“@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.