Social Spam: The Silent Business Killer

by Adrienne Erin. 0 Comments

medium_155554663Email spam has always been something of an issue when it comes to marketing. If your company or business email accounts are compromised in some way, it can lead to hundreds – if not thousands – of your valuable contacts and customers receiving spam-heavy content. However, email spam is less detrimental than social spam. That is why it is important to take every precaution to protect any social accounts for your brand and business.

Why is social spam more harmful? It is because email spam is a one to one connection, whereas social spam is a one to limitless connection. In other words, when spam is passed through social media, every one of your followers can see it. That exposure is increased exponentially because most social accounts are wholly public. It doesn’t matter whether users are connected to their own social media account or not, everyone can see the spam content provided they have the appropriate link.

Protecting your social account doesn’t just mean preventing unauthorized access. Many social media users are unaware they are interacting with a fake account, social bot or spammy application. That holds true for business accounts too, and quite frankly it can be difficult picking out the real users from the fake ones sometimes.

How Bad is Social Media Spam?

According to a recent study by Nexgate, from January to June 2013, there was a 355 percent increase in social spam. In other words, the study found that not only is the amount of spam growing at an alarming rate, the methods in which it is distributed is too.

Nexgate found that one out of every 200 social media messages contain spam. The spam content can be linked to adult and NSFW material, malware and silly get-rich-quick schemes. They also found there was significant increase in “spamdexing,” which is when spam-heavy content is linked through a legitimate website in an effort to increase SEO rankings. The latter strategy is just as detrimental to a business or brand as direct spam, and should not be taken lightly.

The rate of spam is increasing every day, and if the results of the survey are any indication, the situation will only get worse with time.

What Does This Mean?

Quite frankly, it means nothing except you just need to watch out for spam. In fact, back in the day there were a lot of folks who would claim “spam will kill email,” or “social marks the end of email marketing.” None of these things are true, even if they do seem like valid claims. In the case of social spam, it’s not going to destroy social media, nor is it going to ruin marketing on such platforms. It will only affect the effectiveness of such marketing strategies.

The one thing we can be sure of is every brand or business using social media should take extra care to avoid being wrapped up in spam related activities.

Spam Can Come From Within

A common misconception among marketers and social media managers is spam comes from elsewhere. Unfortunately, that’s not always true. It is certainly possible for a business or brand to spam their followers.

There are several steps you can take to ensure you are not spamming yourself. If you want a great example of an internet marketing company using these strategies, take a look at the Harbor Internet Marketing site.

  1. Don’t overdo it on the marketing – some advertising and self-promotion is always necessary, but if you saturate your feed with spam heavy content, no one is going to follow your brand, and those who already do will simply unfollow.
  2. Engage with real people – sometimes it can be difficult to tell who’s real and who’s fake, especially on a platform like Twitter where the spam bots are very good at communicating. That being said, you should be extra careful to interact only with real accounts and those that are active.
  3. Viral exposure does not require a massive audience – You don’t need thousands and thousands of followers to have a successful social marketing strategy. In fact, a couple hundred loyal fans are plenty. If you can keep them engaged and active, they will do all the marketing work for you by sharing your content.
  4. Don’t ignore genuine interaction – if a customer reaches out to you through social media to tell about an experience they had, even if it has to do with customer support, do not write them off. Always respond in kind way, and be as helpful as possible. Remember, you are in the public eye at all times when using social media and that’s important.
  5. Don’t promote or advertise on other profiles and pages – save the marketing tactics for your own accounts and feeds, otherwise the content may be construed as spam.

Follow these simple guidelines, and you will have no problem keeping your own social accounts and profiles free from spam-heavy content.

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