7 Social Media Strategies for Strangling the Shoulder Satan

by Cathy Miller on January 18, 2012


Admit it. We all have one.

That little Satan sitting on your shoulder, offering sarcastic social media bombs.

  • Your fingers scream with the urge to launch those mocking missiles
  • Come on – just one

If you’re lucky, the shoulder angel intercepts.

The Devil Made Me Do It

I confess I often struggle with that shoulder Satan

  • Shoulder Satan is the source of sarcasm
  • Shoulder Satan makes you say things the angel never would

Sometimes you just have to let loose.

Bombs Away


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Satan Bomb – Wow-I swear I saw the same tweet 10,000 times


  • Great post!
  • Hey Shirley – just wanted to say I love your blog!
  • My husband told me I would love this post!

Satan Bomb – Post this! And don’t call me Shirley!

I could go on – but, I have more respect for you.

As much as we want to give the devil his due, restraint is probably the better choice.

  • Satan bombs live on into eternity
  • Satan bombs are never forgotten
  • Satan bombs receive wider distribution

Hm, that last one doesn’t sound so bad. And spammers deserve all the vitriol we can throw at them.

But, do you really want to go to war with a spammer?

In the interest of world peace, here are 7 Social Media Strategies for Strangling the Shoulder Satan.

#1 – Picture your mother.

Nothing strangles a shoulder Satan better than picturing your mother as you shoot off those bombs.

  • If visions of your mother doesn’t do it, picture some other person you admire
  • Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King

#2 – Picture your next client.

Here’s the twist.

  • The recipient of that Satan bomb IS your next client
  • Effective, huh?

#3 – Imagine you’re taken seriously.

Sarcasm is a slippery slope.

  • it easily slips from subtle to mean
  • It can back-fire on the sender, lending support to the target
  • Your meaning is often the opposite of what you say

Imagine if you are taken seriously.

Need an example? Try telling an airport security person you are hiding a bomb in your shorts.

At least with verbal sarcasm, you have the benefit of voice inflection.

Social media sarcasm silences the sound of a smirking smile.

#4 – Remember when you were new to social media.

I remember when I wrote what I thought was the most creative, innovative post – only to find it wasn’t new.

It was new to me.

A Satan bomb is devastating to someone new to social media.

  • Maybe you did read the same tweet topic 10,000 times before
  • It doesn’t mean it’s not new to someone else

# 5 – Picture yourself as the target.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie, Satan bombs hurt. Put yourself in the shoes of the target and see how you like it.

Roll in the golden rule.

#6 – Think of the energy it takes for verbal warfare.

Maybe it’s a getting older thing.

I find I do not have the energy to get into social media Star Wars. And you know that’s what you’re going to get with your Satan bomb.

#7 – Think of how you want to be remembered.

  • Do you really want to make your mark at the expense of someone else?
  • What’s wrong with being nice?

Some would call that professionalism.

Oops – I think some Satan sarcasm sneaked in the back door.

How do you control the Shoulder Satan?


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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Wayman January 18, 2012 at 11:04 am

or imagine your tweet or whatever on the front page of the New York Times… way back at 300 baud on the well that’s what they taught us – nothing online you aren’t willing to see everywhere.

nice post (ducking for cover)
Anne Wayman recently posted..5 Questions You’ve Got To Ask Each Writing ClientMy Profile


Cathy January 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

Oh, LOVE that one, Anne! And I’ll take a nice post from you, Anne. At least you didn’t call me Shirley. 😀


Ann January 18, 2012 at 1:34 pm

You mean people can write mean stuff? It never ever occurred to me to do that. I hope and pray that people will be nice to me, so why would I even think of saying something mean to some one? And no, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m shocked. There are times when I want to teach someone how to do something better, but I usually just leave quietly because my sister says she quits listening to me as soon as I start doing that. If my ever loving sister turns me out, what would a poor stranger do if I started making suggestions on how to make something better. Now if I am asked or if I am trying to teach clients how to improve their social media, then I tell them what I think. Is that being mean? I hope not.
Ann recently posted..I WEAR MY SUNGLASSES…IN WINTER?My Profile


Cathy January 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Hi Ann: I’m glad you have not experienced the nasty side of social media. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t been a target, but I sure have seen some nasty things in places where you really don’t expect it – like some LinkedIn Group discussions.

