Owning Your Ideas on Social Media

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We’ve all shared our ideas on social media before. And chances are you’ve also had people disagreeing with you or questioning your opinions. It’s a natural part of being on social media. Most of us will defend our ideas vehemently. But is it always a good idea? This week on the chat, we invited digital marketing expert, Chad Phillips, to talk about how to own your ideas on social media. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Chad Phillips
Topic: Owning your ideas on social media
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: Why is it a bad idea to always be defensive on social media?

You’ll never know what people are capable of until you give them a chance. It’s a bad idea to be defensive on social media because there’s a good chance that the knowledge, experience, or advice someone’s sharing would help you improve your career or business. Always be open to feedback and suggestions—it’ll help you grow.

Alyx made another great point: because we mostly consume text on social media, it’s hard to accurately assess a person’s tone. If your first reaction to anything is defensiveness, you’re likely asking for confrontation even when it isn’t called for.

Q2: Why do people get overly defensive on social media?

People become defensive when they don’t get the attention they want. They feel as if others are getting the attention that’s rightfully theirs. So they tend to badmouth others and become overly defensive as a way to make themselves feel better.

That said, though, we’re all humans. And we’re not immune to defensiveness, as Doug pointed out. Sometimes people get on the defense right away because they’re still trying to understand the platform and its ways. Other times, it could just be because they’re stressed out a bit. If you recognize that you’re stressed and may post an angry defensive tweet to someone else’s comment, take a step back and calm down. Look at the comment when you’re more relaxed and you may see a different and even helpful perspective.

Q3: Why should you stand by your ideas and opinions on social media?

You should stand by your ideas because they’re uniquely yours. They make you who you are. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth. Social media platforms are meant for people to share their ideas and opinions. If someone’s unhappy with your opinions, they can choose to ignore your content.

Opinions can be a double-edged sword, however, as Don explained. Do the right thing—stand by ideas that are morally and ethically right, and you’ll have unwavering support.

Q4: Can your content be both assertive and defensive at the same time?

It sure can. Words are funny that way. They can take on meanings and connotations that we didn’t intend in the first place. The goal is to get your point across without being aggressive—focus on that.

As Madalyn suggested, read your tweet or post a few times before you hit publish. It’s only too easy to say something you didn’t mean to.

Q5: Can you be assertive on social media without being aggressive?

Absolutely. It may take some practice and consistent review of your content, but you can certainly be firm and assertive in your opinions without causing harm or distress.

Janette told us how you can be assertive without aggression. Share your knowledge without being condescending towards others. Be firm in your beliefs but don’t think you have the right to be rude to people. Most importantly, never insult people’s intelligence—be courteous when you engage with others.

Q6: When should you defend your ideas or opinions on social media?

When you’re in the right and someone’s attacking you for those ideas.

Remember, though, that things can quickly escalate on social media. The last thing you want is a raging argument. If you’re in a conversation with someone and they’re passionately disagreeing with you, you have to defend your ideas. However, as Sean mentioned, don’t let things snowball. Agree to disagree—it’s a handy tool you can use to dial down tensions.

Q7: How do you handle it when someone disagrees with your idea or opinion?

Be nice. Disagreements are a healthy part of a properly-functioning society. Usually, when someone disagrees with you, it’s because they have a different perspective on things. If you’re defending your idea, do so by expressing your perspective in a positive way.

As Lori pointed out, a lot of good lessons can come out of constructive disagreements. However, before you jump in and react to the person disagreeing with you, step back and think about whether it’s worth engaging in the conversation. Often, engaging means you’d only be feeding a troll. If that’s the case, ignore it and save yourself the stress.

Q8: How do you channel conviction when you’re not sure if your idea is good?

Test your idea. Not every idea is a good idea, but they’re millions of similar ideas floating around the world. Look at other brands for inspiration. Ask yourself why your idea is good—consider both the positive and negative aspects of your idea.

George recommended asking others for feedback. It’s an excellent strategy—when you ask people for suggestions, they’ll be more than happy to help you. The more open you are to feedback and new perspectives, the more strength and support your idea accumulates. That’s how you grow an idea from a tiny sprout to a massive oak with undeniable credibility.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Chad have a look at this Twitter thread. If you like this summary, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us next Thursday at 1 pm ET for #TwitterSmarter. We also have an after-chat on Twitter Spaces at 5 pm ET. See you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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