5 Terms Social Media Douchebags Need To Stop Using.

"Don't worry people.  Don't worry.  Our 'social media guru' is on it."

"Don't worry people. Don't worry. Our 'social media guru' is on it."

I’m not done with the douchebags.

After I wrote the 5 Signs You’re Talking To A Social Media Douchebag, I was met with heavy feedback.

Social media douchebags used social media to attack me.

Damn it.

Should’ve seen that one coming.

They called me pretentious.  Said “I didn’t get it”.  Made remarks to their thousands of spambot followers who they got using auto-follow scripts.

Tremendous News is out of touch, @teethWhitenerPro2010.  I hate him.


But I expected that.

What I didn’t expect was for dozens of social media douchebags, the exact same people I was talking about, to agree with me.

Their own doucheyness prevented them from believing I was actually talking about them.

And now they’re running around the Internet sharing my article to others.

Siding with me.

How dare they.

For the 99.9% of the non-douches reading this, I’m sorry.

But I have to call the 0.1% out.

It’s my duty as an unemployed and horribly off putting blogger who still lives in his parents’ basement at 29.

I’m going to hit them where it hurts.

Their lexicon.

If you use any of these terms regularly, you’re the person I’m talking about.

1. “Participate In The Conversation”

Brands need to participate in the conversation.   Hello!?  Stop sitting on the sidelines watching social media go by.

Translation for normal people: Leave a dopey comment on some random blog.

They will tell everyone to participate in the conversation.  They’ll never say “talk” or “comment on blogs.”

Way too simple.

I’m looking at you Mike from Mike’s Shoe Mart in Lackawanna.  Participate in the conversation!

Then Mike from Mike’s Shoe Mart in Lackawanna will sprint to Twitter and blast out some incoherent tweets about his Shoe Mart.

Hey people!  We have shoes!

Then the social media gurus, noticing that Mike is now tweeting, will push further.

Participate, Mike.  In the CONVERSATION.

Mike frantically responds to people who don’t give a shit about his Shoe Mart.

Hey @Jack_Welch!  We have shoes!


In our shoe mart!!

Hours later, Mike from Mike’s Shoe Mart is blocked by 289 people.

2. “Monetize Your Social Media Presence”

I’m so impressed with the social media gurus I met during TweetExpo ’10.  They’ve learned to monetize their social media presence. I have so much to learn! #fail

What it means to normal people: One of the douches finally got a check.

If social media douchebags could bang words, “monetize” would be their Megan Fox.


3. “Social Media Rockstar”

Want to shout out my good friend Edgar from Palo Alto.  Dude has over 100 K followers.  He’s a social media rockstar!

What it means to normal people: If your auto-follow scripts have run long enough to get you over 100 thousand followers, you can call yourself this.

Social media douches will pretend like they don’t like this term, but deep inside, it brings them unparalleled joy.

I hate the term ‘social media rockstar’.  I’m just a guy working hard for brands.

No, Jim!  You’re totally a social media rockstar.  I learned everything I know about “leveraging insights” from you.

It’s about the customer experience, grasshopper.

Oh Jim!  That’s such a social media rockstar thing to say!

A rockstar?  Really.

Hendrix.  Ozzy.  The Beatles?  Yes.

Some dude who guest posts on Mashable?

Hell no.

4. “You’re Doing It Wrong.”

Denis Leary just joined Twitter and has 78 000 followers and is following nobody.  Hey Denis!  You’re doing it wrong.

What it means to normal people: Someone has upset them.  (Hilarious).

I put this number four because I know social media douches reading this have said this at least four times while reading this blog post.

I wish I could throw my half-soy, half-milk extra-hot double-shot peppermint mocha at my MacBook right now.  Tremendous News is doing it wrong.

I am.

I am doing it wrong.

I barely follow anybody on Twitter.  Never engage.  Only talk to super hot chicks on Facebook and ask them to send me nude pictures.

I am douchier than you.

And I love it.

But I’ll never tell people they’re doing it wrong.

Excuse me.

The only person who can tell me I’m doing it wrong is the girl I’m making love to.

Even social media douches agree that this individual is doing it right.

Even social media douches agree that this individual is doing it right.

5. “Social Media Is All About …”

Social media is all about engaging.  Interacting.  Online experiences.  Community building.  Conversation.  Viral.  Buzz.  ROI.  Collaboration.

What it means to normal people:  This is where they explain all of social media in just one off-putting word.  It’s magical.

Social media douchebags pride themselves in using a single word to explain large collective behaviors.


They’ll say that to you.

At some conference.

Then they’ll be silent so you can think about it.


They’ll whisper.

Meanwhile you and the rest of the audience zone out into a coma.

