Are social networks doomed by SPAM?
According to Wikipedia, Spamming is:
“[T]he abuse of electronic messaging systems to indiscriminately send unsolicited bulk messages. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam and junk fax transmissions.”
But I think there’s a real simple way to define Spam: namely a marketing message that is irrelevant. As people like Nigel Hollis talk through the inability of marketers to effectively use social networking, an obvious question occurs: are they doomed by Spam?
The thing that normally makes Spam so irrelevant is that asks for the order when people are generally not looking to be sold. “Order this to enlarge your unit.” “Call us to get 50 million dollars.” Click here!
I blame the Internet. The Internet, as a marketing tool, is enticingly responsive. That person looking at a brand’s site, Facebook page, Twitter feed is tantalizingly close to buying something. One click in fact. So why not ask for the order?
Why not create a Facebook page and every time someone fans it, send them a Facebook message saying go buy our widget?
It won’t be unsolicited because the person became a Fan the page (or a follower of the Twitter feed, or a YouTube channel subscriber). And one could argue that the message is relevant for the same reason.
Clearly though, the person getting the message will not like it. And the person getting the message might actually think the brand that they loved enough to fan is spamming them.