by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
As you might know, last week was the first week of class for my 8-week, Real Women Do Social Media program. I am humbled to say that before class started, we sold out of the 25 available seats in the program (I wanted to keep the groups intimate). To say that I was proud and amazed is an understatement.
Stay with me now...
On Twitter, because you only have 140 characters, each word counts - and to me, it counts that much more. There are no other words around those 140 characters to place them in any sort of context. They're just out there - hanging in air on their own - amplifying their importance. Words have unbelievable power.
So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw that someone had written a tweet
that said something to the effect of: "You ran out of seats for the #RWDSM program..." (the person went on to ask a question about the program). When I read that, it immediately hit me in my chest. Ran out?? That phrase (and I know this very well may be me and my "stuff") made me sound ill-prepared and like I didn't have my act together in regards to the RWDSM program. It made it sound unfinished. Incomplete. Nah.
At first I thought to myself, "Lena, don't be petty. It's only Twitter. Get over yourself." And, then I thought better of it. I believe that when you have a success, a win, you need to honor that win as a way to show the Universe that you're grateful. (It's just like if you don't honor your ideas by writing them down and spending time vetting them, you'll stop getting ideas altogether.) Successes are like copyrights, you have to "defend" them across the board, or you may as well let the world have their way with them.
The question at this point was, what to do? DM the person and make the correction? No. I didn't want this "unprepared" energy wafting around out there. Not as relates to me and my brand.
Now, I should say that I've had interactions with this person on Twitter before and I'm sure they didn't mean it the way it sounded, but there was no way I couldn't respond. No way. I got the same feeling in the top of my head when people tell me I'm lucky; and we all know how I feel about that.
The next issue was, it was Friday night. I felt like my response needed to be seen in the bright, early light of Monday morning. And, so I headed over to HootSuite to hook up a scheduled reply.
My reply went something like:
"Thanks for asking. Ran out of seats? No, we SOLD OUT. Two different things :) ..." and then I went on to answer the person's question. I added the smiley face to show that I wasn't angry, but rather that I was intentionally setting the record straight.
Unlike many times when I've responded with an emotional reaction, even after I scheduled the Tweet, setting the record straight still felt like the right thing to do.
But, I can't take the credit for this course of action all on my own. I learned how to do this from my past client and mentor-in-my-head, Jane Pollak. In her book, Soul Proprietor: 101 Lessons from a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Jane tells the story of a colleague who after delivering a great presentation was told by someone, "That was a nice little presentation you just gave." To her credit, that person (whomever she was) had the ovaries to reply, "Oh, that? That was my BIG presentation." And, that friends, is what I'm talking about.