Should You Argue With People On Social Media?

September 27, 2016By

Two People SunsetIt seems like most people are arguing on social media these days. Or maybe it’s just a loud minority if people making noise on social media and making it seem like everyone is arguing about just about everything.

There are even studies out now about how to win arguments on social media. There are some interesting things to take away from those findings. You can win arguments on social media responding sooner, responding with a group of people supporting you and by not being too intense.

The one thing that kind of makes me uneasy in the idea of winning an argument on social media or in life in general.

What is winning an argument?

Making yourself feel good? Feeling like you got the better of someone on social media while proving them wrong?

Or maybe it’s about changing the other person’s mind to fit with your worldview.

Are any of those the right goals for having arguments with people?

Let’s look at some thoughts on arguing with people on social media.

Change People’s Minds vs. Finding The Right People

This is something to remember when you’re arguing on social media especially if you’re in business. In marketing the discussion usually revolves around the target audience. When you’re building a following on social media it makes sense to want the following to be full of people that will likely buy what you’re selling.

A lot of the time on social media when you’re arguing it’s probably not with the people that really matter. I think what happens sometimes, and I’ve fallen into it before, is to get focused on one person that gets under our skin. But the reality is that winning an argument with that person is not really important. They’re not the target customer of the target audience.

The challenge is that it can be easy to focus on someone that doesn’t really matter to your business. It’s easy to focus on them and to argue with them. Maybe you know that they’ll never agree with you, but it makes you feel good to get your points across.

The other challenge and another way you could be spending your time would be finding the right people. Instead of fighting with people that will never be your customer you could be looking for ways to find more people that will buy from you. That’s a real challenge sometimes and it’s not as rewarding as feeling like you’ve won an argument.

But it’s a better use of your time.

Do The Ones That Really Matter To You Care What Your Opponent Says?

Something I’ve thought and something I’ve heard others when it comes to arguing with people that maybe don’t really matter is that they’ll make you look bad. Nobody likes when someone is telling they’re wrong about something or that they’ve done something wrong.

But it happens. It happens to individuals. It happens to companies and organizations. We all have our haters especially if we’ve reached a certain level of success. It’s a weird thing in life, but some people would rather bring others down than work to build their own success. They feel successful when they bad mouth others. They might be right, but it doesn’t mean it’s a good use of their time, but that’s what they choose to do.

What I’ve noticed over the years, especially from really successful companies, is that they often listen to criticism, but they’re good at weeding out the criticism they should and should not listen to. And they really don’t ever engage with the people offering up the opinions and criticism.

Instead, they work to improve from within and they trust that their target audience and customers will continue to support them.

Publish Information, Let People Decide To Buy-in: Your Thoughts & Evidence

I’ve been blogging for about 7 or 8 years now. It’s an interesting thing to do. I know that not everyone will agree with the things I blog about. Maybe not even everyone will agree with what I’m saying, but I try to focus on what my audience will find interesting and valuable. I don’t always hit home runs. Sometimes I make mistakes, but I still put things out there and let people decide if they’re going to buy-in.

You don’t have to force your information on others. That’s a difficult thing to do. If you really believe in your positions and what you have to say it’s difficult to let people find it. You can push it some, but that can turn people away and it can bring out the people that really disagree with you.

So it’s a balance of publishing and promoting who you are and what you’re saying while also understanding that not everyone will buy-in with what you’re saying.

But some will and that’s the payoff for publishing content whether it’s blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, videos, etc.

One last little tip on this subject is that it’s good to use supporting evidence like studies. That was one of the findings in the study linked above about winning arguments. The more supporting evidence you have for what you’re saying the more difficult it is for others to disagree with you.

It’s like you’re almost not the one making the argument. You’re saying,, “Here, look at the findings. I’m just relaying the information.”

Conclusion

I don’t think it’s positive to argue with people on social media. I don’t think you’re really going to change people’s minds no matter how hard you fight. And the thing is that we each only have so much energy to expend each day or each week or month or year. There are productive things to do with that energy outside of arguing that can be more beneficial.

So if you argue on social media you’re not going to get the results you want. Arguing will increase your stress too and that’s bad news for your general health. When you think about it like that arguing really is a waste of time even on social media.

Assess your habits on social media. See how they align with the goals you have for your social media efforts and see if you can take away some of the arguing and put that energy toward other things that might be more productive for you and possibly for your business.