Recently, one of my career coaching clients really embraced building her social media presence. To cultivate credibility with peers in her industry, she began writing articles offering insights and advice based on her experience and knowledge.
My first thought was, “Great way to pay it forward!” However, I could not help feeling that she had missed an important opportunity to recognise those who’d helped her along the way.
In social media, we all share opinions, facts, and advice. We absorb the information and make it our own. Content inspires us to take the idea further or use it as a launchpad to share our own opinions or insights. Sometimes, however, we forget to reference the original source and credit those who have inspired us.
Just taking that one brief moment to acknowledge the source - be it from an article, contact, or colleague, not only shows good etiquette, but helps us foster trust, strengthen our network relationships and invite others to participate in the conversations our content ignites.
With social media being an open forum, you have a terrific opportunity to publicly recognise, credit and thank those who help you. For the recipient, being appreciated reinforces that he or she is important and making a difference in your life. People remember and value small acts of generosity.
Here are three important sources to thank and acknowledge:
- Those who provide you with facts. Social media content is filled with facts, figures, trends and insights. Reference these in your own posts by sharing or linking to the original article. Acknowledge idea originators in your post with the @ symbol before their social media handle, which will notify them that they received a mention.
- Those who provide ideas and inspiration. Next time you read something that gives you an “a-ha!” moment, before you publish your view, give the original author credit. “Recently, I read a post from Joanne Smith about an important topic.”
- Those who help you in your career. When someone helps you in your career, thank them. Recognise them and their contribution. Show your appreciation by citing them in an article, tagging them in a post or sending them an instant message. Share what value they have brought to your life and celebrate their investment in you. Who’s helped you along the way? Did they offer advice? Inspire you to take a risk? Help you gain a new networking contact or inside track on an employer? Promote you to a target employer? Offer a strategy you adopted?
Just like my client, appreciate that none of us does it alone. Show your gratitude, and you will be astounded by the power of a positive feedback loop to forge stronger, more meaningful bonds.
About the Author
Susan Baushke is an LHH career transition coach and President of the marketing and career development firm Marketing Sonar™. Susan leverages her Fortune 20 marketing background to build and promote individuals as unique brands. She is a Sherpa for her clients, helping them navigate ambiguity and propelling them along their career journey with confidence.