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How to deal with the social media complainers

Twitter’s divided says Mashable – and it has rigorous data to back up the claim.  It’s seems there’s a division forming on Twitter between two camps:  The happy and the miserable.

In other words, the happy people have formed little Happy Twitter clubs. Meanwhile misery loves company in social media – as much as, if not more than, in real life,” read the post.

The challenge is the miserable can be distracting and range from a minor annoyance to a daily if not hourly thorn on the keyboard: The miserable complain. No matter what you do…you can’t please them. 

What do you do about it?  If you’ve already tried to help, but couldn’t get anywhere, perhaps the solution is to do nothing.

Peter Shankman dubs a person like this as “the constant complainer” in Customer Service:  New Rules for a Social Media World.

“Strangely, the constant complainer isn’t that big of a threat to you,” he writes. “In the end, no one takes them seriously. Of course, you should try to solve his problem.  But remember that the constant complainer isn’t as important as the one-time-complainer because most likely, no one listens to the constant complainer anymore, anyway.”

It’s the electronic version of crying wolf.  You only get so many cries before people start discounting what you say.  This is especially important for PR pros:  imagine what a future employer or customer might think if they peruse your Twitter stream and see nothing but complaints?

Photo credit:  Flickr, frotzed2
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2 Responses

  1. Krista

    Great post, Frank! Luckily, I think I fall into the "happy camper" category on Twitter. I've found it to be a great way to learn from others, form connections, and share in constructive conversations. But, to your point, there are haters out there, or "trolls" if you will, who use Twitter as another social media platform to spread their misery.

    I guess it's a fact of life in social media, but for PR folks, it means you (or your client/company) have to be prepared for the positive and the negative when venturing into the social media sea.

  2. Frank Strong, MA, MBA

    You are indeed a happy camper, Krista! Keep it that way — it's infectious! As you say, it is a fact of life. We all have our moments I suppose, some of us less often than others.

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