Is Your Small Business Social Media Marketing Campaign Spamming the Internet?

social media marketing
Social media marketing or spamming?
Spam has been an issue in the Internet for quite a long time. Are you spamming the Internet with your small business’ social media marketing campaign?

Spam, in essence, is the act of delivering, broadcasting or sending unsolicited messages to a large group of people. Spam is a word intended to be negative, but no matter how bad the connotation of ‘spam’ we often do it intentionally or unintentionally for the benefit of our business.

In fact, just like debts, there are good spams and bad spams. To me, good spams are actually offering something valuable to people, despite being unsolicited. Bad spams are, well, bad – sending junk e-mails to someone you don’t know, etc.

The amazing fact of spam is that most of us, who are doing Internet marketing, including social media marketing, spam the web intentionally. Some real life example of spamming via your social media marketing campaign:

  • Sending the same Twitter updates to your Twitter account followers multiple times.
  • Doing directory submission, social bookmarking, search engine submission, blog commenting, forum posting, classified ad submission, etc.
  • Adding as many as Facebook friends as possible, as long as it makes sense and still on-topic.

You see, many of us do just that; I am also considered myself as someone who are in the borderline or grey area. I do bookmark my own articles; I do promote my sites and their content to social sites; however, I don’t send junk e-mails or something like that. All in all, I somewhat spam the system, not the people.

But then, who doesn’t?

If you search using Google, you might notice that the top results shown for your typed-in phrase are most probable from unknown sites that contain some scraped content from the original source (still ethical, as they mention proper attribution to the original source, well at least most of them do it,) auto-published content from other sources, keyword-optimised content, etc. They can even rank better than the original sources!

If you read your Twitter followers’ updates, you might find that 90 percent of them are either promotional or automated tweets. Not much real conversation is going on, especially if your Twitter account is for your business purpose.

Am I spamming the social sites?

I honestly am. My intention is to get the buzz on what I’m updating about.

Right after this article gets published, I will start my social media marketing campaign for the article – I will use my ‘megaphone’ to get the word out about my article.

One of the respectable Twitterers I follow even retweets (re-post updates) a couple of times a day on the same content he published for some time ago.

The question: Is he spamming? In my humble opinion, yes. BUT, as long as his followers have an option to stay away from him (unfollow him,) I don’t think his updates will bother anymore.

Spamming is a form of marketing, and marketing does involve spamming, whether you like it or not. In term of social media, there are so much thing going on, but I can conclude one thing: Social media sites deliver. They bring your content targeted visitors who are interested to logon to your content.

I come into a conclusion that spamming – to a certain degree, in grey area – is needed to get the word out. Social media marketing is just like handling out flyers to passer-bys in the off line world.

A question: Is handing over flyers on a busy street considered spamming? My answer: In my opinion, yes. Why? Because it’s unsolicited (are the flyers handed out after you ask for the passer-bys a permission? Mostly, no) and it’s directed to a large group of people.

What do you think about the spam issues in social marketing campaign – are you doing it? Do you, to a certain degree, spam the social sites? Are you hateful toward spams? Please share your thought by commenting on this article.

Ivan Widjaya
Social media marketing
Image: Rosaura Ochoa