in Opinion

The applauding (social media) douchebag theory

Especially in social media there a lot of so called experts making profound statements which are just hot air. Statements as:

  • Maximise breakthrough by leveraging influencers
  • Identify relevant and compelling hooks for the audience, create content around the hooks and integrate it into their social repertoires
  • Harness social currency to drive buzz
  • Expose new and relevant communities to the brand by providing assets to encourage brand evangelism
  • Ignite the existing community and attract new members by amplifying the experience with relevant and engaging content

Ok, these statement are from What The Fuck Is My Social Media Strategy, though it is still sad those are real life examples I have seen.

The theory

However there is a bit of theory around these statements I would like to call it the applauding douchebag theory. This theory is based on the observation that as soon as such a statement (as the before mentioned) is published, it often takes less than 30 minutes before another douchebag starts applauding this statement, most often referenced by this douchebag as an outstanding, awesome, great or epic, statement. As soon as the first applauding douchebag has arrived all the following comments will be from applauding douchebags containing the same hollow phrases while they are trying to outrank everybody who commented before by providing hollower compliments.

This results in a self-sustained group of douchebags (or self proclaimed experts) who have almost a day job in making hollow statements and applauding to others with hollow phrases in order to get the same applause in return to have their self proclaimed expert status confirmed for themselves.