9 Anti-Social Behaviors: Oscar’s Guide to Social Networking at Events

With so many best practices being shared across the interweb, I thought it important to give an enlightened point of view. A new way of looking at things. A way to almost completely guarantee failure in your social media efforts.

There are some who believe that integrating social media into your events and experiences is critical to being relevant in today’s connected society. To this I say, Bah! Who needs it?

Here are nine anti-social behaviors that will ensure your events and experiences die cold and alone.

1. Don’t Listen or Observe. Who really cares what others have to say anyway? It’s often uninteresting and usually downright boring. Understanding what your audience has to say is overrated at best. They’re all selfish, and most of them talk about themselves, adding no value to the community at all. What’s that? they’re talking about you or your event? It doesn’t matter what they have to say anyway. What can you learn about the perspective, thoughts, ideas and opinions of others? It’s your event. If they knew any better than you about the subject matter, they’d create their own event. After all, you’re the expert.

2. Participate in Only One Social Network. I’ve been a big fan of my early 90’s bulletin board service since it launched. I’m now the only person left and I love the solitude. You may have heard there are other networks out there like AOL, but that would mean more people reading your posts and trying to interact with you. Once you find a good social network for your event, stick with it. There are some who would tell you to “fish where the fish are” but its not about others. Its about where you want to talk about your event. Who has the time to participate in multiple social channels anyway?

3. Don’t Share. Got some great pictures of the skydivers you hired to promote your event? Did you take a video of an amazing keynote presentation? These are highly-personal things and are not intended to be shared. Go out and purchase a fire-proof vault to lock these assets up in for you to cherish year-after-year. No one is interested in reliving the memories of your experience or seeing what’s happening at your event. Keep them to yourself. If you should come across something that’s relevant or interesting to your audience that may have been authored by someone else, do not share it.

4. Use the Default Picture. There is no reason for anyone to see what you look like, or see a logo for your event. The O_o that comes with Tweeter, or the shaded blue silhouette avatar that’s the default on iSpace or FacePage is perfectly fine. If you absolutely must have a picture, make sure its obscured or misrepresents you in someway. If you don’t have photo-editing software, try contorting your face so you hide your chin with you hands of stretch out your neck by turning to the side. and never, ever look directly at the camera. This will ensure others on social networks will not recognize you at your event or on the street. This is a great strategy for retaining anonimity.

5. Always Talk About Yourself. The best way to alienate others and ensure you don’t get any followers or friends is to talk about yourself. All. The. Time. Again, its not about others. Its about your event. What you have to say is way more important that what others have to say. Be especially careful not to fall into the trap of talking about others at your event, e.g., keynote speakers, exhibitors, discussion leaders or attendees. Also, there may be other events or things going on in your industry that have similar or complementary subject matter. Ignore them. Do not cross-promote. Do not mention them. Do not ask them to mention your event.

6. Try to Be Someone Else. Adopt someone else’s personality whereever possible. Or better yet, make up a personality and change it up every so often to keep your audience guessing. Mixing your tone and voice for each and every touchpoint will confuse your audiences and ensure your brand intent is kept secret. No one will know who you are, what you’re about or what you represent.

7. Keep the Community Closed. “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.” Treat your event the same way. You may find that others want to talk to each other about your event. They may even want to share thoughts, photos, videos, literature, etc. Do everything possible to discourage this. Do not set up proprietary or participate in third-party social networks. Make sure any materials you create for your events are hard copy only, or better yet, print content on large signs located in uncomfortable locations to make it difficult for attendees to capture and share it with others. If you discover your content being shared on other social networks, do your best to shut it down. Send form letters threatening legal action to anyone posting anything about your event.

8. Do Not Engage. Audiences and communities are sneaky. They will do everything possible to start a conversation with you. Be careful here. They may ask baited questions, comment on your event or even complement the event. Do not under any cicrcumstances fall for these ploys. Its important to ignore all requests for engagement or interaction of any kind. The best way to be a part of the conversation is to not participate at all.

9. Collect all Cameras, Computers and Mobile Devices at the Door. What better way to discourage social interaction than removing the tools used for interaction from attendees? Its also a good idea to simply collect these devices in large bins without any organizational system whatsoever. When audiences arrive at your event. Prohibit any electronic device from entering the exhibit hall or any speaking sessions. If attendees insist on taking notes, distribute small chalkboards with small pieces of chalk. Require all boards to be erased and returned before the event ends.

Sarcasm is often difficult to express in writing. In all seriousness, I recommend you do exactly the opposite of the above. I hope you’ve enjoyed this view of anti-social behaviors. If you have other anti-social behaviors you’d like to add, please comment below!

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