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How a Twitter Drama Unfolded and What We Can Learn From It

Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2012 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, Social Media

Around 11:15 AM PST, Carri Bella (@carribella) tweeted the following:

And then something interesting happened. Marty Weintraub (@aimclear) and Dan Zarrella (@danzarrella) began a very heated—and public—argument. Weintraub began by asking his followers to retweet this message:

Shortly after Weintraub mentions Zarrella directly, tweeting “@danzarrella, It seems distasteful, as well as a poor SEO choice for @hubspot to have the title be so close.” Up until this point the conversation around the issue was pretty timid, but Zarrella tweets something that sets off Weintraub in a major way.

Weintraub was clearly offended by this, tweeting:

And a few tweets later:

Other prominent figures of the Twitter community like Joe Hall (@joehall) and Lauren Litwinka (@beebow) chimed in. Lane Ellis even took the opportunity to plug PubCon. The whole ordeal was enthralling to see unfold, but drama and right/wrong arguments aside, I wanted to use it as a learning opportunity for clients/brands/people new to the Twitterverse.

3 Lessons Learned From the Weintraub/ Zarrella Twitter Drama

  1. Unless you set your profile to private, conversations on Twitter are public and available for everyone to see. If you don’t want the world to see your dirty laundry, choose another medium to speak on.
  2. When you find yourself upset and ready to go off on someone, take a step back, breathe and think about what you’re about to say. I can’t tell you the number of times I wanted to lash out at someone when doing community management, but one anger-inspired tweet could really damage a brand (and may cost you a job).
  3. Reputations take a long time to build but can vanish in a moment. When a mistake is made, admit it, apologize and get in front of it. Assuming the book title similarity was an oversight, a simple “my bad we’re changing the name now” would have immediately diffused the situation.

Let us know in the comments section below what you think of the incident and what we can learn from it.

About David Carrillo

David Carrillo is an Earned Media Manager at The Search Agency where he assists clients executing holistic SEO and Inbound Marketing strategies that include audits and recommendations spanning content, promotions, architecture, social and analytics. Outside of the wonderful world of Inbound Marketing, David’s interests include technology, gadgets, gaming, sports, naps and general debauchery.

Follow David Carrillo on Twitter

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3 Responses to “How a Twitter Drama Unfolded and What We Can Learn From It”

  1. Richard says:

    I sat in on Marty’s session in Vegas and he was one of the more knowledgeable speakers in my opinion so it would be surprising to me if he did this without evaluating the cost / benefit of going public like that. But then again it is easier to talk trash on the internet than to confront someone directly.

    • David Carrillo says:

      Marty and Dan are both very smart and well-respected members of the community, which is what made this so fascinating to me. I don’t think this incident will cause irrevocable harm to either, but I did think there was some lessons from it we can all take away.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Laura Abramson says:

    In any business situation in which emotions are running high, I have found it very useful to do three things: 1) STOP 2) Take a deep breath, and 3) FOCUS on a POSITIVE INTENTION. What was the desired outcome here? What was the intention of contacting the other party? What type of communication is consistent with a constructive conversation, focusing on the POSITIVE INTENTION? Airing your grievances in this arena puts the other party in an awkward position, and left no opportunity for resolution or a reasonable conversation.


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