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Posted by on Aug 10, 2013 in Featured, Social Media, Weekend Post | 3 comments

Top 3 Anti-social Fakers to Avoid on #socialmedia

Little Red Riding Hood

You know how the famously dim-witted Little Red Riding Hood eventually busts the Big Bad Wolf for being an imposter? “My, Grandma, what big teeth you have!” and all that? Well, if little Red were active on social today, she might say something like this to the wolves she busted online:

“My, Grandma, what a big ego you have!”

In other words, social media is a lot like Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. That is, we may be slow, but we aren’t hopelessly thick. Fakers don’t generally prosper on social.

I was building out a new twitter list this week, to celebrate my peeps in the customer service (#custserv) community. List-building is a great exercise, because it lets you quickly catch up with the latest stuff your long-time friends are up to (new jobs, new books, etc), and it helps you become acquainted with strangers in your circle who will likely make good friends in the future.

…And there’s one more thing list building does, really well: it helps you bust frauds, Big Bad Wolves who want you to respect them when really you’d be wise to just shake your head and walk away instead.

No names necessary. I’m not in the business of trashing individuals’ reputations (companies, yes, but people only rarely). So I’m going to give you some general pointers instead, from the list-building exercise I went through this week.

I started with Vala Afshar’s Top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter. I just went through, name by name, and made sure that each of them was on my new #custserv list. Vala is one of us – he has been actively involved in the #custserv community since his first day on Twitter, long before he became a CMO or one of the most popular contributors to HuffPostBiz. In short, Vala knows his people, and he did an outstanding job with this list. It’s nearly flawless.

Nearly. Three folks made the list that I take exception with. Each represents one personality you’ll find on social sites that are like the Big Bad Wolf: fakers you’d be well advised to avoid; people who don’t get what social is all about.

  • The Troll. This is the term we use for a negative polluter of discussions. In the case of the #custserv twitter community, there’s no taming or getting rid of this guy – believe me, a bunch of us tried several years ago, when #custserv was still new. He’s like a case of herpes. The best you can do is ignore each flare-up till it passes. It’ll be back, but hopefully not for a while.
  • The Tool. One dude in the top 100 list has a few thousand followers, but follows only five people. Five. He’s a social media tool: someone who takes himself much more seriously than anyone else does. Don’t be a tool.
  • The Broadcaster. Another dude has a few followers and follows many back, but looking at his tweet stream, all you see is his statements and links. He uses new media as a broadcaster, like twitter is a billboard or a TV station. That’s how we used old media. Not very social, is it?

Wait a minute! Just three people, out of 100? Really? How freakin’ cool is that?? Well done, Vala!

I think that’s a great final point to make in this post, to really drive home the fact that fakers rarely prosper. Out of 100 people, only three slipped through the cracks. That tells me that we humans are pretty damn good at quickly busting frauds and ignoring jerks. (Little Red Riding Hood as one possible exception). Not perfect, granted, but… well, I wish I were 97% successful at most things I try – avoiding junk food comes to mind. How about you?

If you’re a troll, a tool, or a broadcaster, I hope this post helps you to stop… umm… sucking quite so actively. If you’re a social newbie, I hope this information helps you spot these imposter wolves so you can steer clear – in all cases, just ignoring them is the best advice I have for you.

And if you’re aware of another must-avoid personality type I’ve missed, please let us know in the comments below. You’ll be doing us all a big favor.

 

Ted Coiné

Ted Coiné

Keynote speaker. Author of A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive. Three-time CEO. Chairman and Founder of Switch and Shift. Ted Coiné is one of the most influential business experts on the Web, top-ranked by Forbes, Inc., SAP Business Innovation, and Huffington Post for his leadership, customer experience, and social media influence. Ted consults with owners, CEOs and boards of directors on making their companies more competitive by making them more human-focused. He and his family live in Naples, Florida.

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  • Simple Developer

    Great and informative post! There are so many fakers online these days and if you don’t pay enough attention, you can easily be fooled! Great read!

    • http://www.savvycapitalist.blogspot.com TedCoine

      Thanks so much! Fooled, time wasted… all sorts of junk.

  • Kate Rubick

    What’s the break point between sharing good/important 3rd party content and broadcasting?