Infamy <> Fame a Social Media Lesson

Train wreck at Montparnasse 1895 2


Note:  There are several people and organizations that I will be referring to in a roundabout way over the course of this entry.  It’s a personal quirk of my to not add to nor profit from the notoriety of others by mentioning them directly.  This isn’t really about them anyway.

I do not consider myself a social media expert.  I’ve used Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis for some time.  This blog is tied into my personal accounts on each platform.  I’ve used both platforms, as well as others, to promote Idiosyncratic Transmissions.  I still have much to learn though.

However, a recent incident has prompted me to share this bit of wisdom.  As anyone who has watched or read the news in the past week there was one very controversial, among the ‘normal’ controversial, performance during an awards show this week.  In the aftermath the artist went to Twitter and bragged that said performance generated some large amount of comments on Twitter, gaining more than the Superbowl blackout.

Clearly along with confusing what constitutes a good performance the performer has confused fame with infamy.  More succinctly:  just because a trainwreck gets 10,000 comments on Twitter doesn’t make it any less of a trainwreck.

That’s it.  That’s the lesson to learn here.  If you or your organization is engaged in social media platforms what is your goal?  Do you want numbers?  Do you want true fans, customers, pundits, whatever. . .?  Or do you just want more eyes seeing your name?

If its the latter you can do no better than say or do something crass, controversial, or embarrassing.  Just ask any politician caught in a scandal.  Just ask any public figure that makes a wildly inappropriate comment on or off mic.  Just ask a certain organization from Kansas known for picketing funerals.

Don’t get so wrapped up in the numbers that you mistake infamy for fame.  A bad reputation is easy to achieve.  Don’t deliver on promises.  Don’t do quality work.  Don’t take care in the words you speak or write.  People will know your name or the name of your business.  People will be talking about you.

This may seem like common sense, but I’m sure that 10 years ago a certain performer wasn’t thinking she would end up defending a spectacle with bravado either.  It’s the small things we have to keep our minds on to keep the big things from spiraling out of control.

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