Content Marketing, Guest Posts, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Tools, Blogging and Content Creation, Social Media Marketing

Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World?

IndraGardiner.jpeg Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World?Guest post by Indra Gardiner (@bgindra), President of Bailey Gardiner in San Diego. An award-winning PR and marketing pro, she leads BG’s social media efforts and writes on their Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid Blog.

There’s always someone who wants to ruin it for everyone else. Know what I mean? And in the world of social networks and the Internet I find that to be particularly true. The whole foundation of social networking is the intrinsic understanding that you and I are being transparent about who we are, that we respect the community’s environment and desires and will use our time there “socially”.

social media spam 300x239 Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World?Of course, marketers, like me, have infiltrated social media and use it to our client’s advantage. However, we do so with utter trepidation that if we are not “social”, that if we overtly use the medium for blasting our message out whether a community wants us there or not, we will get squashed. Just like a cockroach that no one wants around.

But there are people out there who don’t care about the agreed-upon structures of a community. They have a message to blast out, damn it, and they are going to do it one way or another. They’re the ones that could ruin it. And they worry me.

Here are some examples I have seen that concern me:

  1. Someone posts something to a forum that is too promotional in nature. The community manager takes it down, asks them nicely not to use the forum for their promotion. So they come back the next day or a couple of days later with a new name, same spammy message. If they’re really stupid, they keep using the same IP so it’s easy to tell it’s the same person.
  2. Same thing happens on blogs in the comment section.
  3. People retweet a message only when they’ve changed the message from it’s original intent to support their position or message. That’s pretty low and can get out of control really quickly.
  4. The thousands of “false” Twitter profiles that are just looking to push spam. You check them out when they follow you and end up wasting your time.

Despite that last item, one of the reasons I love Twitter is that unlike email, I can pretty much control whose message I see. I’m hoping that the bright shining light of the community will continue to spotlight the spammers, stalkers and trolls who try to ruin our online fun. If we don’t continue to stay vigilant to their efforts and call them out, I worry that our communities will fray.

Though perhaps in our social world it’s not possible to be a successful spammer. Maybe the social community’s tagline should be – You Can Spam. But You Can’t Hide.

What kind of spamming are you seeing in social networks? Does it get called out when it happens?

(photo by dok1)

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  • Anonymous

    Indra — excellent post. You’re right, there are always people that will try to take advantage. Spam filters help us out on our email, social media just requires us to be a little more dilligent. I will block anytime I get the auto-respond to a follow or too much “me me me” in the twitter stream. I want quality not quantity and am happy to do what’s necessary to make sure that happens.

  • http://www.hmapr.com Abbie S. Fink

    Indra — excellent post. You’re right, there are always people that will try to take advantage. Spam filters help us out on our email, social media just requires us to be a little more dilligent. I will block anytime I get the auto-respond to a follow or too much “me me me” in the twitter stream. I want quality not quantity and am happy to do what’s necessary to make sure that happens.

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  • http://twitter.com/andrewfreeman/status/3127768142 andrewfreeman

    RT @jaybaer: @bgindra asks “Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World?” http://ow.ly/hDua

  • http://www.armentdietrich.com/ Gini Dietrich

    Hi Indra! Great post! The other thing I would add to this, though not necessarily spam, is that social media gives people a voice…even if it’s a not nice or not professional voice. It’s important for everyone to remember that this is about relationships, and forging new friendships. We are all human beings and, just because you can post something anonymously, you don’t have the right to be mean, spiteful, or unprofessional. Just like you would not say hurtful things to a person’s face, remember that in the social media world.

    • http://www.baileygardiner.com/ Indra Gardiner

      Indeed Gini. I think the Internet provides a channel for people who are afraid to speak their truth publicly. They can tear companies or people down with immunity by hiding behind anonymity. While I love many aspects of social media, it can be a mean and unforgiving place at times.

  • http://www.armentdietrich.com Gini Dietrich

    Hi Indra! Great post! The other thing I would add to this, though not necessarily spam, is that social media gives people a voice…even if it’s a not nice or not professional voice. It’s important for everyone to remember that this is about relationships, and forging new friendships. We are all human beings and, just because you can post something anonymously, you don’t have the right to be mean, spiteful, or unprofessional. Just like you would not say hurtful things to a person’s face, remember that in the social media world.

    • http://www.baileygardiner.com Indra Gardiner

      Indeed Gini. I think the Internet provides a channel for people who are afraid to speak their truth publicly. They can tear companies or people down with immunity by hiding behind anonymity. While I love many aspects of social media, it can be a mean and unforgiving place at times.

