They call you out on a missed period. They berate your once-in-a-lifetime misuse of “your” and “you’re”. They’re your biggest critics, and they’re on Twitter. But it doesn’t mean you have to play into their petty tweets.
If you haven’t encountered your own Twitter critic yet, you will. They’re there, lurking in the shadows, waiting for you to make one little mistake. And then they pounce.
Twitter critics are often those “Twitter purists” who have “seen it all”. They’ve been on the network since 2009 (or even, gasp, 2007), they basically created #FollowFriday, and they do certainly seem to know their stuff. Or, if they’re not of this variety, they’re usually obsessed with grammar, spelling and the like, maybe winning their 5th grade spelling bee once upon a time.
Whoever your Twitter critic is, don’t feel oblige to engage them.
This advice might sound counter-intuitive coming from someone who preaches engagement at every corner, but engagement is only a good thing if the outcome is beneficial for both parties. You want to engage your customers (yes, even – perhaps especially – those who criticize you), because you will build a stronger relationship with them.
But a Twitter critic – someone who rips apart the very fabric of how you use Twitter – is not someone you can usually bond with. By calling you out when you modified a tweet but forgot to change the RT to a MT, they’re just looking for a fight. And if you give it to them, they automatically win.
Having a back-and-forth debate over Twitter etiquette with a followers is one thing, but having a heated debate where tension is high is another can of worms entirely. And one you don’t want to open.
Keeping your Twitter account clean and professional means rising above the critics who have nothing of substance to criticize you about. You’ve got to pick your battles on Twitter, and unless the proper place for a comma in 140 characters is something you feel extremely passionate about, I suggest you take a deep breath and let that critic’s tweet slide down your timeline until it’s gone.