Like my Comments policy says – disagree all you want – just be nice about it.

Thanks for stopping by, Ann.


Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. January 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I have experienced both sides. And, to be honest, most of the vitriol comes because folks don’t seem to separate the person from the material said. I have a “friend” who routinely sends me materials. The materials have NO BASIS in fact. But, they state things that resound with his opinion. I have decided to not respond to most of these items, unless I see them being spread around. And, to insure that others do not consider these as facts, someone must provide a reality based comment.
And, I do admit that I find certain nomenclature very problematic. Mostly because some creative person long ago associated left with sinister (don’t give me the Latin- it would not have become thus so without the prejudice)- and I have a real problem with right wingers not being denoted as wrong wingers. I could go on with other nomenclature- but I assure you they would offend most people. (And, why is it that those who believe Jesus is their Savior let folks use “Christian” as a club- one to beat down all those that don’t agree with their political (yes, not religious) interpretation.)
Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted..Solar powered cell phones- NOTMy Profile


Cathy January 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hi Roy: I think you know enough about me to know I hate labels. So, I am very much in agreement that labels do not define the person. And opinions should be that and hopefully formed from fact.

Thanks for a different perspective.


Lori January 19, 2012 at 7:21 am

Imagine your income is directly related to your tact. The more tact and cordiality you have, the more money you make. Because hey, it is…..
Lori recently posted..Worthy Stuff: This Job, Not That JobMy Profile


Cathy January 19, 2012 at 7:47 am

Another winner, Lori. 🙂 If that doesn’t hit you where it counts, I don’t know what does. Thanks!


Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Hi Cathy, (Shirley 😉 ) Joking.

I always try to live by the rule that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it.

Oh, believe me I’m not Mother Theresa either but I do try to polish my halo often!

I get absolutely bombarded with ‘stuff’ in fact a lady I spoke to a year or so ago about joining me in my business decided to go with one of these ‘hypey’ businesses that required she send regular spam out to her list. (It wasn’t even a list actually, she just spammed any email she could get her hands on right from her Gmail Account. I asked to be removed a ‘few’ times… very politely at that.

On round 20-something I was starting to think things with my ‘inside voice’ that I would never say with my ‘outside voice. I decided to write her a very nice message and asked her about what ‘exactly’ she was doing… and ‘how’ she was succeeding.

at the end of it, she admitted she wasn’t doing well and saw my point. She ended up being one of my best clients!

Controlling Satan bombs is definitely the way to go. After all if we let Satan get the better of us we are just playing into his hands!

Great post. I’m glad you shared it.

Jayne Kopp recently posted..Are You a Forward Thinker or Stuck In the Past?My Profile


Cathy January 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm

LOL-I’ve been called worse. 😉 What a great story, Jayne. I love how you turned around something so negative into a positive. Believe me, I’m no Mother Teresa either, but I challenge myself to influence someone very negative to see another side.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story.


Anna January 23, 2012 at 7:56 am

I love Sarcasm!! I know that it doesn’t work with clients but honestly I can’t still stop being sarcastic..The idea with picturing the mother is good:)


Cathy January 23, 2012 at 8:08 am

Hi Anna: Trust me, sarcasm is an integral part of my life. 🙂 The thing is you have to be careful with it. For people who don’t know you,they may miss that you’re being sarcastic. And it’s often misinterpreted in the written form.

Now that I know that about you, I promise not to take it personally. 😀 Thanks for sharing your view, Anna.


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