12 Most Spammy Content on the Web

12 Most Spammy Content on the Web

Spamming has evolved well past unsolicited direct mail and email. Further, spammers are not just Nigerian princes anymore. We’re all spam targets and producers today and we increase the likelihood that we’ll become spammers with every new social network we register with.

So let’s take a minute to consider the 12 Most Spammy Content on the Web today and reflect on our own content strategies. Be honest with yourself.

1. #Hashtag #Hashtag #Hashtag

We all agree there is too much #content on the #Internet, too many #networks and not enough #time to #consume it all. Do we need to compound this by adding six #hashtags in a #tweet? You only have #140 characters to begin with. Too many #hashtags #reeks of #spam.

2. Irrelevant commercial content

Posting content about (for example) SEO in an online forum or Twitter chat about parenting equals bad form, spammy and incredibly poor content strategy. We see right through your self-promotion or sales efforts. We’re not as stupid as we may look.

3. Association spam

Randomly tagging or including the name of a prominent “Web celebrity” in your social content does not bring you more attention or increase your social “influence”(Klout-addicts pay attention!). In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll be viewed as a spammer, which will impact your “real-life” credibility and influence.

4. Stealth invitations

I’ve seen this a lot on LinkedIn where I’m invited to connect with someone or join a group with a note that “we’ve done business together,” worked together or are friends when in fact I’ve never heard of the person or association. Respect the medium and rules of the community. If you don’t know me, reach out on Twitter or call me. Don’t ask to be my friend on Facebook or for a connection on LinkedIn.

5. Multi-network-itis

I’m noticing a trend to connect with the same people across multiple networks, especially among the social marketing sect. Friendship, collaboration and conversations are great but run the risk of infecting you and your contacts with multi-network-itis, an ailment that has you spamming your friends with the same content across multiple networks. I myself have been afflicted by this bug, which has caused me to forget that I engage people in different networks for different reasons. And that I should respect that in what I share in each.

6. Deceptive titles

Yes! I’m interested in learning more about the impact of social media on HR practices… wait, what? When did this turn into a solicitation for consulting services? Be upfront about your intent. If you’re selling something — say it. If you’re promoting a cause — say so. If you want my support — ask for it. Don’t try and out-clever me through surreptitious campaigning.

7. Over-inviting

Sending blanket invites to everyone in your contact list (take note Facebook-addicts) is 100% guaranteed to receive a “decline” from me… and maybe an “unfriend” click. It tells me you’re not thinking of me, but yourself. You’re too lazy to consider if it’s right for me or if I’d care about the event. And if you’re not showing interest in my interests, why would I show any in yours?

8. Repetitive tweeting

I understand that the lifecycle of a tweet is short and that in our globally-connected environment we have time zones to consider so reposting tweets and links three times in a day to cover those factors might be considered acceptable. More than that and you’re probably spamming followers who do watch your stream more closely.

9. Fake events

Note: the launch of your next blog post is not an official “event” that requires invitations. Duh!

10. Soliciting “Likes”

The number one rule of sales is: ask for the business. When it comes to Likes, +1s, +Ks, etc. however, broadcasting requests for such action — or basically shaming people into it — makes you a social-spammer.

11. Automated, well, anything

Auto-DMs on Twitter in particular. No one can stand the invitations to view your most incredible, earth-shattering, must-see web site when we decide to follow you. I can’t believe people still do this. It’s so 2011.

12. Over-tagging

I noticed the other day that the “pictures of me” link on my Facebook account included an image of a llama. Huh? I know I need a haircut but surely it’s not that bad? What are my “friends” trying to tell me? If you wish to share an interesting picture — post it. If I’m following you, I’ll see it. If I’m not, clearly I don’t want to see it.

Did you recognize yourself in any of these? I did. Time to rethink, reset and re-engage.

Did I miss any? Please share what you consider social-spam in the comments below.

Featured image courtesy of  Thomas Hawk via Creative Commons.

Sam Fiorella

http://www.senseiwisdom.com/

Sam Fiorella is a globetrotting interactive marketing strategist who has earned his stripes over the past 20 years in senior management roles with corporate sales &marketing teams as well as consulting for more than 30 marketing agencies. Sam’s experience with over 1600 Interactive projects during the past 15 years spans the government, finance & insurance, manufacturing, national retail and travel/tourism sectors. Currently, Sam is the Chief Strategy Sensei at Sensei Marketing, where he is charged with strategic campaign guidance and marketing technology development that power the Sensei Customer Lifecycle Methodology. Sam is a respected blogger and popular keynote speaker on marketing, branding and social media communications having presented at more than 200 conferences in the past 2 years. Follow Sam on Twitter or Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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18 comments
bheyworth
bheyworth

Along with social media, careless automation with SEO often translates to S.P.A.M.

jenjarratt
jenjarratt

Thanks, Sam, I like all of these points. I never do anything with Twitter auto-DMs--I just think "oh, he/she is one of Those!" and mark as read. 

