The well-respected publication Direct Marketing News recently noted that ever-growing amounts of spam are assaulting social media users.
No disrespect to DMN, but…this is hardly news.
If you use LinkedIn, you’ve probably been spammed, and you may have noticed spam on the site has morphed quite a bit recently.
What’s going on? Well, spam (untargeted and unsolicited emails) has always been an issue. Today, given the widespread popularity of social media, so-called spammers have uncovered ways to target millions of new people with unwanted marketing messages…people they may never have been able to reach via email alone.
LinkedIn: A Spammer’s Paradise?
Today’s spammers are smarter and more tool-rich than ever. That email may appear to be from a friend, a network connection, or even a family member; in other words, someone you trust. You may find it more difficult to determine whether to open the email or click on its links. This is exactly what the spammer is hoping for – that you will be so busy/distracted/worn out/multi-tasking that you’ll just make the click.
Spam Erodes Trust
Sure… getting hacked, triggering a virus, or having your data stolen are horrible scenarios. But the real loss is the loss of trust. Social media users trust their beloved platforms less with each spammy email that gets through, and brands advertising on social media sites must fight harder to earn both the trust of consumers and their dollars.
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What Modern Spam Looks Like
Just today, I received 5 such spammy emails on LinkedIn. Here’s a quick sampling:
“My wife’s company is going for a grant, and they won’t qualify if they can’t get 166 more likes on their company Facebook page. Won’t you take a second to like the page?”
“I’m reaching out to introduce Susie Smith, the CEO of XYZ Company. Susie offers advertising solutions for the blah-blah sector, helping these industries identify marketinglanguageIdon’tcareabout. I’d love to facilitate an introduction between you and Susie. I believe you have a lot to discuss!”
My MBA teammates and I are conducting some research on BigMultinationalNonProfits and would greatly appreciate your thoughts. This won’t even take 5-minutes and we’d be very grateful for your support! …link to a mind-numbing survey…
How to Fight Spam on LinkedIn
The DMN article points out that the onus is on marketers to build and maintain trust. This means being ever more vigilant in our network building activities.
5 Tips for Dealing with LinkedIn Spam
1) Don’t connect to people you don’t know. I am all for growing your network, but if someone with no picture, no profile information, no group activity, and no professional reason to connect to you invites you to connect… why?
2) Don’t connect to members whose profiles have no pictures. As well, look carefully at that picture. Is it a family, or a guy with his dog? Do the people look like stock photo models? The no-pic profile indicates its owner is not ready to mingle. The member who refuses to post a clear, full-faced, close-up picture is not someone I would do business with. And the stock photo pic is highly suspect as a spam tactic. Think twice and check the person out a bit further.
3) Don’t respond to emails that “smell bad”. It’s like giving the local house burglar your keys. Don’t let the spammers in so easily! Even if the sender’s intentions are not to spam you, an unwanted, unsolicited email is just that.
4) Don’t accidentally encourage LinkedIn members to spam each other by using the LinkedIn email feature to promote your own products and services outright.
5) Use proper LinkedIn engagement channels like InMail, 3rd party connections, group engagement, etc. Not fond of how business gets done on LinkedIn? Choose another channel.
For more help with LinkedIn spam, or to learn more about authentic LinkedIn engagement strategies, please contact me at 610-616-3576 or email@example.com. (Yes, .co, not .com)
Victoria Ipri teaches small businesses how to use LinkedIn for stronger networks, greater visibility and real lead generation. Her phone mentoring program is popular among solopreneurs, and small businesses across the globe enjoy Victoria’s webinars and hands-on LinkedIn training seminars. She is the author of LinkedIn For The Clueless, available on Amazon. You can reach Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-616-3576. Watch for her new website, coming soon!