The worst social media of 2007?

12 March 2008

At South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), a panel of judges has just chosen the winners (or should that be losers?) of The Suxorz – “the Worst of the Worst in Social Media Marketing for 2007″.

As some of the companies nominated are clients and I do not know whether we were involved in any of the campaigns (I know we weren’t in the UK), I’ll point you to Scott Monty’s round up of the contenders.

I find a few things interesting about this.

Judging Criteria

This included:

  • Advertisers acting like asses
  • Out and out lying to customers
  • Corrupting authentic voices

The Conclusion

Steve Hall ( “It’s not hard to tell the truth; if you don’t, it’s just a matter of time before the public finds out.”

Carrot or Stick

I’m still on the fence over whether it’s better to applaud good behaviour or berate bad. In my experience, the latter is far easier to do (and indeed is what some of the panel have built their own reputations on). My concern is that it stops brands who want to do the right thing from even trying, just in case someone decides to turn on them. It serves to reinforce the corporate perception that I encounter all the time; that social media is just one big lynch mob.

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3 Responses to “The worst social media of 2007?”

  1. Peter I

    Yeah, I was there and PR agencies definitely took the brunt of the punishment, especially one in particular.  Unfortunately, the ones that people had the worst reactions too probably fall into the realm of media buying (PayPerPost, big commercials put on YouTube, etc.).  Still, social media marketing has got a long way to go before it is a respected discipline, even among peers.

  2. Scott Monty

    Niall, if it makes you feel any better, there’s a corollary post about the best in corporate blogging. I know it’s not the same as a full-on social media marketing campaign, but the fear factor was addressed. You can check it out here:

  3. Niall Cook

    Thanks Scott. Aside from those companies represented by the panel, it doesn’t seem to pick out any particular examples of good practice, in the same way the Suxorz did for bad. I guess this was my last point.

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