Recently noticed that crowdfunding pleas are becoming a source of spam, as is recruiting for one cause or another.


dbvickery
dbvickery

OK, #4 definitely drives me nuts when people say we've done business together. That is flat out unethical. Regarding #5, my general flow is Twitter first...then perhaps Facebook and/or LinkedIn depending upon our interactions. However, I *do* like connecting with folks on the other networks because the networks lend themselves to more in-depth discussions. I've established a high level relationship and truly hope to appreciate their humor or insight on Facebook/LinkedIn.

 

You know, I didn't have an auto-DM for quite awhile. I recently added one, but it was more to be grateful for the follow and to invite folks to engage in the public stream. No soliciting, but trying to be courteous.

 

Great points, Sam.

SEO Service
SEO Service

After reading this 12 spammy content ,i will definitely try to get rid of such a title and contents which do not follow the guidelines  and get into spam.Thanks Sam for sharing such a beautiful blog.

Kim Phillips
Kim Phillips

I am guilty of #5, on purpose, because I've noticed that some contacts are on, say, LinkedIn but hate Facebook. Very few are on Google+ (but they should be). So, I post on multiple networks, but I try to space them out on Facebook, because so many of my business page fans are personal friends. Not everybody sees every post on FB because of inattention, settings, whatever. I wait a couple of days or more to share links to my business blog from my business page to my personal page. 

DixieLil
DixieLil

 @samfiorella After reading this, I feel like I've been spammed up the proverbial "yin yang"!  What is the fine line between helping a fellow brother or sister out with "Likes" and +1's and votes in contests versus spam? Coming from the point of view of an fledgling entrepreneur or job seeker, could it then be called "lending a helping hand"? 

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

#6 is the WORST.  I wrote a blog post about Trick subject lines and I'm sure it was unanimous: clever works, ingenuousness never does.

samfiorella
samfiorella

 @dbvickery I may have to call you out on the auto-DM thing. The sentiment is nice but can anything automated really demonstrate your gratitude?

samfiorella
samfiorella

Very happy you found it useful. Thanks for the comment.

samfiorella
samfiorella

 @Kim Phillips Yes, #5 is the one I'm guiltiest of myself Kim. I do have a percentage of followers/friends who I'm connected with on multiple platforms and it is they who I try to not spam but doing so impacts those that I'm only connected to on one of the many networks I engage in.  Timing them out is a good strategy.

 

I also try to add a different comment/introduction based on the theme of the network to make it a bit more personal in each.

 

Thanks for joining the conversation

samfiorella
samfiorella

 @DixieLil  I don't believe showing your support for colleagues or businesses with Likes and +1's is spam. Publicly soliciting them on Twitter, etc I feel is.  (And don't get me started on those tweets announcing "thanks" for receiving +Ks!)

 

Earn the Likes/+1's by your actions, don't add more noice to the social stream by constantly begging for it.

BlueBirdBC
BlueBirdBC

 @AmyMccTobin Read your post - you are right, headlines can be false advertising and the culprits should be treated the same :-)

Actually that goes for misuse of #hashtags too - one of my pet peeves 

samfiorella
samfiorella

 @AmyMccTobin agreed. Pithy, clever play-on-words is interesting until you notice a discrepency with the content or message. You can't blame such markters for trying but you can surely block them and not buy their products.

dbvickery
dbvickery

 @samfiorella I really wrangled over it. When I first started, I responded to every follow with a personal DM. Then I read so much about people rarely even read DMs because they were generally spammy auto-replies, so I did nothing. But that seemed rude, so I rode the happy medium by trying to inject humor without selling anything. Here it is...

 

I don't always DM, but when I do, it's often to show appreciation for a new follower. Otherwise, let's look to engage in the public stream!

 

Cheesy, but better than crickets? And if it makes you think of the Most Interesting Man commercials, or drinking a beer, that should get bonus points, right?

Kim Phillips
Kim Phillips

 @samfiorella Good point about changing it up a bit. I've found that links appear differently on the various networks and I usually edit the words with each repost, but I'll think harder about that and about changing up the visuals.  Thanks!

 

BlueBirdBC
BlueBirdBC

 @dbvickery  @samfiorella I love the humor part and your DMs must stand out from the crowd because of that :-)

I just want to scream when I get those "follow me on Facebook too" DMs - many of my friends don't even look at their DMs anymore and you have to send them a tweet telling them.

dbvickery
dbvickery

 @Tweet4OK   @samfiorella  I don't have the bandwidth to "attempt" open conversations with everyone that follows. I spend more of my time blogging, curating content and commenting ;).

 

By "attempt" I had a decent case study going when I *was* writing a personal DM to every follower...and I rarely got anything back other than the canned "Follow me on Facebook". With this light and humorous auto-DM, if someone responds, I then can start a dialogue.

 

Otherwise, DMs are saved for people with whom I regularly engage. Even then, you eventually get tired of the 140 characters at a time and move over to Facebook messaging, LinkedIn messages or email.

BlueBirdBC
BlueBirdBC

@dbvickery @samfiorella Rather than sending a thank you DM wouldn't it be better to openly start a conversation? I'm much happier with my DMs since I found a way to avoid most auto DMs

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