To thank or not thank (for the follow) shouldn’t be a dilemma

Thanking for the follow is a quite common practice especially among consultants, communication experts or people working in public relations. Still, I find it hard to see the added value in “thanking for the follow.” Let’s break it down:


  • You display engagement with your audience.
  • You acknowledge and digitally “reward” your new followers, giving them “social currency.”
  • You look kind and friendly.


  • You look like you’re trying to sell a second-hand car.

Acknowledging your network is absolutely golden, but is thanking for the follow the right way to do so?

What do you think?


11 thoughts on “To thank or not thank (for the follow) shouldn’t be a dilemma

  1. Completely agree. Thanking for a follow is really crazy. It’s like you are begging people to interact with you and somehow I have an awkward feeling with this. Because I think at myself “Hey dude, it’s just a follow. Keep calm and don’t thank”

    1. Hi Fred, I appreciate your comment. In fact, I think that Simon McDermott (see below) might have an interesting way in between to acknowledge new followers in a friendly way.

  2. If it’s automated you have the emotional empathy of a serial killer. If it’s an automated DM I hate you immediately. If it is from you and personalised it’s beautiful. “Hey Marco thanks for following me, I hope your rugby season goes well”. Nice. You don’t even have to follow them back. Of course large companies or people with massive following will say that level of un-automated engagement is impossible, then just don’t say “thanks for the follow” they have already decided you are interesting just make sure you keep sharing cool stuff, or just stay cool as they presumably think that already. Use the tools available to find who is influential and engaging with you often, those you can always reach out to and that is scalable…

    1. I love this idea of the personalized “thank you”. Of course, it is more work but the result would be just so much better.

  3. Just by reaching out to me on Twitter I felt a bit like you were trying to sell a second-hand car to me :-). But okay, I think it’s indeed not useful to thank people for following, a #FF for example could be an efficient alternative, or making people aware that you followed them after an offline exchange of thoughts or an event for instance! cheers

    1. I reach out to you because you are the community manager of a very important project and I know what kind of experience you have even at such an early age (did I just say all that?)…

  4. I agree that its tacky to thank your followers. And if a ex. a company forgets to have the handle in the beginning of the tweet, so its going: “Hi @xxx… ” then I have unfollowed a few because thats just annoying. But I can understad for a new project trying to make its way into the twitter world that they would like to thank new followers to seem friendly and urge for more interaction.. Can you write an extra post about how to do set twitter to do so automatically :)? Im not saying I will start to do so, but it would be nice to know how it was done, if some klient asks.

    1. Thanks Marco!

      In my piece, I look at what top social media influencers tweeted. In almost all cases, “Thank You” was a top phrase, or some derivative.

      That’s not to say that they thanked people for following though. In most cases, it was for RT’s, mentions, shares, etc. So although you may not want to thank individuals for follows, that may not apply across the board to not thank anyone for anything.

      Mark Schaefer also doesn’t believe in thanking people, for anything on social:

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