like it since they tell me they do, but everyone likes a public comment.

    You are excellent at replying to each and every one and I have tried to incorporate that.

  28. but I don't know why they refrain...............because I am in the witness protection program silly...............

  29. Amber: I love your list of ways to give back and give thanks to your community. The first one - acknowledging comments - goes such a long way and yet so many people miss it. When someone comments, you should respond quickly, and by acknowledging the person's name. It's a great way of saying "thanks" and "I appreciate you for stopping by."

    Every now and then I'll take it a step further by sending a new commentator a thank you video email using Eyejot.com. It's a great service and it's just a little added personal touch. I've done this less nowadays, but it was cool to see video emails sent back :-)

  30. I have that happen, too, Cathie. Frankly, I just think it never occurs to lots of people to comment on the blog directly. Especially for those who don't write a blog themselves. Those of us who blog KNOW how valuable comments are and, hence, are usually more diligent about leaving comments for others! ;-)

    Thanks for noticing that I reply to everyone here, Cathie. I do make that a personal priority. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts on the subject!

  31. GREAT idea, Ricardo! You always know cool techie things like that. Nice way to do something extra special! Thanks for sharing the resource. I'll check it out (as will others, I'm sure!).

    Thanks for chiming in and adding to to the discussion, Ricardo!

  32. I was absolutely thrilled to be on your twitter list even though I hardly ever comment. As much as I "talk", I'm really bad about leaving comments.

  33. Excellent ideas Amber, thanks for sharing. I love how you focus on returning all the good that has come your way. It really is the simple things like common sense and gratitude that make all the difference!

  34. My pleasure, Annette. Always nice when you stop by. ;-)

  35. Common sense and gratitude. You said it, Katie. Sign me up!

  36. I wonder at what stage will I NOT get excited to see my twitter name in the 'mentioned' column? Maybe the same time I stop dancing everytime I get a new follower on my facebook page ;-) (Mind you - it's good exercise - not that I get that many new likes!) So to all you thoughtful tweeters & bloggers who take the time to acknowledge others a big fat thankyou! (You know who you are! ;-) )

  37. I can not believe you didn't respond to my extremely witty reply to Cathie. I know, I know, this is your site so I will quit trying to upstage you.......

  38. Just letting you have the last word on the subject. :-)

  39. I'm with ya, Judy! I do the same thing ;-)

    I think it's important to be grateful and not take anything for granted. It can disappear just as it came.

    Glad to know I'm not dancing alone!


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