Is 2014 the Year of Social Spam?

Laura Ginn

There’s no doubt that internet spam is on the rise, with it finding a nice comfy home in the world of social media during 2013. We’re all used to seeing spam on the internet, but before last year, a spam sighting on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site was fairly rare. Unfortunately that all changed last year, with a reported 355% rise of spam on social media sites during the first half of the year. So what does this mean, other than a poor user experience? Well, it depends on whether or not you are being spammed or not. Traditionally, spam would come in mail format, and bother just you. Now, spammers can target your social media sites, and hit all of your followers, which in turn of course hits you.

Spam and Your Brand

It’s clear that spam can harm your brand. What you present on your social media sites is designed to appeal to your followers, so you can imagine what they think of a spam post finding its way to them. It’s regarded either as a turn off, or worse still, as something that is backed by your own company.

Different Types of Social Spam

At the moment we are seeing a wide variety of different types of social spamming. Normally it is text and link spam which is hitting social media sites, but we’re also coming up against fake accounts, and fairly often, like-jacking, and social bots, all designed to reach your followers. At the moment, statistics tell us that around 5% of any apps found on social media are spammy, and a remarkable 15% of URL’s contained in social spam posts have embedded links which reach out to spam sites, such as pornography or malware. The repercussions for your business are huge if these spammers hit your social pages.

How Can We Guard Against Social Spam?

Of course, knowing all of this doesn’t make it easy to deal with. A watchful eye and frequent visits to all of your social media sites will always help to a degree, and give you a chance to get rid of unwanted spam posts, but it only takes a few seconds for someone to mistakenly click a link on your social media site, and once this has been done, so has the damage. Another option is to go in search of spam removal programs designed specifically for individual social media sites, which can work very well, if you choose the right ones. Again, they are not fool proof, so it’s sometimes in the lap of the gods.

Possibly the very best defence against spam posts on your social networking sites is through incredibly active social accounts, where large levels of trust are generated between you and your followers. By achieving this, any nefarious posts will hopefully be ignored by your followers, safe in the knowledge that you would never post anything unrelated to your niche.

The internet has always been fighting a battle with spammers, and it seems with every new web trend comes a new way of spamming it. Stay true to the right methods of behaviour on the internet, and retain high levels of communication with your followers through social media, and you can hopefully ensure you don’t fall foul of the spam brigade!