Jeff Bezos is arguably the most accomplished entrepreneur of all time. He built one of the most important companies in the world, created jobs for more than a million people, and became one of the richest people in the world. He's clearly good at a lot of things. Twitter, however, is not one of them.

It's not for a lack of trying. Ever since Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon, he seems to have some time on his hands, and he's devoted a bunch of it to trolling President Biden and The White House on Twitter.

Here's a recent example, which, I think is supposed to be humorous?

Or this one, which I assume is supposed to be clever? 

This tweet is from this weekend, and it's mostly trolling, but the kind of trolling you expect from someone who wants you to know he's the smartest person in the class:

On the one hand, maybe Bezos is trying to make a point about topics that are important to him. If that's the case, someone he trusts should tell him that Twitter is not the place. 

The thing is, Bezos isn't necessarily wrong. He's a pretty smart guy and he seems to be willing to call out bad information when he sees it. It's just that no one particularly cares, at least, not on Twitter. 

Twitter isn't a nuanced academic conversation about important subjects. It's an eighth-grade lunch room free-for-all. You don't score points on Twitter with well-thought-out arguments. You score points with poop emojis.

That's how Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to a tweet from Parag Agrawal, the current CEO of Twitter, a company he is trying to buy

On the other hand, maybe Bezos thinks Twitter could be useful for his personal brand. For years, Bezos' personal brand was part "smartest kid in the class," and part supervillain. Maybe he's trying to use Twitter to change that. Maybe he thinks he can tweet his way to cool.

After all, other mega-rich personalities have weaponized Twitter for their own purposes, none more effectively than the person who knocked Bezos from the throne as world's richest man, Elon Musk. Or, take former President Donald Trump, who--regardless of what you think about him--knew exactly what he was doing on Twitter. 

Both have demonstrated a mastery of using Twitter to bend the public conversation in their direction (Trump was permanently banned from Twitter after his comments during the January 6, 2020 attack on the U.S. Capitol). Bezos hasn't even come close.

The simplest reason is that, despite the fact Bezos is incredibly smart, he doesn't understand either the medium or the audience. Most people just don't particularly care what the former CEO of the world's largest online shopping website thinks about gas prices or corporate taxes. That's not the reason people use Twitter. When he tweets about big important topics, it comes across as awkward and out of touch.

Here's the lesson, by the way: The only reason to be good at Twitter is to generate attention for yourself. The thing is, the type of attention you generate on Twitter is shallow and fleeting, which means not only do you have to work at it constantly, the attention is really all you get. Twitter attention almost never translates into anything tangible. 

Twitter is great for attention but terrible at anything that requires substance. That's important as a leader. Attention isn't the same as influence. Your goal should be to shape the conversations that are important to you and your team. Everything else is just a distraction.