Insights & Opinions… from the MAC4 team.

Twitter: Heed the Thin Line between Constructive Criticism and Whining

I recently came across a Twitter rant aimed at an airline. Not shocking, I know. This was a series of tweets aimed this time at Delta Airlines. Ann Coulter, a conservative commentator, with a high profile, was using Twitter to rant about an experience she had on a recent Delta flight.  I understand her frustration – anyone who has traveled coach on any airline knows that airline travel is sometimes an unpleasant experience.  Although I respect her right to complain about poor service and being inconvenienced, I do question her use of the platform and if she may have gone too far.

With that said, I thought we could all use some reminding on how to use Twitter most effectively. According to Twitter we should:

  • Know the difference between voice and tone. Your voice doesn’t change, but tone varies by situation.
  • Talk with people, not at them. Twitter is a real-time network, don’t keep followers waiting and address both positive and negative feedback.
  • Keep Tweets conversational. Be professional without being too formal or combative.
  • Think about your content. Is this something followers will want to retweet?

When using Twitter, remember it’s about starting a conversation.  Tweets with strong calls to action should be balanced with other types of information – be it practical, relevant or even funny. In terms of Twitter perception, Ms. Coulter would have been wiser to tweet her (minor) inconvenience once and be done with it.  By escalating her complaints, she lost any empathy she may have received from people who had bad experiences with airlines, which I believe was her initial goal when first raising her issue.

On Twitter, you are what you tweet.  Compelling, interesting, useful and conversational content is what will engage followers.  Remember, Think Before You Tweet.  The world is reading…and judging.



Author: Robin Imbesi



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