One of the most amusing (and at the same time sad) Twitter accounts I follow is@humblebrag. It retweets posts from Twitter users which are meant to be self-deprecating, but which actually scream “Aren’t I wonderful?”
The posts range from thinly-veiled personal self-aggrandisement…
“Stories are everywhere that I’m too thin. When will the media see women for their accomplishments instead of their weight and appearance?”
“If one more person asks to ‘take pictures of me’ I’m going to kill someone.”
“I gave my noodle store leftovers to a homeless lady and now I regret it so much”
“As if I didn’t feel uncomfortable enough, the ticket taker said ‘musclessss’ as I handed him my ticket”
…to tweets painfully aimed at enhancing their corporate notoriety…
“The president just called to say congrats. Caller ID was blocked, so at first I thought it was a telemarketer.”
“Way too much of my life is spent on airplanes.”
“Very humbled to be selected for TIME 100 this year! Had a nice evening at their gala, but their standards must be slipping now that they’re letting geeks like me in!” (This one was accompanied by a photo of a hipster- ish man standing on the red carpet with his supermodel girlfriend)
“ARRRRRGH FML. Now I’ve got a justin bieber shoot i can’t do because i’m already shooting: what’s with these clashes? Grrr”
“Look, I know he invented the damn thing. But it freaks me out when I see Zuckerberg posts on my Facebook wall.”
“CNN interview went great! Once again, over-prepared but smarter for it I suppose.”
There are plenty more where these came from – bring your sick bag!
A little ego is fine, but the problem is, too many people think that ‘humble bragging’ is a good way to build a social media profile for their business. The existence of tongue in cheek satirists like @humblebrag shows that people don’t respond to that approach. It’s important to be authentic in your dealings with people, especially if you’re in small business.
US marketing expert Jonathan Salem Baskin, who has just co-authored a book on the importance of truth in advertising and marketing (now there’s an oxymoron!), says that customers today are looking for truth from the companies they do business with.