Social Smarts: Rant With Relevance

Social Smarts: Rant With Relevance

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, only occasionally poking your head out when Anton or Derek publish an article, completely missing everything I’ve ever published, you already know that I have a reputation for the rant.


verb (used without object)

1. to speak or declaim extravagantly or violently; talk in a wild or vehement way; rave.

verb (used with object)

2. to utter or declaim in a ranting manner.

Rant With Relevance

I’m not going to deny that I frequently rant, but my rants are delivered with careful intent and purpose. Ranting simply to rant soon loses any appeal.

A well intentioned rant is a vehicle to deliver knowledge. It’s a means for generating discussion. The intent is to entertain while you educate, in a punchy fashion. The purpose is to bring to light a mistake or misconception in the hope of enlightening the reader to other options.

If your rant isn’t relevant, meaning it doesn’t offer up solutions to the issue that caused it, you’re using the power rant with nefarious intent. You’re hoping only to draw eyes to your site. It’s click bait.

Your audience is smart, they’ll soon be on to such tactics and it won’t bode well for you.

Rethink that Rant!

Even with the proper intent and purpose behind the rant, they sometimes go awry.

You might want to reconsider your rant if:

1. It’s a topic already really well ranted by your peers and colleagues and your rant adds nothing new or interesting. There’s nothing like latching on to what’s popular and hanging on with a death grip. Wait, actually – that’s not such a good idea!

If it’s been said and done, it’s been said and done. Possibly better than you could say it yourself. Possibly by someone with a very large following that has spread it far and wide. If this is the case the discussion you are hoping to generate has already taken place. You’re simply rehashing what worked for someone else.

If you can’t add to the argument with your own unique perspective or offer a unique solution, you should rethink that rant!

2. The article upon which you’re ranting actually agrees with your opinion. Yeah, YIKES! We often see this in our busy, fast-paced industry.

I blame it on those who don’t actually read an article or post in full before they decide to go off. I also blame the pervasive need to craft incendiary titles. Titles which often have absolutely nothing to do with the final idea presented by an article or post.

Once again, we’re talking click bait, even though it’s often well intentioned.

It’s important that you read the ENTIRE article, from start to finish, before you decide to go off on a tear and show your audience that you’re ever so much smarter than the original author.

Failure to do so could leave you with egg on your face, as we’ve seen time and again that the provocative title doesn’t always match up with the content delivered.

3. It’s absolutely irrelevant to your audience. We get it, you’re a diehard. A fanatic. An enthusiast. From college football to healthy living, we all have something not tied to our business that we embrace effusively. And of course we want to bring our friends, family and peers on board.

The problem, though, occurs when we use our business vehicle (not the company van, I’m talking about your content delivery systems – your blog and social channels) to deliver our rants (or raves).

Our followers signed on or signed up hoping to receive our business expertise. While there’s nothing wrong with sharing some, even a lot, of who we are outside of our business, the focus must remain on the relevant topic. The topic which gained you the audience in the first place.

When we start using our business blog and social channels too often to champion causes and deliver rants relating to slights to our favorite TV show or soccer team, we shift the focus. If that focus gets hidden too deeply, we lose our hold on the very group seeking our expertise.

Have you ever seen a well intentioned rant go awry. What happened? Did our rant about rants manage to stay on topic?