It’s a SPAM world

9 12 2011

photo credit: Dave Parker

I am sure I spend way too much time on social media sites, but I do find social media as a phenomenon fascinating. And the ways that organisations use and abuse them, doubly fascinating. As a true tool of the people, social media sites are often difficult to understand and navigate for an organisation more used to controlling its content and how it is viewed and used. But common sense should prevail. Let the sermon / rant begin now!

On of my more recent annoyances is competitions that require you to send on to your friends in order to get an entry. Often these are through Facebook, but sometimes via email as well. Do my friends and acquaintances want me to be filling their inboxes and walls with advertising purporting to be personalised by me? I think not.

Often this is enough for me to exit the site and not enter the competition. If it was just asking to post to my wall, that would be fine, but not asking for the names of friends to send their message to. In many ways this is the latter-day version of Multi-Level Marketing or the party plan, where you turn all your friends into potential sales.

One recent exception to this annoyance was the David Jones version where the message you sent was a personalised Christmas card with the photo of your friend inserted into the photo. Note to retailers – an inexpensive giveaway such as this is much more effective than a straight sales message. The link is here.

My other pet SPAM hate is (again on Facebook), companies that send out messages saying “if you *Like* our page” or if you are the 1000th person to *Like* our page”…. Now surely they realise that the list of people they are sending this to are, in fact, people who have already *Liked* the page. So by definition, you are sending me a message that is not for me (unless you want me to *unlike* and *like* again? That hardly seems to meet the needs of the marketer).

Think people, think. Before you send a message, think about who you are sending it to. What do you want them to do? What is in it for them? Why should they do what you want?

If you are going to do marketing, please make it clever and relevant, not parasitic and annoying.

Sermon rant ends.