Twitter – The Favour Factory

Twitter is a great place to ask questions and get answers. Often though the question requires more than a simple textual answer it might need some kind of further input such as doing something. Many people offer the answer in the form of a free favour.

Now offering favours is fine but twitter is a communication tool and if someone rang you out of the blue and asked you to complete the same task how many of us would say ‘Sure, its’ going to cost £xxx’? So why do we do it for free via a twitter request?

I’d like to offer a range of things that we might get back in return and I would like to point out it’s different for different people.

1) Pride: We all like a challenge and if a gauntlet is thrown down in front of our eyes it’s too tempting to pass it up most of the time. There is something in built within us that must rise to the challenge and rise to it quickly as to beat others off.

2) Recognition: Winning the gauntlet brings with it success, honour and recognition. Recognition is really interesting because outside of twitter no one does commercial work just for the recognition. A testimonial is nice but it doesn’t pay the rent!

3) Respect If the person posting the request or as is more often the case the person who retweets a question from someone they follow to ask all their followers is well respected then in return you may be held in higher regard and in fact earn more followers.

4) Praise We are all motivated by praise and by doing such noble deeds we in return get praise, or at least should do.

5) Reward Whilst the reward can be an emotional one as detailed above sometimes the reward can be far greater.

I do believe that unconditional goodwill does exist out there but there is unconditional and there is ‘unconditional’. Who can truly say that when they answer a question or offer a favour of service it is truly without any strings attached, albeit emotional strings?

As ever your comments are valued, please do leave them below.


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  1. I’ll always do favours (within reason) and have good experiences of others doing favours for me. Sometimes helping out is its own reward, it would probably fall under “mastery” in this excellent research about what motivates people: (similar to challenge that you mentioned)

    • Excellent video, good to see I was on the right track with my thinking.

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