Update 9/7/2012: Check out CEO Dave McLaughlin on Fox25 News talking about TYIF! Click here.
At Vsnap, we’ve started to build the behavior of saying thank you right into our work week through a little campaign that we call Thank You It’s Friday. To us, this seems only right. We’ve got a ton of people who help us every day, and we just wouldn’t be where we are without them.
Thank You It’s Friday is so simple but creates a ton of good feelings for everybody. And after a hard week, it’s just a nice way to head into the weekend.
Basically we just record little video messages to say thanks to specific individuals who helped us that week, either directly or indirectly, and we tweet them at those individuals with the hashtag #TYIF. Here are a couple examples…
Example: Diane Hessan and Howard Kogan
The CEO and CTO, respectively, of Communispace, and two of the most helpful people in Boston’s startup scene. Here’s the vsnap I sent them, and below you can see their reaction on my Twitter feed.
Example: Christian Taylor, Olympic Gold Medalist (Triple Jump)
I sent a #TYIF to Christian even though I don’t know him because I wanted to thank him for inspiring us and making America proud. Here’s the message I sent him, and below is a Twitter screenshot that gives a sense of how excited he was to receive this message. Video is just so much more personal and heartfelt than everything else on the social web.
I hope you think this thanking thing is as awesome as I do and that you want to participate. If so, here are step-by-step instructions. Obviously we use Vsnap to make and send our video messages – it’s easy and free, and people really love that it’s just a minute – but you’re welcome to use any video source you like.
Who should I thank?
Just take two or three minutes on Friday morning to look back over your calendar for the week and identify a couple of people who helped you in some way. It doesn’t really matter whether the person’s assistance was big or small, direct or indirect. What matters is their helpfulness and generosity, and the fact that you have an impulse to thank them in a way that puts a smile on their face.
What should I say?
Record a quick vsnap to each of the people you want to thank. Nothing fancy here. Less is more. Just look into the camera and tell them that you’re grateful and that their action was important to you.
Please please please do not think you can record one vsnap then repurpose it to lots of people. That’s really bad form. It’s like writing a hand-written thank you card and then making copies of it to send out. Take two minutes and make a vsnap for each thank you. It’s really easy, and you’ll be amazed at the delight this creates.
As an aside, it’s not just about them. Gratitude is good for you too. There’s substantial evidence (example) that cultivating a grateful perspective increases your personal happiness. I’m a big believer in this.
How should I share it?
Once you record your #TYIF vsnap, you can tweet it at the recipient. You’ll need to just connect your Twitter account (underneath the Account tab on vsnap.com) with your Vsnap account, which takes about 30 seconds. Then when you get to the share screen, click the Tweet icon. You can compose the tweet however you like, but bear in mind that the best practice here is to start your tweet with the @username, so that the recipient feels it’s really authentically addressed to him or her. And of course, add the hashtag #TYIF.
You can send a thank you vsnap via email as well, but I like this idea of each thank you being part of something larger. Perhaps the beginning of a gratitude movement. I also like the way these vsnaps are both personal and public, which puts a slightly bigger spotlight on that person’s helpfulness. Usually, your mutual contacts are the ones who will watch the #TYIF vsnap, and it’s nice for them to be reminded of the generosity of that other person.
A note on Twitter shares for Vsnap. If you usually share vsnaps via email, just remember that if you tweet a vsnap it is now in the public sphere. Furthermore, these #TYIF vsnaps create such delight that the recipients often retweet them. So just keep that in mind and don’t include any sensitive information.
As always, if you have questions you can find us on Twitter @Vsnap or you can reach me (email@example.com) or our Community Manager Trish (firstname.lastname@example.org). And just FYI - for any folks who remember Vthankyou last year, this is different campaign and we’re not collecting these in any way.