  • http://twitter.com/bgindra/status/3129447231 Indra Gardiner

    @bgindra: Have a guest post up on Convince & Convert blog – Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World http://bit.ly/DU4ao >oops

  • http://twitter.com/abbief/status/3129658446 Abbie S. Fink

    good stuff. RT @bgindra: Have a guest post up on Convince & Convince blog – Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World http://bit.ly/DU4ao

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  • http://twitter.com/tzione/status/3130969031 Elie Klein

    RT @jaybaer RT @bgindra asks "Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World" http://ow.ly/hDua #Twitter #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/justice_for_all/status/3131159190 M Muchnik

    RT @TzionE RT @jaybaer RT @bgindra GOOD ARTICLE ABT ADVRT"Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World" http://ow.ly/hDua #Twitter #socialmedia

  • http://twitter.com/rareed/status/3131603088 Bob Reed

    RT @tweetmeme Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World? | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/2sLsP

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  • http://twitter.com/hmilesaustin/status/3135746158 Heather Austin

    RT @tweetmeme Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/2sLsP

  • http://twitter.com/ndefalco/status/3136584158 Nicole DeFalco

    Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/2sLsP When will the spammers learn the futility of their actions

  • http://twitter.com/bruins_fan09/status/3137218741 Tyler Colby

    RT @jaybaer Interesting mini-rant from @bgindra who wonders whether Spam Can Survive in a Social Media World http://ow.ly/hDun

  • http://twitter.com/avivagabriel/status/3141821277 avivagabriel

    RT @ndefalco: Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World When will the spammers learn the futility of their actions http://bit.ly/2sLsP

  • http://twitter.com/mogiseo/status/3142185260 MOGI

    RT @tweetmeme Can Spam Survive in a Social Media World | Guest Posts | Social Media Consulting – Convince & Convert http://bit.ly/2sLsP

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  • http://twitter.com/rebeccadenison/status/3145285759 Rebecca Denison

    @bgindra suggests spam cannot survive in SM world http://tinyurl.com/nruae5 Agreed! Hard to hide with so much visibility!

  • http://www.baileygardiner.com/ Jason

    Great question, Indra! I think the answer depends largely upon the outcome of the ongoing struggle between online privacy, and online reputation.

    The web is becoming almost unavoidably social – if things keep going the way they’re going, every bit of info you contribute, whether it’s a comment, tweet, review, etc. will be traceable back to you personally. (I have mixed feelings about this)

    With your reputation increasingly becoming the coin of the realm online (just look at the level of influence Digg’s top posters have, for example), those who gain the reputation of pushing spammy content will be treated like lepers – excluded and shut out of the most fertile congregations, before they even have the opportunity to peddle their unwanted information.

    Unless, of course, privacy wins out, and online anonymity is preserved, in which case, people will continue to take advantage, and intrude in our lives with unwelcome messaging.

  • http://www.baileygardiner.com Jason

    Great question, Indra! I think the answer depends largely upon the outcome of the ongoing struggle between online privacy, and online reputation.

    The web is becoming almost unavoidably social – if things keep going the way they’re going, every bit of info you contribute, whether it’s a comment, tweet, review, etc. will be traceable back to you personally. (I have mixed feelings about this)

    With your reputation increasingly becoming the coin of the realm online (just look at the level of influence Digg’s top posters have, for example), those who gain the reputation of pushing spammy content will be treated like lepers – excluded and shut out of the most fertile congregations, before they even have the opportunity to peddle their unwanted information.

    Unless, of course, privacy wins out, and online anonymity is preserved, in which case, people will continue to take advantage, and intrude in our lives with unwelcome messaging.

  • http://twitter.com/jessekanclerz/status/3210301124 Jesse Kanclerz

    Can spam survive in the social media world? http://cli.gs/0SMj08

  • http://www.tigertwo.co.uk/ Nancy Williams

    Great post. It breaks my heart to see how social media is being commandeered and abused by people who just want to use it as a broadcast medium. Since Twitter has gone mainstream, more people have chosen to use it ignoring how powerful it can be for personal relationships and conversation, and only sending broadcast, spammy messages which we don’t want to hear.

    I think people will always take advantage because they see it as the quick and easy ‘get rich quick’ solution. It takes a lot of work to establish a relationship. It takes very little to fire out an unwanted message to thousands and thousands of people.

  • http://www.tigertwo.co.uk Nancy Williams

    Great post. It breaks my heart to see how social media is being commandeered and abused by people who just want to use it as a broadcast medium. Since Twitter has gone mainstream, more people have chosen to use it ignoring how powerful it can be for personal relationships and conversation, and only sending broadcast, spammy messages which we don’t want to hear.

    I think people will always take advantage because they see it as the quick and easy ‘get rich quick’ solution. It takes a lot of work to establish a relationship. It takes very little to fire out an unwanted message to thousands and thousands of people.

  • http://twitter.com/tigertwo/status/3429332125 Nancy Williams

    Spam still exists in a social media world – and we still all hate it. Don’t be one of these people http://bit.ly/TB9kf

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