Things I Learned From Jerks

A Few Things I Learned from Jerks on Social Media

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There are many different ways that people can be jerks on social media, two common things that I see are : #1 self-promote in a pushy way and #2 to troll people . I'll touch on both since they are things you'll see everyday in the social media world.

One way that people can be jerks on social media, sometimes without knowing they are doing it, is being overly promotional. As a writer or professional using social media, you will be using it to market your books and let people get to know you. So, you will be promoting yourself but this doesn't mean that you need to be a jerk.

Some hallmarks of the self-promotional jerks:

1. Only sharing their content. Sharing only your content is not good in social media, you should share a mix of other interesting content from other sources with a sprinkle of your own original work.

2. Repeating the same content over and over with nothing in between. Ever seen a Twitter stream with only a bloggers latest post over and over again?

3. Never responding to tweets or comments. When people have a very large following, they might not be able to respond to every single comment or tweet but you can see when people make an effort to talk with some of their followers.

4. Pushing people to share their content via tweet, direct message or any other method. Ask yourself “why do I have to push so hard to get my content shared?” You might be a jerk. {click to tweet}

It has been said many times that social media is like a cocktail party. There is great potential to promote your products within social media but it must be done the right way. You wouldn’t enter a room and immediately start talking about yourself and pushing your products. You can’t enter the online world and expect everyone to be immediately fascinated with your message.

I am going to share a few tips and tricks to help you get comfortable with promoting yourself comfortably and successfully.

Be confident — if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either! It is important to work towards your own strengths, if you are an introvert you will need to work on being very comfortable with your message. If you are an extrovert, you might need to tone it down a bit. Know yourself and your message will show it.

One thing I say frequently is, if I don’t think I am fabulous, why should you? Make sure that you are not pushing that message in an arrogant or rude manner but have inner confidence in knowing that you can pursue your dreams and plans with success.

If you are creating a bold, unique message, you will get haters, it's the price of doing business when you take a risk and publish online. A few ways that jerks (trolls, haters or whatever you want to call them) try to antagonize people:

• Off topic comments

• Rude or mean statements “your blog sucks” or “I think this is a stupid post.”

• Trying to start a fight with someone but not mentioning them on the comment thread.

Things I Learned from Jerks on Social MediaThings to remember when dealing with jerks

1. It's about them, not you.

2. You don't have to attend every fight your invited to.

3. Maintaining your cool is more important than getting in a good dig.

4. Jerks tend to act this way with everyone.

5. Many times this behavior can be social media bullying.

6. As our moms told us, ignore them. This is the best way to handle it. Ignore, block or delete their comments.

Even the biggest jerks I've encountered, and there have been a few prize winners, gave up and went away when I ignored them.

The biggest lesson that I learned is that if I don't let it bother me, it goes away. Even when people write or say really mean things, and they will if you are pushing the envelope, it doesn't matter. It is always a reflection on them. Most of these people don't know you and they are just shooting out insults into the internet to get attention. Ignore it.

These negative people can be fueled by jealousy, insecurity or something entirely different. You have no idea what their frame of mind is but whatever their negative path is don't let it knock you off your positive plans.

Keep doing your thing and you'll be just fine.

More reading on this here:

Don't Feed the Trolls 

I love Guy Kawasaki's 12 Most Simple Ways Trolls Come Out from Under the Social Media Bridge article. “Dealing with trolls is one of the costs of participating in social media. These are the folks who combine a strong opinion with a lack of knowledge. A handful of inflammatory and negative comments can neutralize dozens of positive ones.”

James Wedmore created a fantastic video called How to Deal with Haters. Why have I not subscribed to him? Fixing that.

I hope these lessons will help you deal with the haters if they pop up but also to recognize things that you may be doing, unwittingly, that may make you look like a jerk.

What jerk behaviors rub you the wrong way on social media?

Additional reading:

Content Curation: 12 Ways to Add Value

How to Promote Yourself without being a Jerk

Photo credit: Big Stock Photos
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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  1. Peg,
    It is so easy to get sucked in. So easy to attend every fight or to feed the trolls (I like the metaphors). Something that I find helps me to ignore the jerks and stay on the high road is to consider the source.
    It is usually not personal they are simply craving attention and you happened to be in the way. I could not care less about the opinions of someone whom I could not care  less about.
    Kind of like the schoolyard bully who persists when you fight back. That is exactly what they are looking for. If you give them nothing, they get bored  and move on to a new target.

  2. Hi Peg
    I see what you did in number 4!
    I’m never sure how to respond on Twitter when I RT someone’s post and they then thank me – do I answer that, or just leave it? I always imagine it turning into some back and forth thank you/it’s a pleasure nightmare.
    Not feeding the trolls is something I wish more people would start paying attention to, and the example that Marc used perfectly sums it up too.

  3. I know how you love it when people steal your content & do not credit you. I am sure that you do not ignore those people. I had a hater recently & it actually pumped me up in a good way. Indifference is the worst! Peg – you rock & so does your content. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thank you for the preventive  measures – all great points. I hope those who don’t see themselves, but should, will.

  5. William_Meier That’s so funny! I made a tweetable on that point accidentally. I just thought it was funny.

    If you RT and they thank you, you can stop the convo there or you can say have a great day or something else all together. I don’t think you’re obligated to respond to a thank you for the RT. It’s kind of a silly conversation at that point, right?

  6. jaredeasley I want to say to the people who steal my content, did you not read my blog? I’m pretty much a bulldog about that, it’s true but they wouldn’t get the wrath if they didn’t steal, right?
    What did your hater do/say and how did it pump you up? Indifference IS the worst. Yes! Erika Napoletano covers that so well in her material. Love me, hate me, just don’t be indifferent. (summary from Erika)

  7. “These negative people can be fueled by jealousy, insecurity or something entirely different. You have no idea what their frame of mind is but whatever their negative path is don’t let it knock you off your positive plans.” Perfectly put Peggy and the last thing you want to do is enter their drama because it will zap your energy. I confess I have to bite my tongue, do the keyword frenzy thing and then click “delete.” 
    Great article, thank you Peggy!

  8. PegFitzpatrick TrishJones I hear you Peg! Sometimes my tongue feels like the battleground where I’m biting so hard. 🙂

  9. Bashers, ignore them. That’s the perfect remedy. It pays off to maintain your professionalism over the net and I had to agree with you @PegFitzpatrick, fighting against this people won’t do no good. You’ll be wasting your time, morale and disposition. You just have to put it in mind, anything that happens on social media can go viral in just a matter of minutes or hours and the words said can never be taken back. Another amazing article here. Forget all about those social media jerks. 😉

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