I had the good fortune of speaking at two great conferences this past week and was chatting with a good friend of mine Michael Thorne about the power of thanking people publicly in this day and age of social media.
Sure, there are still opportunities and moments for one-to-one conversation like a handwritten note, a phone call, or a private email, but in this day and age, there is also the opportunity to make public what might once would have been a private accolade.
On the flip side, more and more people turn to Twitter or Facebook when they have a negative experience – where again in the past, perhaps they would have written a letter to the CEO or made a phone call.
What’s the power and reasoning behind ‘going public?’
One of the biggest reasons, is to give that person recognition in a public forum, in front of all of their friends and colleagues.
As an example, if you are a sales professional, at some point you participated in sales meetings where the manager talks about sales goals and recognizes a few individuals with a round of applause.
Well, those sales meetings happen, but now they can also “happen” on Facebook. Imagine the power of recognizing your top sales person publicly on Facebook or Twitter – tagging them in a post and then making a very genuine remark. Now, they feel amazing and you have recognized them among their peers and friends.
I also think we have a lot of moments in our day to day life – moments that may seem mundane, but I look at a lot of moments as opportunities to tell the story of who I am but also, when it makes sense, to recognize someone else.
I just experienced the power of this twice this week.
Earlier in the week, after a long travel week, I tweeted Air Canada a ‘thank you’ tweet about the good service I experienced at the Victoria airport. I didn’t have to do that, but I wanted all of my followers on Twitter to know about my great experience and I wanted to publicly give them accolades.
To my delight, within moments Air Canada replied with a kind tweet – which really impressed me even more, because they were listening.
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) October 25, 2013
Important to note – I never expect anything in return when I post something publicly to recognize someone or something.
But, I will say, it is the cherry on top when they do notice and respond. As I always like to say, “just because you aren’t there, doesn’t mean the conversation isn’t happening!” And this is truer then ever before because of social media.
Last week, I purchased online a new book, “Happiness as a Second Language” and I have had the good fortune of getting to know the author Valerie Alexander through BreveTV and through Facebook.
So, I decided to take a Vine of me opening the box. A simple six second video. And within minutes, she tweeted me back!
— Speak Happiness (@SpeakHappiness) October 26, 2013
And then, she even included me on her blog this week!
I found that when you do something nice for someone – or recognize someone for something, it is like a snowball and it comes back to you ten fold.
The big key here though is authenticity and intentions.
You have to have the best of intentions when you publicly thank someone. It can’t be because you want to look good on your social networks, or gain a lot of “atta boys” it has to come from the heart, and be genuine. It has to be something you’d say the exact same way if no one was listening.
Have you had opportunities to thank someone or recognize someone publicly? How did it go? How was their reaction? I encourage you to be more aware as you go through your day to day on Facebook. Look for moments to be a good finder. To reach out and connect with people in a meaningful way.