Thank You for your Unsolicited Feedback!

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“@leaderswest you're doing it wrong. #twitter”

This was the message that greeted me Saturday morning from some guy I've never interacted with at all. I always feel a mixed sense of indignance and curiosity when someone offers their unsolicited feedback like this. What is the intended purpose of a note like this? Is it an intervention of sorts? Is he trying to assert some sort of dominance? Is he trying to incite me?

I followed a few links and found that this fellow has some sort of marketing background, about 2000 followers on Twitter and blog that his social presence isn't driving traffic to. My indigence was sated to see that he wasn't offering particularly useful or informed feedback to me.

So I started to think about the merits of sending a message like this and then I found a zen place. You see, a valid reason to critique audience engagement is the efficiency of resource. Positioning, message, targeting, conversion – these are all things that will be meted out by the market and are to some measure subjective. If you've ever tried to talk someone out of a position or a message that they've bought into you understand what a futile task this is. In my mind, the most useful critique that you could give someone in social is how to use their resources more effectively. People have strong opinions about where they're going to spend their money, but if you can advise them how to stretch those dollars THAT is something with true utility.

There are people rocking Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus – even Foursquare, LinkedIn and some of the ancillary social networks – many with different styles, techniques, and tactics. If you have a passion for an audience and bring something worthwhile to a community, who cares where you do it and how it's done (so long as you understand that audience size deviates substantially between some of these)? The worst thing you could do is let some bozo dissuade you from your strategy, especially when they waste their resources doling out unnecessary “advice” instead of just ignoring or blocking and moving on.

You may wonder how I responded to said bozo? I plagiarized comedian Paul F. Tompkins and wrote “if I didn't know better I'd think you were trying to hurt my feelings.”  Then I blocked him and took my kids to the zoo – unapologetically oblivious to his insight about my social behavior. My daughter fed the giraffes and brushed goats – it kind of felt like I was doing something right life.

Featured image courtesy of  Creative Commons.

Jim Dougherty

Jim Dougherty

Husband to one and Dad to two. Here to engage, and to help businesses to market better through social media. Unsolicited hellos are welcome and encouraged!

Website: http://www.leaderswest.com

Twitter: leaderswest

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  1. YOU gave that slug more time and attention than I would, for sure…but, on the other hand, it got you and the kids to the zoo! 

    1.  @BruceSallan Not only that but I needed something to write about.  I was at a loss for another angle to approach the Facebook IPO!  😉 Thank you for the read an comment Bruce!

    1.  @Shonali Oh, I give people unsolicited advice all the time because I’m a social guru and I can do that. That,is.all. 
      Hey Jim, Shonali likes to drag me around because she knows I need all the help I can get….:). 

      1.  @bdorman264 We should all be so fortunate to be dragged between social platforms by @Shonali !  

        1.  @leaderswest Flattery will get you everywhere. Especially to WUL tomorrow… 😉 and @bdorman264 methinks the gentleman doth protest too much!

  2. It’s amazing what people think is okay to say on sites like Facebook and Twitter — seems like there’s hundreds of self-proclaimed geniuses and experts out there. Good for you for brushing him off, he didn’t deserve anything more! 

    1.  @annedreshfield Thanks, Anne!  Some people do feel a sense of anonymity and empowerment in social, which is ironic given that it actually reveals more of ourselves than was ever possible before.  Appreciate your encouragement though in re-reading this, I have to wonder how he would prefer I go about my tweeting!  😉   Cheers!

  3. I’m a bit surprised by this @Peg Fitzpatrick . I’ve interacted with leaderswest in the past with no issues. If you don’t mind me playing the “devils advocate” for a moment, could there be an alternative explanation for this message? Perhaps a hacked account, or it was directed to something/someone else but he tagged you accidentally?Nonetheless, I’m a firm believer that if someone disagrees enough to comment on another’s approach, they should first do so privately. But, that’s my opinion 😛 
    PS: I like your approach 🙂

    1.  @DaveGallant  Hi Dave! This post is by  leaderswest and I reblogged it from Triberr. Someone sent that tweet to Jim and this was the premise of his post. I was just sharing Jim’s thoughts on my blog.
      I agree that some messages should be private and I have seen other instances of people over speaking their mind in social media. Being hurtful isn’t constructive criticism.
      Ps – Thanks for liking my approach. <3

      1.  @Peg Fitzpatrick  leaderswest Haha… How could I have missed that? 😛 I thought it seemed funny, because I know leaderswest is pretty standup onTwitter. Thanks for letting me know!

    2.  @DaveGallant Thanks a lot Dave!  Social media seems to provoke people to unfilter sometimes and think that was the case with this fellow.  Different strokes for different folks!  Appreciate you reading and @Peg Fitzpatrick for sharing my post.  When the reward is o associate with good folks like the two of you it’s well worth dealing with a few knuckleheads!

  4.  @annelizhannan I joke that I am one of the clumsiest writers in the world, so I would never in a million years be able to conjure a metaphor as effortlessly as you do!  Thanks so much for your kind words, and to @Peg Fitzpatrick for sharing this with her network of fans!

  5.  @dbvickery Is that true?  I’ve gotten a few of these, all from men for some reason.  Maybe there are some gender specific rules that I should be following?  Cheers for the comment and kindness!

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