The human magic and gift of acknowledgement.

“Acknowledgement is a kind of human magic – a small human connection, a gift from one person to another that translates into a much larger, meaningful outcome. On the positive side, these results also show that we can increase motivation simply by acknowledging the efforts of those working with us.”

Dan Ariely, author of Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations

If you couldn’t already tell, I went on a Dan Ariely binge. Payoff is a small but mighty book. Ariely explores ideas about motivation in areas of work, relationships and life. I know this summary doesn’t do it justice, but I’m really trying to keep my commentary under 1 minute.

My latest foray into social media, primarily Instagram and Twitter, has been an interesting teacher on acknowledgement.

Now, I’ve used Instagram and Twitter before but took a long break around summer 2013 after I got married. I’ve had an on and off relationship with them since 2016. This September, I finally decided to give them another try and this is what I’ve found.

Most people are trying to build something: whether it’s credibility or a platform as an artist (creative), speaker, thought-leader or for a product as a business (person). Or some combination those. Others are there to be more visible or like me, to “be in the loop”, engage with others and have a little fun.

Now, it’s likely that people do have something to offer those who “follow”, purchase from or work with them. And while I’m sure that audiences change as people move on, they should never forget that those who follow, purchase from or work with them at one time or another invest their time (above all) and to some degree their emotions.

As a creative, a business (person), thought-leader, how should you show that you care? Acknowledge them.

Based on Ariely’s research, it seems that people are quicker to move on when they feel ignored or mistreated. Is that true of you?

Likes, comments, re-posts, retweets, purchases and referrals (to say the least) from your supporters are not the end of the story. Take the time to respond to their questions. Take the time to solicit opinions or feedback, actually listen then respond.

There are those who already carve out specific times or a specific day to review and respond to emails and comments, even if it’s just a “like.”

If you’ve taken the time to create and they’ve taken the time to engage, make it a priority to carve out more time to re-engage. Think of it as a dance. Yes, it will take more time, but I highly doubt your supporters will be mad at you for it.

They’ve given you the most valuable thing, their attention. The very least you can do is acknowledge it. Loyalty goes way beyond numbers and dollar signs.