What To Do … When Facebook Spam Hits Your Wallby sierratierra on Jun 27, 2011
Effective moderation of online communities can result in an increase of comments that benefit the community as well as a marked decrease of those comments that derail or attack the community.
Intel’s social media policyuses the motto “The Good, The Bad, but not The Ugly” to frame its moderation of user comments:
Whether content is pre-moderated or community moderated, follow these three principles: the Good, the Bad, but not the Ugly. If the content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation [emphasis mine], then we approve the content, regardless of whether it’s favorable or unfavorable to Intel. But if the content is ugly, offensive, denigrating and completely out of context, then we reject the content.
Spam certainly falls into the “completely out of context” category. Most of us are familiar with spam in our e-mail inboxes. In the world of social media, spam posts or comments intend to drive traffic away from your online community and onto another Website for the purpose of making a sale or giving exposure to another product or idea. These posts rarely, if ever, make a direct association made between your online community and their Website.
The next time you receive something “spammy,” consider the following:
- Does the post address you by name?
- Does it make reference to your content?
If so, that post made an attempt to initiate a conversation with you. If the post did none of the above, consider it a Facebook “robocall” — an unwanted, unpersonalized announcement that is most likely posted on a number of other fan pages.
On Facebook, you have the ability to flag posts or comments that can be considered spam. On Twitter, you can block followers who are spammers. Use these features when appropriate: set the tone early that you don’t spam your online community — and that you expect the same courtesy from your community members.
Some comments might not be as clearly identified as spam, but don’t seem particularly on topic. In this case, a community manager can advise the poster to direct her/his question or idea to the company via e-mail. The community manager can provide a generic company email for this purpose. If these comments are on Facebook, a community manager might suggest that the poster repost her/his comment to the Discussions tab. Some community managers may wish to provide these posters with links to other online communities that are a more appropriate fit for their queries/comments/posts.
The bottom line: you want to host a community of people who respect each other’s time and opinions. The happier community members are, the more apt they are to interact and refer others to your site. Effective moderation of comments can encourage all of that to happen.
Photo credit: iStockphoto®, ©kabliczech, Spam.