The Invisible Twitter Expert

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An interesting controversy on Twitter today. Matt Bacak (Anyone ever hear of him? ““ Exactly) self released a press release calling himself, The Powerful Promoter. “œFirst Facebook, now Twitter. The Powerful Promoter, Matt Bacak, has taken himself to the top of the social media networks yet again, this time beating out 99.9% of the fastest growing site’s members”.

As you would expect, the Twitterverse has not been kind. Scott Baird, describes the reaction in his blog, Matt’s press release states “œAnyone can call their promotional abilities “˜powerful’ but I actually prove that mine are,”. “œThe problem is that this type of ego really contradicts the the overall social media mentality which is basically “œIt’s not about you, it’s about the overall community”.

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You can see the backlash through Twittersearch. Bacak has been called the Biggest Douche in Social Media and 232 people have dugg the article with 69 comments at this time. Jamie Scheu described the situation well on his blog, Promote Your Way to Irrevocable Personal Humiliation.

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As humiliating as this situation may be, it points out the problem with our obsession with keeping score. Matt Bacak wrote a press release because he got a high Twittergrader score.

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How does a guy who follows just 32 people with 1500 updates and most importantly, no one knows, get such a high score? As you can see, Bacak is so memorable that real Top Twitterer, Aaron Brazell, calls him Joe. Maybe the wizards at Twittergrader need to go back to Hogwarts. How can you give a person that no one on Twitter knows a 99.9! Aside from the grade inflation or algorithm problems, I think what the Invisible Twitter Man points out is the problem with ego and score obsession in social media. Hopefully, we can get back to Scott Baird‘s point and let social media be about the overall community.

Comments

  1. says

    It amazes me how people can take something cool and turn it into a douche-bag tool. I spend more time trying to make sure I respond to direct messages, answer questions, and acknowledge replies that I don’t know what I would do with 1k+ followers. I’m not interested in building a network of followers as much as I am in listening to what interesting people have to say- but I guess that’s just me. I never cared about being popular.

  2. says

    You’re absolutely right about the score obsession, whether it’s your TwitterGrader grade or your LinkedIn connection count.

    The point Matt Bacak (and anyone who buys his BS) seems to be missing is a fundamental of marketing — the size of your prospect pool doesn’t mean squat on its own. Conversion is the key. I know of internet marketers who have lists of 100,000+ people, but have like 0.1% conversion rates when they do an offer. I know others who have lists of 2,000, but have 50% conversion rate. Which do you want to be?

    It doesn’t matter how many people you can attract as followers if they’re not willing to take action on your behalf, whether it’s clicking a link, referring a friend or buying a product. And to get people willing to take action on your behalf, you have to take action for other people — not every single person in your network, but enough to show you’re a giver, not just a taker.

    I should also point out that this seems to be a missing piece for a lot of people in social media – how to move people from “follower” to “customer” in a non-spammy, non-tacky, non-irritating way.

  3. says

    The Twitter Grader tool seems to give a lot of weight to the following/followers ratio. Have a look at their “Twitter Elite” list http://twitter.grader.com/topusers and you’ll see that a lot of the people listed there are following very few others, and have maybe a thousand or two followers. You don’t find people like Chris Brogan on that list though, because he’s following almost 20k people. So, it would seem that following people is a negative factor with the grader tool.

  4. says

    Interestingly, this was the first time I had ever heard of him. Not from Twitter or any other network or from his press release, but from your article. There is room for explaining these tools, but there’s a right way and then there is this way.

  5. says

    Okay, I’ll admit – I only heard about him because you and Geoff were cracking me up in your twitter analysis…

    But the TwitterGrader thing? Let’s try to look at that as more of a “score on a pop quiz” than a “you’ve got an MBA in Twitterology and you graduated Magna Cum Laude!” could we? I mean seriously… People want to know if they’re ‘on the right track’ so they go put their score in.

    Apparently, some think this is more important than others… this guy being one of those cases.

    Feeling somewhat like I missed a great opportunity to make tons of money off of clueless people tho, I mean, I’ve been either #1 or #2 on Twittergrader for Denver since day 1… ;)

    I don’t feel sorry for this guy so much as I feel sorry for us tho. I think maybe Erin has it right in that our old Twitterville is rapidly becoming all about the noise and the quick buck.

  6. says

    Lucretia- I don’t know if this guy thinks it’s that important or not. What is clear to me is he thinks he can use the data provided to make people think he is something than he actually is.

    I’m most upset by his flagrant use of “telemarketer” kinds of marketing techniques that is an insult to a fairly tight-knit community.

  7. Warren Sukernek says

    The heavy handed self-promotion or self-flatulence has really struck a nerve.

    Ike Pigott has a very funny and helpful post on his blog, Occam’s RazR, describing how he became the #1 Twitter Elite on Planet Earth, http://zi.ma/ike. He ridicules those like Bacak who game the system for self-promotion. I think you will enjoy it.

  8. says

    I get a 96.3 despite being much less than a power user. I am, however, merely “# 9,671 Overall rank, out of 548,738.”

    Aaron, on the other hand, gets a 100 and ranks “#190 Overall rank, out of 548,737.”

  9. says

    This gets even better.

    Bacak’s response now is that one of his underlings wrote the release and sent it without his knowledge, and that he really doesn’t know enough about the Social Media community or technology to have expected such a backlash.

    And to think that for three weeks, all of my satire and schtick about outsourcing my “Personal Brand” on Twitter was really just precognition.

  10. says

    Does anyone else realize that, by giving this zero so much attention, that you’ve helped him accomplish his goal? I’m sure he’s getting more traffic and interest than he’s ever had.

    Bad press is better than no press.

  11. says

    As kind of a postscript, I’ve noticed that Bacak removed the Press Release, but he has gained over 100 Twitter followers and is actually responding to people on Twitter. Still following just 32 people, but he is getting interview requests! WTF!

  12. Oskar says

    Considering that he also have a press release on having 5,000 friend in Facebook, I find it hard to take this guy seriously.