Lars Schmidt
Feb 16, 2016 · 3 min read

Two years ago I was feeling a bit reflective. I was thinking about many of the people who’ve had a positive impact on my life and career over the years — friends, peers, mentors, etc. Some I’ve known for years. Others I had never met.

I wanted to find a way to thank them, publicly, and let them know they’ve had an impact on me. That desire to share my gratitude led to launching the Random Tweets of Kindness campaign in 2014.

The first year was mostly me tweeting with the least efficient hashtag in the history of social media — #RandomTweetsOfKindness. I spent almost 20 hours sending tweets every 15 minutes to friends and strangers.

By the end of the day others joined in and began adding their own gratitude to the #RandomTweetsOfKindness stream. It grew to a few dozen participants by the evening and led to calls to bring it back the following year with more advanced notice so others could participate.

It quickly grew from a “me” to a “we” campaign, and it was so gratifying to see this quickly evolve into something bigger than myself.

Last year Random Tweets of Kindness returned with the much more social-friendly hashtag — #RTOK. We picked a date and worked to get the word out so others could participate and recognize people who were important to them.

I figured advanced notice would drive more tweets and conversations, but never expected where it went. Something special happened.

By the end of the day #RTOK was trending globally. Over 4,000 tweets from 35 countries sharing thanks and gratitude. It was covered in blogs and press including The Muse and Time. The engagement (thanks to analysis gifted by Brandwatch) was incredible.

I read every tweet. Seeing the joy that unexpected gratitude brought others was very special. You could tell people were truly moved by the recognition, and for some it became a call to action to pass on their own gratitude to others.

#RTOK 2015 Engagement Word Cloud

The Return of Random Tweets of Kindness

Random Tweets of Kindness will be returning Tuesday March 8, 2016. This year we’ll be broadening the campaign across social media; so you can use #RTOK on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, blogs, or wherever you want to say thanks or share gratitude.

How To Participate

Participation is easy. Just share your post @ mentioning the recipient on your social network of choice using the #RTOK hashtag.

If you’d like to join us this year, here’s how:

  • Help spread the word with your networks ahead of 3/8.
  • You can share this post, or even better write your own, and promote it using the #RTOK hashtag.
  • On 3/8, send tweets, snaps, @ mentions, etc. throughout the day to anyone you feel deserves recognition for their work — or just some kindness.
  • Keep an eye on #RTOK throughout the day in 3/8, share any posts that move you or you feel compelled to amplify.

I hope to see your posts on March 8, 2016.

Thank You.

About the author

Lars Schmidt is the Founder of Amplify Talent and Co-Founder of HR Open Source. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat.

Lars Schmidt

Written by

Advocate for 21st Century HR • Founder, • Co-founder, HR Open Source • Contributor: Fast Company, Forbes, Host, 21st Century HR Podcast

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade