Responding to Twitter Criticism: How a Tweet About Bitcoin Made Me “Superficial”and “Disingenuous”

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love my job. If you’ve read my blog, you know that I love my job. So after I go home at night and cook dinner, I typically start part 2 of my job: catching up on my tech articles.

This past Sunday, I was catching up, and came across an article about Bitcoin. I’ve seen Bitcoin in quite a few articles, especially recently, and each time, I go to the Bitcoin website and look for explainer articles to learn more about this cryptocurrency, as it’s called. I’m not going to go into details about it — but in the end, I still just couldn’t get my head around this universal, unregulated, solely digital currency. So I decided to tweet.

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Although it wasn’t a cry for help,  immediately, I received a few blog posts from people explaining what Bitcoin is and how it works. And then I wake up Monday morning and see a tweet from someone who I’ve never heard of, and wasn’t a follower of mine.

@DigitalMktgGirl Dear Ashley. There is no charm in parading your disingenuous stupidity in public. Get an education.

Although I won’t name the Tweeter in question, my social media training kicked in, and I figured it could be a learning moment for myself and my readers.

Duck the Gut

Immediately, after reading the tweet, my first thought was to retaliate. This person knows nothing about my education and how dare he call me out for being disingenuous. I do think…and actually know…that I’m a well-educated woman, and I’m definitely not a disingenuous one. I could have blocked him, but that’s the nature of Twitter, you put yourself out there to take the good, along with the bad.

So I decided to duck my gut reaction and say/do nothing. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is to say nothing and be happy that someone cared that much about you to waste their time insulting you.

If you manage your company’s social media account and you’re placed in a situation where you’re criticized, the best thing to do is step back and think. Think about the repercussions of your actions — in my case, what if the person in question was an associate of a client or if someone criticizes your brand directly, think of whether or not responding would help the situation.

Consider the Source

Of course, I had to find out who this person was that was so incredibly upset by my utter stupidity that he felt he needed to respond. After a gander at his profile, it was clear to me that this source wasn’t worth my taking his comments personally. I have nothing against this person, but in the end…not worth it.

If it’s your brand, think about who’s criticizing you and what they’re saying. If they’re screaming “your brand sucks” and isn’t giving productive feedback — it may not be the best idea to respond. However, if the criticism truly warrants a response, do it…albeit carefully.

You Don’t Have to Have the Last Word

I love my Twitter peeps and one of them was nice enough to call out the person in question for his rudeness.  I was called superficial, shallow, and uneducated by the person in this exchange.  They went back and forth, and at that point, I had to step in because it was out of hand. I simply said (read from bottom to top):

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He decided to respond and told me if I was scared off by that, that I’ll probably never understand Bitcoin. And if I truly wanted help I should have said “Hi, I’m new..I need help.” Again, with my intention never being a cry for help, I had to remember that there’s no use in responding again. It’s human nature to have the last word, and given his track record, I’m sure he’d have a comeback for whatever I said.

When you’re responding on behalf of your brand, know that there are times when no amount of Twitter conversation is going to be enough for the person you’re speaking with. Either take the conversation offline, or if the criticism is becoming unfounded, be okay with not having the last word.

In the end, I feel good about the outcome and it’s just proves that sometimes, you can’t please everyone.

And, I’m on my way to becoming a Bitcoin expert! Blog post to come….eventually. 🙂

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