Your heart races and breath quickens. Your pupils dilate and face flushes. You’re under attack. In that split second, you decide whether to stand your ground or flee the scene.

Oh, and I ought to mention, you face this scenario gazing at Twitter on your phone. Someone’s dissing your company. Questioning your services. Impugning your integrity. Who knew 140 characters could convey so much negativity?

The best time to decide on a response isn’t in the heat of the moment. So, give me a minute to offer some tips now that might help you later.

Years ago our agency developed high-level response guidelines that we’ve refined over time. They offer an at-a-glance means to chart a prudent course of action. Both we and our clients have used them. Check them out. Discuss them with your team. If you haven’t already established guidelines for your company, you should. Feel free to use ours as a starting place. SocialMediaResponseGuidelines
Play Nice in That Big Social Media Sky

Social media follows the rules of any good relationship. Treat others like you want to be treated. Be genuine. Deliver something of value whether that’s information or inspiration. Pay attention. Do your best to steer clear of needless social media dogfights. Save your firepower for things that truly warrant a strong, unequivocal response. Because, as in war, even victory can come at a great cost.

Take the High Road

Amelia Rose Earhart and copilot Shane Jordan
Amelia Rose Earhart and copilot Shane Jordan

Even the youngest woman to fly around world in a single-engine aircraft (while live-streaming her adventure) has to deal with her fair share of tweeting trolls. Glance through Amelia Rose Earhart’s Twitter feed @Amelia_Earhart or follow the hashtag #FlyWithAmelia. You see a few folks’ snarky, this-is-just-a-PR-stunt comments, but the deluge of encouragement from people around the world creates a overwhelmingly positive platform. The 31-year-old aviatrix covered 28,000 miles on her 17-day flight piloting a Pilatus PC12. Her iPhone and iPad let her share her adventure directly and in real time. When she and copilot Shane Jordan landed in California on July 11, she posted this Instagram photo with the words, “We did it! We are earthrounders.”

This column ran in the July 31 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.