There’s no physical rulebook that you can pick up and browse through for Twitter etiquette, but you’ve no doubt encountered a few (or a lot) who think they own a copy. They’re those people who say “you HAVE to follow fewer people than are following you,” and “you should NEVER thank anyone for a retweet.” Well, those people might have their rules, and they might work for them. But if you’re interested in breaking a few rules, we’ve got three situations where a Twitter rant – usually seen as a big “no-no” – can actually be a good thing.
Now, I understand why the general consensus is that Twitter rants=bad. In most cases, people don’t know when to quit. They start ranting, and don’t stop until they’re red in the face (and a few hundred followers lighter than when they started).
Ranting can come off as petty, overly defensive or just plain snotty. It usually pays to be positive on Twitter, and ranting is usually the opposite. Still, there are certain situations just screaming for a good rant.
1. When fighting for what’s right. Ranting against kittens? Meh. Ranting against bullies? Oh yeah.
We’ve all got our hot-button issues, and you shouldn’t always shy away from yours on Twitter. Sometimes it’s good to let out your anger towards injustice.
If you have something to say, say it. After all, people are following you on Twitter, not a robot. So if you see some cyberbullying that needs to be put in its place, you might just find your voice – and a sympathetic audience – on Twitter.
2. When sharing knowledge. Ranting and raving against a local business for no reason might not get you any Twitter brownie points, but if your rant helps others avoid a pitfall with said business, you’re in the clear.
If you have knowledge to share, even if it gets tweeted in a slightly heated, over-the-top rant format, people will thank you for it. That’s not to say you should slander a business, but if you had a bad experience that you think you can help others avoid, take to Twitter!
3. To share in an experience. Sometimes it seems like everyone on Twitter is ranting about the same thing. The other day, my ISP was down for (gasp) over two hours in the middle of the work day. Rather than simply wait on the phone for the 2 or more hours it would take to reach a customer, I took to Twitter.
Before tweeting anything, I did a quick search for keywords related to my ISP, and noticed that dozens of other customers were having the same issues as me. By joining in with a small rant of my own, I joined in with my local community and told the business that we needed immediate action.
I do feel the need to cap off this article with a disclaimer. I don’t think ranting on Twitter is usually a good thing. Most rants I see come off as childish or hot-headed. But I have encountered a few in my time that inspired this article, and it’s those that stick out in my mind as shining examples of how to break a rule, and do it with style.
(Shouting image via Shutterstock)