Why You Should Rethink That Snarky Social Media Comment

by Jennifer Beever

Snarky Snark by GenistaI recently published one of my most popular blog posts on the Business 2 Community blog and was happy to see that it was widely shared and liked by readers. Happy, that is, until “the comment.”

A person who says they are also a “B2B Marketing Consultant” wrote a comment that was dismissive of my entire post and, in my opinion, snarky in tone. The commenter latched on to one statement in my blog post, said that I grossly misrepresented Twitter’s value to business and that my post was over three years behind best-in-class marketing.

Social Media Comment

The comment was not thoughtful; there was nothing positive in it at all. There was certainly no acknowledgment that I freely shared a proven strategy for convincing business to business companies that are reluctant to get into social media. And, what this “B2B Marketing Consultant” doesn’t know is that a leading social media guru came up with the idea of comparing Twitter to a radio station so that the uninitiated could understand it.

Maybe this consultant was in a hurry and didn’t think about the tone of their comment. I wondered to myself, “Have I ever been snarky when I commented on a blog?” I sure hope not. This experience immediately brought to my mind the book, Light, Bright and Polite by Josh Ochs, in which he says you should keep your social media messages “Light: less than 100 characters; Bright: something valuable to others; and Polite: something you’d be proud of later on.” (Josh is a great speaker. He and I met when we spoke at a Vistage social media makeover exercise, and he has since spoken to several of the classes I teach and professional organizations such as the Institute of Management Consultants.)

Being on the receiving end of a snarky comment about my work made me more sensitive to how I treat my B2B marketing colleagues. I truly respect their work and try to support their content when I see it online. One of my goals this year is to comment more on others’ work. And, I’m grateful when my B2B colleagues give me shout-outs about my work. Eric Wittlake put me on his list of 15 People Every B2B Marketer Should Follow on Twitter – Eric is a great B2B marketer himself and I’m honored to be on his list.

Eric Wittlake 15 B2B Marketers to Follow

I was also thrilled (and surprised) when Michael Brenner of B2B Marketing Insider included me on his list of 20 B2B Marketing Blogs You Need to Read last year. I’m really grateful for positive feedback, and I try to be open to constructive criticism – just be professional and courteous about it.




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Harrison June 28, 2014 at 7:16 am

More than once, I’ve wished I had been kinder.

Jennifer Beever June 28, 2014 at 8:17 am

Yes, I try to treat commenting like I do feedback on a client’s existing marketing. I never start with the negative – always the positive. I can say something like, “I can tell a lot of effort has gone into this; now it’s time to take it to a new level.” Or something like that! Or when graphic designers produce designs that are a little off base, it’s important to tell them it’s good work (1st) and then gently steer them in the right direction for the client.

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