Twitter is more the wild west of commenting (though not as bad as YouTube) and you are sure to get negative comments out here. In fact, one of my favorite skits by Jimmy Kimmel is his featured Mean Tweets where celebs read some of the meanest tweets about themselves. I’m a big fan of Clay Matthews and his mean tweet was classic.
I believe that people are more apt to stay things they would never say on other public networks is because it’s hard to trace who people are on Twitter. They could be themselves and have their name tied to it or they could be using twitter anonymously and none of their family or friends even know they are there.
So without the filters of these other people, tweets can sometimes be flippant, sarcastic, rude, vulgar, joking, or crazy. They might be just trying to get a rise out of you – it could be just about anyone on the other side of that tweet.
So a lot of the rules that I gave you about really understanding who you are talking to is important BEFORE you even think about engaging in a dialogue.
First things first, do these. 1. Evaluate the Messenger 2. Use your listening skills 3. Ask more clarifying questions 4. Be respectful and polite 5. Use your experiences as examples 6. Be on offense, not defense 7. Don’t use jargon 8. Provide links to experts 9. Craft a thoughtful response 10. If you don’t know, tell them 11. Find some common ground 12. Thank them for speaking with you.
I want to add a few more things about the evaluation. If you click over to their profile and don’t see a large following – DO NOT THINK THEY ARE NOT INFLUENTIAL. Just because they don’t have many followers, doesn’t mean that they don’t influence others.
You should treat everyone with respect and understand that their tweets are limited in characters so things they may be trying to stay are coming out as harsh or blunt. They may not mean it – it’s just the limitations of the network. Definitely pay attention to the emoticons. 🙂
But if you determine the negative comments are real, here’s how I would handle it.
1. Can others see it? If someone responds to me after I post and they have replied to me like (@donschindler you suck!) if the @donschindler is first then the only people that can see this post is me, them and the people that follow both of us.
Now if they put a . in front of the handle like this .@donschindler then all of their followers can see it. My followers wouldn’t see this because they only see what I post and as long as I don’t respond in a manner with the . then only they will see it and our mutual followers. Continue reading