Those are good words, gurus.

Now try using more.

If you use some of these phrases, sometimes, don’t worry.

I’m not talking about you.

If you have these phrases on slides in a presentation you’re about to deliver at a “podcamp”, then yes.

I’m talking about you.

Did I miss any other phrases?  Please leave them below.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

Unless you’re Mike from Mike’s Shoe Mart.

I get it, dude.

You have shoes.


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  • I hate it when someone tries to tell me what social media is about. What gives them the right to tell me how I should use this communication medium. Who told them that they set the rules?

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  • HI,

    Thanks guys for sharing information about that 5 Terms Social Media Douchebags Need To Stop Using.


  •  Good post, my dear friend.

  •  I like it very much, thanks, have a good time.

  • I'll post the same information to my blog, thanks for ideas and great article.

  • Ha ha. Nice one my friend, nice one. Who is it that thinks up these cliches? And who are the mugs that believe and follow them?
    There are very very few who are making money on line. Very few!

    The only reason we have a site is because our prospects search for our services not to listen to bullshit about "the on-line experience, the ultimate experience ( which is a second before death) " how "awesome" and OMG the stuff is.
    Thanks for your humour and the way you approach "the pretenders"

    Take good care and get as much joy as you can everyday. Cheers.

  • Mike_Force in Twitter

    "Talking about social conversations we make with groups interacting verbally makes us ever more aware of the need for meaningful contacts"

    Yes, you put it quite well.

    I wonder if anyone will point out we are (PLEASE PLEASE EVERYONE I BEG YOU SOBER: Look up definition Two and Three of the "N Word"and you will discover we organims (that is you typing or reading this, the bag of water) is become a untrustworthy distasteful but politely leached clean entity as when I return a scratched Office disc (fell out due to the strange plasti-packing- if you dont know about the pull tab you break the box and disc scratched).

    They just plain would not let me return it- the bastards know my whole house layout, bought it from em, know my credit score, my ass size, but no chance of just stopping the BS- am suspect felon pirating, see our receipt tells us so!

    Oh! Do write more and widely about how social entities and any talking head suit skirt or puffed blouse with attendant putty knife makeup acts like they can wipe their butt and not fall off a USFS toilet seat because they are so pampered.. (I happened to be near, heard the commotion or "commodetion" (whatever!)

  • There are the ones who dare to use the word authentic when they are anything but! What on earth are you talking about authentically bogus? authentic spamming? authentically advertising on my stream? love your take on this - right on target!

  • "You can follow me on Twitter here". How 'bout that one?

  • sheldon50

    laughed my ass off...man, you hit the nail on the head. I have met some of those douches you describe and what's even funnier is that they called you pretentious.
    I even met a douche who says omg... no really, he actually says that...out loud. The most bizarre thing of it is, I know people who think he's cool. I don't want to know them...it just happened.

  • It's all about synergy.

  • Classic article! Go get 'em unemployed, 29 year old, living in parent's basement! I get the frustration though, jargon is irritating and becomes meaningless the more people abuse it. As part of the 99.9% I accept your apology, even though I use the term "conversation" and often reduce social media to being all about - (insert 3 terms here) - to help the clueless "get it." But if by chance I'm part of the 0.1% you are talking about then I guess "I'm doing it wrong"

  • jamieharrington

    Do NOT leave out connecting. When people ask me if we've connected I want to punch them right in the face. BAM.

  • ipodlesley

    forthcoming douchebag jargon: distributed knowledge creation.... (bottom up, not top down knowledge distribution....)

  • Kevin Gallant

    I believe Social Media Douchebags need to stop talking about Social Media, already.

  • mr. crispy

    I love the one word tweets: http://twitter.com/knealemann/...
    It's like God spoke.

  • How Ironic. I was thinking one of the terms that SM Douchebags needs to stop using is... SM Douchebags!

  • You're right on the mark, as always! Love reading your honest, raw truth about the douches out there! Keep it up!


  • "Social Media is all about..."
    it's all about the 7,585,677 different things that the 100 trillion people on the Internet are using it for, douchebags. I hate it when people try to pigeonhole web tools into a few categories that benefit them as though it has no other uses. I mean, I use my old Twitter posts to wipe my ass and save on toilet paper! I don't see THAT in a douche-list.

  • I like.

  • Freaking great. Just curious. Am I the only one who thinks of this blog when I watch this...


  • Ashley Pearlman

    Just came across your blog. I really appreciate your humor and also your candor about design and marketing jargon. I'm a user experience / usability person that has shifted focus into a broader realm of interactive strategy and design, and so I do often use many of the mentioned phrases -- but when I do, I try to use the buzz words selectively.

