Today’s letter of the day is “T.” Remember those days in preschool? It seems not so long ago that my oldest was learning his letters; now, he’s using those letters and more (Are they teaching emoji as a second language, yet?) to talk on Twitter. His presence on Twitter and reading his feed reminded me recently of a good basic Twitter rule for teens and all of us for that fact. Don’t taunt!
Good-natured ribbing and taunting happen on and off Twitter all of the time, especially when it comes to sports teams. Sometimes though, ribbing and taunting turn negative, and sportsmanship flies out the window. What is it about us that drives us to get so wrapped up with a particular team that we spend a good amount of energy talking about and defending that team? Part of it is to identify with a like-minded community. I mean, most of the time we’re tweeting about a team, there’s not a single thing that we can do to change the outcome of the game. As much as we love our sports teams, we are not the players. I’m all for rooting for a team, on Twitter or wherever, but be positive. Cheering for your team does not mean tearing down other teams. Competition is a great thing when it drives us positively.
Taunting, more often than not, turns up the heat and backfires since it can provide another incentive for the opposing team. When it comes to teams, remember that they are made up of real people. Don’t tweet something that you would never say face-to-face.
Teams can apply to business teams, as well. These are the types of teams that give you a much higher chance in changing the outcome of the game. Your business might have players from the sales team, the marketing team, or the customer service team who tweet. No matter what position you play, you can help these teammates. You probably have clients who have a presence on Twitter. That’s a whole different team with whom you can be positive with re-tweets, favorites, and replies. I suggest putting members of these different “teams” into Twitter lists in order to keep an eye out for opportunities to support your teams.
On a much broader field, you could consider all of your Twitter followers players on your team. While you should be looking for opportunities to support your teams, sometimes you need to call in certain players for some aid. Your followers possess different talents and abilities, play different positions, and vary in their influential strength.
That brings me to my final “T” word of the day – tout. Touting your team simply means praising, publicizing, and promoting them. (Sounds like a “P” day is coming soon.) Touting your team is much better than taunting another team.
Be positive with your tweets, and be an influential voice for your teams. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul…” I throw that in not to be preachy, but The Good Book is much wiser than I! So, build up your team players on Twitter. If members of your sales team tweet, re-tweet them. When your communications or marketing team links to a blog post on Twitter, tweet about your favorite part of the piece. Don’t forget to pass along the link in your tweet. In essence, be positive and spread tweet love!
Whoever your team is today, be intentional. Plan and look for ways to tout your team members. Touting tops taunting!
Follow Lisa on Twitter at @ooburr