Social spam has become synonymous with one of life’s inevitability.
Spam is considered junk emails, fake advertisements, deceptive comments on your social accounts, tagging on your social accounts to get products seen, and even some advertisements are becoming more spam-esque in their aggravating attack on your online life.
Facebook, Instagram, and other social sites are still the communication platform of choice for business individuals and personal brands. Since we rely on social to get our message across, we have to look at the very real issue of the spam problem — both from other users, ourselves, and advertisers.
We are going to dive into the problem by looking at how to combat the amount of spam you are bombarded with. These tips you can use to reduce the amount of spam you see on Facebook and other social sites.
Then we are going to dive into tips to avoid contributing to the problem yourself.
Some of the most prevalent spam scams are super easy to spot. They come in the form of a wall attack and will lead users to agree to install an application that requires you to authorize the app to post on your wall and your friends pages.
Be Cautious: Most of these scams will be easy to spot. They come in the form of comments like: “You have to watch this video!” Phrases that are super baiting are a sure sign of something fishy. Other times, the scams can replicate promotions or apps that really do exist.
Many scams are now using familiar names that bait you in. An example of this is a widely circulated a Southwest Airlines promotion in 2011 (Mashable.com).
A few things to keep in mind about these types of spam app attacks:
- Beware of short links that accompany text on your wall from people who don’t normally post links.
- Investigate or research any app that seems too good to be true before agreeing to install it.
- Pay attention to what apps you authorize to post to your wall.
If you do fall victim to one of these app spam attacks, be sure to follow these instructions:
Visit your Facebook privacy settings and click on the bottom section that says “Apps and Websites.”
You will see a listing of the most recently accessed apps from your account, select the offending app and remove it from your account.
Delete any messages posted by the app on your behalf and notify any friends that might have been spammed.
Also keep an eye out for popular scams and waves of attacks.
The IMU team will stay diligent at watching for these waves of attacks and post frequent updates to the IMU Biz Nation group as a valuable resource to you. The Sophos Naked Security blog is another great resource.
How to Moderate Spam Comments on Your Pages
As a precaution to its users, Facebook continues to beef up anti-spam efforts every year through the use of automatic spam filters. These filters gray out comments that Facebook thinks contain spam.
These filters do their job very well, but if you are concerned that too many unsolicited comments, or not enough genuine comments are showing up on your page, then you will want to go and visit your feed and double check what is being marked as spam and what is not.
When you are completing your feed audit you can mark comments that as spam that were not caught and you may also flag the account and report to Facebook.
SocialFresh provided a good overview of some options for page administrators in cutting down on spam.
If you are an administrator of any pages you can visit the settings and choose your options. One highlight is to alter the setting and choose a default that makes post views “Only Post by Page”. This prevents users from posting links in their wall posts. Because a lot of spam contains links, preventing links can also keep the spam at bay.
Use Caution when Allowing Apps to Use Information.
We have all experienced the app that will send spammy messages out to our friends on our behalf. How gross! Now we are also faced with rogue apps that grab access to your email and send you messages later. Double gross!
How to Avoid Being Victim: Investigate the settings. Does the app require an excessive amount of access to your profile? Is the app maker not very well known? Best bet is to avoid it all together. Nothing is worth your safety and sanity!
Now! Onto section II. And this one might get a tad personal.
Are you Spamming on Social Media and Scaring Your Customer Away?
You might be thinking that’s impossible. Your friends like you, you’re posting at most twice a day about your products, and you love the products! You know they help people!
How can that ever be considered spamming?
Here is where the hard part comes in, spam comes in many different forms. And honestly, our spam sensors are on such high alert these days that people will perceive spam even under the best intentions. So while we may never rid ourselves of a spam label completely, there are some tips we can adhere to in order to minimize the damage.
So let’s tackle social media, if someone who follows you sees only post after post of your products (or same exact information) on their timeline, they are likely to stop following you.
So how can you avoid having this effect with the followers of your social media marketing, while still posting enough to remain relevant?
To help us, let’s determine what your real reasons are for your business being on social media.
Before you get started in the next section, the IMU team has put together a downloadable guide to help you get your marketing plan and goals on paper. Grab your free access below:
Why is your business on social media?
For many businesses, the main reason for being on social media is simply that they think it’s the right thing to do. Yes, at IMU we absolutely agree that you should have some sort of social presence, none on that matters if you do not have a thought out plan to make social media part of your marketing and to help you achieve your goals as a business.
Individual goals are determined by the nature of your business, but as a general overview there will be several goals that any social media presence should be trying to achieve:
- To be discovered by potential new customers
- To become seen as an authority
- To build relationships with new and existing customers
- To get followers to take a defined action
- To drive traffic to your website
- To convert followers into paying customers
To give yourself the best chance of achieving these goals, and avoiding being seen as a spammer, you need to be posting just the right amount.
Don’t Overdo the Posting
Yes you love your product and the service is great! But, your audience only needs to hear from you a certain number of times per week. Too much and your marketing is marked spam and dead in the water.
You do of course want to remain relevant in your followers’ minds, but even posting at long intervals still gives your content, name, and logo a chance of being seen. Keep your posts to the 80 / 20 ratio per week. If you post 10 times a week 8 of those should be un-product or service related and 2 should be business marketing.
If you overload your followers’ walls with excessive posts they will unfollow you and once people have unfollowed you, they’re highly unlikely to follow you again.
So how, exactly, are you to find the right balance?
Remember the goals we outlined? Go back in and take a look at them. Write your answers down as to what type of posts will achieve each goal. (And remember to track your analytics! If something works, great! If it is not working, be proactive and quick to change it up).
From these answers you will have an optimized social media campaign that hits the targets you’ve set. The next step is to enlist the help of those who already have this knowledge.