    It is tough sometimes, because I don't want to come across as being 'a douchebag'. But many of the terms and phrases and metaphors that the collective "we" have worked so hard to establish for communicating the importance of creating a contextual dialogue and understanding / designing for your audience (because, being relevant is actually very important if you want to keep your customers happy) have seemingly been commandeered by people who have commoditized search, seo, and social media in order to make a quick buck or two (that is, if they are getting paid for those speaking engagements).

    My "schpiel" is, who is your customer or audience, how do they find value in your brand, and what do they need from you. If you focus on that, then regardless of much or little you "participate in the conversation", whatever you DO say will be meaningful. Telling people that what they are doing is wrong or broken is not going to win anyone over. I suggest to my clients that they try to look at it differently, be genuine, keep trying new ways to connect, and really think about what is important to their audience.

    And as an afterthought -- Had to retrace my steps to figure out, how did I find you in the first place.... An RT to your post was in the first 20 tweetmeme results in my twitterfeed. Social media is good for something, I guess :) Maybe soon I'll have a blog of my own :) I look forward to reading more.

  • There is a lot of money to make as a douche. and most douches that's why they do it. Large Brands pay big bucks to hear such words...and find a way to leave on a 2 week company paid trip to attend 3 seminars from some of these douches. F it...being a douche has it's advantages. And I loved your text...pure genius, with your permission I'd like to sell this and pay you royalties ;-)

  • I have shoes too! Oh, wait.

  • hahahahahahaha, this text was fantatic! hahahahaha you don't need any other stupid comments then this: hahahahaha!!! I loved the text! "We've got shoes!" haha

  • Waaaaaaaay too funny!


    "WANTED: Social Media Mastermind & Brand Evangelist" REALLY??????

  • Reg Saddler

    Awesome post. You know I love you like my 2nd redheaded stepchild! Thanks for keeping it real, once again.

    BTW, did you see my interview in "Social Media Rockstar" http://socialmediarockstar.com...

  • Loves it! The only thing I disagree with is your blurb under the pic of the "hottie". She *is* doing it wrong with those highlights in her hair.

    That's all.

  • I've had an account on everything from here till tuesday since before I can remember. I haven't made any updates in months, on anything.
    I am also a developer who builds social media applications.
    Go figure.

  • leveraging insights? did we really need a new phrase for "know your customer"? wtf. go get 'em, TN.

  • Muxxex

    Maybe if I place this huge 'Buy Now' button right below the $97 price tag for this e-book I made about training dogs I'll increase my ROI and be able to sell an ebook on how to convert customers, genius!

  • gcjmarkets

    I could care less about social media douchebags or wannabes or whatever you want to call them and in my opinion neither do you (Disclaimer: this is only my opinion, I do not know you or know what you care about. I have formed my opinion soley based on your writings)

    I think this post is cleverly written to spark contrevsory which in turn will cause it to spread through the web. And to that I say "good for you" cause thats what online marketing, social media, etc.. is about.

    Call me a "Douche" if you want, but I would love to "Experience", "Engage", and "Participate" with Megan Fox;) She could even measure my ROI...

  • There is a whole Internet cottage industry building pithy terms like these, in an attempt to reach the gravitas that real artists, scientists and engineers have. If the Internet were a pint, you'd blow these suds off and have real beer left.

  • Buzzwords like "conversation" will always be irritating to those of us who actually have to work with the nuts and bolts of what that actually means. But they are still useful in explaining the situation to unimaginative people who have zero social media experience, and don't understand why they, or their company, should.

  • Ben

    I also don't like the term "nuts and bolts" in this context. Just saying.

  • Metaphors are useful for explaining things to people who aren't interested in, or wouldn't understand, the details.

  • sheldon50

    wow...why in the world would you try to explain anything to someone who isn't interested in what you have to say?

  • The key phrase there is "the details." They do care, they just don't care about the details.

  • sheldon50

    I thought the key phrase was "aren't interested in". Perhaps, because I am cynical, that was the phrase I keyed on. I still have no idea how you can explain anything to someone who isn't interested in what you have to say...not someone who has become bored with your chatter, rather, someone who desired not to listen in the first place because she has no interest in anything you have to say.

    Those who don't understand...I get that.
    Those who simply have no interest in what you have to say...that's a whole other ballgame...no(?)


  • My point is that the usual context for terminology like "conversational marketing," at least for me, is talking to business-minded people who are high-level (or just superficial) thinkers. They do care what I have to say... they just want to hear me speak in generalities and metaphors that they can glom on to and take comfort in. They don't want to know, in many cases, how it actually works. It can be frustrating, but learning to talk to such people is just part of the business world.

