Social Media has taken over our lives like a storm. Almost, everybody is on social media, where they share a lot of information. It is not just individuals, but Companies run their business too on social media. Since, there is a huge repository of data available on social media, which can be accessed by anyone from anywhere, and sometimes duplicated too, it is very important to safeguard one’s private information from online thefts, threats and plagiarism. This is important for management of online reputation, brand identity and customer interactions.
As mentioned above, social media is full of business and personal information. Owing to its wide spread reach and accessibility, social media is also vulnerable due to Social Media Spam. Fake accounts, links and malicious information are the most common types of social media spams, which have plagued the Internet today. According to a study by Nexgate, during the first half of 2013, there was a growth of 355% of social spam on a typical social media account and it has been growing ever since.
What is Social Media Spam?
Social Media Spam is unwanted content on the social media or websites, along with user-generated content. It can be fake reviews, hate speeches, unparliamenraty comments, malicious links, insults, bulk data and similar things. Spammers can use fake profiles to attack Companies, brands and individuals. Research shows that they generally use more than one social media accounts to spam others. It has been found that they can have as many as 20 different accounts and fake profiles for spamming, at a time. Fake accounts usually, tend to post high volumes of data, unlike real accounts.
What are the types of Social Media Spam?
There can be different types of social spam. Some of the major types of spams has been briefly discussed below:
These links can harm a person’s profile or their device by downloading malware, which can access and steal personal information. These can also be the cause of virus attacks.
These are reviews from people, who have never used a product or service. Some Companies pay people to write positive reviews about their products and services.
These are sent to a huge number of people within a very short span of time. This can also lead to download of malware and advertising to direct the user to a site. This makes a topic trending so that you start believing in it.
This is spreading content like insults, hate speeches, false advertising to genuine users. Bots are often used to generate and send messages to new and existing users.
Clickbaiting and Lifejacking
Clickbaiting is basically a phenomena, where a headline is made so sensational that users will be tempted to click on it. But, when they reach the original site, there is either no content or something different than the headline. This is done to generate online revenue.
Lifejacking is posting a Facebook status or message on their wall without the knowledge of the user. They might think that they are just visiting the site, but when they click, it triggers a process in the background to share something, which you are not aware of.
What are the rules for marketers to deal with Social Media Spam?
Though, social spam is inevitable, there are ways to stop it and mitigate the damages with spam removal technologies and automated content scrutiny and moderation. Marketers need to be extra careful with their information on the social networks. The following guidelines might help them to deal effectively with social spam:
Focus on a niche:
Marketers should understand that a bit of social spam is unavoidable. Hence, rather than focussing on a huge number of accounts, they need to focus on reliable ones. They should encourage those who provide full and complete information. Keep a track on incomplete accounts and get rid of them.
Connect with real people:
Connect with people, who are genuine and transparent about their identity. Have a clear idea on who you are dealing with and identify your real followers. They can become your real prospects and can be your brand ambassadors too.
Know what your audience is looking for. Share the right mix of content, which helps you to effectively connect and interact with your customers, such that it has the potential to convert them as prospects. The kind of engagement also ensures that these trusted fans take your brand forward to their trusted groups.
Be honest with yourself:
Whenever you are calculating your success scale on social media, do not consider every click or every follower because some might be spam, yet others might be inactive accounts. So, take time to understand the true size of your audience.
Track inactive as prospective accounts:
Not all inactive accounts are spams or they will never contribute to your online presence. Think about how you can track those who matter, but might not be that verbose on the social media. These accounts can turn out to be your real prospects, who watch silently and make their decision.
As the Internet, social media and its users, are growing, so are the threats and people, who can harm your reputation and your business. So, it is very important to secure information as much as possible. If you ought to be in the public domain, you need to take necessary precautions from spammers and ensure your brand image is safe and sound.
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