What Happens When Social Media Goes Terribly Wrong? The Bacak Truth!December 2, 2008
I finally have a horror story to show clients and CEO’s I consult with, as to what can truly go wrong with Social Media and your reputation. Why it is so very important that you have a sound strategy before you enter social media and what are the ramifications of not being transparent, engaged in the communication, and being respectful of your audience.
Today, a self proclaimed “Powerful Promoter” made a drastic error in judgment. He put out a press release about his own “success” in achieving Social Media Superstardom on Facebook and Twitter. I’m sure he was just looking to build up a bit of his own expertise, but he failed miserably in the process. His claims met with derision, disbelief, and disgust. In his own press release about himself, his language came across as a bit too egotistical to the mass readership and internet audience, and they decided to bring him back to earth a bit.
In Mark Bacek’s press release he claims; “Anyone can call their promotional abilities ‘powerful’ but I actually prove that mine are,” The problem is that this type of ego really contradicts the overall social media mentality which is basically “It’s not about you, it’s about the overall community” (as pointed out in Scott Baird’s (@mediapirate) blogpost here).
Mr. Bacek got his wish to go viral and become famous (infamous rather) in the social media communities. The uproar and backlash in Twitter alone can be seen here. It then went viral as Mr. Bacak was dubbed with the dubious title of “The biggest Douche in Social Media” (obviously not good for your company or brand) that went out on Digg and was sent up the flagpole with over 270 Diggs.
I feel very sorry for Mr. Bacak, he appears to otherwise be a nice guy, that committed a blunder that will cost him any and all online credibility. The biggest learnings we can take away from this are:
1. Marketing is no longer merely a declaration of your expertise, value, skills, product, it is a conversation.
2. The community has just as much, if not more control than you of your brand
3. It’s not about YOU it’s about EVERYONE
4. PR & Marketing when done well online, will work
What have you learned from this? Please leave a comment?
Posted in Marketing, public relations, social media | Tagged "the biggest douche in social media", @mattbacak, Bacak, Christopher Lower, crisis communication, digg, Facebook, Marketing, matt bacak, Media, online PR, PR Disaster, public relations, social media, Sterling Cross Communications, Twitter, viral |