    So, yeah, if you are truly a no-talent "social media douchebag" who has no idea what he's talking about, or is just trying to inflate his paltry knowledge, that's one thing. But I really do work in social media. I actually get paid to be, among other things, a "social media expert." So when I say "conversational marketing," I am not trying to make myself sound smart; I am trying to make myself easy to understand for people who are interested in the generalities, but not the details.

  • "If social media douchebags could bang words, “monetize” would be their Megan Fox."
    Best line in the article.

  • perhaps you would be interested in helping me fulfill my dear departed husband's wishes in seeing me in good fortune by letting me shunt funds from my bank in Muldavia, where the authorities have locked it because I speak openly about vajajays. T

  • tmac20043

    to be fair, I would love to monetize my presence, then I could stop pretending to work at this hell hole...but I'd rather be broke than a douche so...dilemma

  • nol

    Hilarious. Now I know I have to participate in the conversation so I too can be a social media rockstar and monetize my social media presence. I've been doing it wrong - now I know social media is all about being a douchebag. Thanks tremendous news!

  • Genius. Pure genius

  • i still don't get it. and that's cool. i miss the days of rotary phones and the party line.

  • I miss our blue Princess phone!!!
    Ah memories.

  • Jen

    Agree with all the above. However, can we please also get rid of the term douchebag for every jerky person? It's insulting to my vajajay. Which is a technical term that only I know about, but will explain to you in an e-book for only $2.99.

  • tmac20043

    Dearest Jen,

    I would like to learn more of this "vajayjay" you speak of, and am available for a "tweetup" at anytime....anytime

  • Jen

    Great news! I am running a vajajay bootcamp soon!

    It's only an investment of $1,399.00, but for you, I'll lower the price to $1,199.00.

    Looking forward to seeing you there, we can touch our pokens together and trade info.

  • Very helpful. I thought my posts were too brief, but based on your advice some of them could use trimming.

  • tmac20043

    Unfortunately, I am legally unable to pay for any investment in which I could deposit any of my growing earnings....ever since that incident in Temecula....how about on good faith?

  • Jen

    But wait, there's more! For only $29.99, I will provide you with the best up to date Trojan virus software protection at the vajajay bootcamp. That's a value of $129 -- $100 off! And you will get my e-book, The Vajajay Way, free! !!!!

    If you can't make the bootcamp (and you really should come, as I'll be serving spam all day), perhaps you would be interested in helping me fulfill my dear departed husband's wishes in seeing me in good fortune by letting me shunt funds from my bank in Muldavia, where the authorities have locked it because I speak openly about vajajays. They don't want me to share my vajajay secrets with the world and this totalitarian regime is really bumming me out. It is 1.2 million British pounds, and I will give you $300,000 to add to your growth as soon as you provide me with your bank info. You could buy a lot of teeth whitening products with that and get more followers!

  • mr. crispy
  • Ben

    Bonus points for the random buzzwords that have been vomited all over his Twitter background.

  • What I love is that he got that off of a wordcloud generator... in order for it to have pulled those and created a picture of it, he had to have fed it something that used all of those words numerous times, since it only picks out the ones used over and over and over. So not only is his profile that of a media douchebag, he has a PICTURE of his douchebaggery. Glorious!

  • Ben

    A picture of his douchebaggery that he personally manipulated. Truly glorious.

  • I have always thought "Guru" sounds like something you stepped in. ;-)

  • I agree. I hate when these terms are self applied: Guru, Ninja, Expert etc So full of it.

  • Well, Ninja is OK as long as they are a real Ninja. I wouldn't want to mess with one. Those fellas can kill you in a squillion different ways.

  • CJ_sensei

    I prefer "Sensei" "guru" is so 2008 *snicker*

  • couldn't agree with you more. Kind of want to step on a "guru" just to see what it feels like...

  • The problem is in how to scrape all of the "Gu" off your shoe. :-)

  • it's all about "building a pressence"

    "be engaging"

    "it's all about the content"

    terms like this make my skin crawl.

  • "Let's really engage by exchanging links!"

  • I love this. You're not doing it wrong.

    The one thing these social media tosspots usually fail to deliver on is STUFF THAT IS INTERESTING AND/OR ENTERTAINING. You don't need to 'leverage' as much if you just write interesting content.

    Hello people. That's what media is. I'm a journalist so I may be 'old media' or whatever. But at the end of the day, people want to be entertained, not annoyed by buzzwords.

  • Lots of RT's for this one! One term I don't see here that might belong is "X .... is broken" - as you surely have noticed, everything suddenly is "broken" - except, apparently, social media douchebaggery.

  • Al

    And they do like to add a, "Let's fix it!" at the end.

  • dealsilicous

    I think No.1 should be ENGAGE with your audiences.... classic!

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