Splash Media U And Pete Aspen | A Twitter Mystery

magnum pi

Digital investigator.

Mr Pete Aspen recently tweeted me the following question:

do you know if @splashmediau is a good place for a newbie to learn how to become a social media manger?

Now I always click into the profiles of those who have taken the time to tweet me (especially if I’m asked to give an opinion on something). I’ve heard of Splash Media in the past and thought Mr Aspen had tracked me down due to my very previous role as a social media manager.

After scrolling through every one of Mr Aspens 1,906 tweets (at the time of writing this afternoon), it became evident though that all he’s doing is asking the same question about social media training and certification programmes.

However, nearly 25% of all tweets (448) references @splashmediau.

Note the timestamps on the right hand side of the tweets below:

peteaspen automated

Nothing wrong in using timed tweets as to not overload your followers or even strategically ensure it’s when most of them are online, but something is not right here.

As an experiment I engaged Mr Aspen with a reply to try and gain a response:

peteaspen reply

I heard nothing back (as of yet).

There are two conclusions to be made, either:

  • Mr Aspen is using Twitter as a micro-advisory or research platform, tweeting on only one topic / question in an attempt to gain insights for what could be a myriad of reasons; or
  • Mr Aspen is a poor automated attempt by @splashmediau to highlight their services

If it is the former then surely @splashmediau (who would be seeing his tweets they are mentioned in) should be all over Mr Aspen to either demonstrate their services (as he’s an obvious customer) or kindly asking him to refrain from referencing them constantly because he’s certainly not helping their reputation.

If it is the latter… well, you make up your mind. Maybe there’s a third reason. What do you think is happening here my little Magnums?

By the way, Mr Aspen and @splashmediau, the floor is yours, feel free to comment below as well.

Image credit to magnum-mania

UPDATE (a few hours later): take a look at the first (right at the botom) and seventh followers of our friend Mr Aspen:
peteaspen followers

UPDATE (10.11.12): As you can from the comment and this tweet below, there has been a response:

pete aspen response

What do you guys think now?

Related post: BlackBox SocialMedia | Automated Communication


  1. If it is the Splash Media folks it could be because it was founded by some direct marketing fellows who are now applying those sets of skills to this new medium – then again and like you say, maybe it is some random guy collecting information because he too is also launching a similar service…

    Looking forward to what both entities have to say – as teachers of social they know the value in responding in comments to such posts ;-)

  2. Hi DK,

    We were pleasantly surprised that our engagement test got more than the typical reply (or no reply). Since we teach social media to businesses, we find a lot of value in measuring response rates, so we’ve had this test running for a while.

    Enjoyed looking through some of your speaking engagement videos – hopefully we can collaborate at some point soon!

    The Splash Media U Team

    P.S. – Stacey, you nailed it – we definitely encourage comments by brands whenever possible :)

    1. Wow – seriously, they admitted it?!?!? And these guys ‘teach’ and ‘certify’ social media courses?!?!? Good on them for ‘fessing up but come on, this is spamming!

    2. This strategy is having a negative impact on peoples trust. Not until someone asks you questions are you honest about who you are and what you’re doing?!

    3. Thank you SMU Team for taking the time to respond and for your honesty.

      re: engagement – have always guided clients around the idea that it comes from being authentic (real / transparent) and one of the indicators of success would be positive action. Whether that be sharing, liking, replying, participating etc.

      re: the ‘engagement test’ – how have you evaluated the automated tweet campaign (as the response rate seems non-existent in terms of replies)?

      Thanks for checking out some of my stuff and for the kind words. Will be visiting the states next year if you want to explore that collaboration.

      If you’re game, lets explore a session with your clients as we can both discuss our different strategies of how to add value using social media platforms and tactics (even would relish the opportunity to broaden your ideas around being human and what’s effective automation).

      Back to you good sirs / ladies.

  3. Thanks DK – happy to explore that collaboration even if we can only manage it digitally for now :)

    To give you some insight, the response rate from these tweets was 27%. In other words, about 1 in 4 tweets got a response. Interestingly, the tweets that mentioned Splash Media U had a higher response rate – 31%.

    If I may address Stacey and Ela, we do tell clients and students that human, SOULful interaction is of primary importance. But as a service provider, we need to know what kinds of messages, interactions, questions, etc. work best so that we can pass on that knowledge.

    1. Again, wow – what a god awful attempt to legitimise their actions – there’s nothing soulful about this course of action. It’s called SPAMMING!

      I can get a 25% response rate from walking up to folks in the street and asking them questions (75% will think TIME WASTER).

      It’s about respecting the space through authentic engagement then adding value, not hiding intentions and identity to illicit random responses all in the name of selling services.

      If anything DK, at least you now have a response to the original question as to whether SplashMediaU is a good place to learn… if you want to learn how to try and sell badly!

      Is this their next service:


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