So, you’re probably reading this because you want to know how to spam people the “right way”. Right?
The #1 Best, Ultimate, Fantastical Tip for Spamming on Social Media
Don’t. Spam. People. Ever.
Today’s Version of Social Media Spam
The majority of people have grown wise to not opening penis enlargement and Prince of Nigeria emails, well, at least I hope so. BUT there’s a couple ways businesses or individuals like to “spam” their followers/connections on social media. Let’s take a lil’ looksie, specifically at Twitter and LinkedIn, to see what’s up.
The Automated Direct Message
You know that message you get when you follow someone on Twitter? The automated direct message that says “Thank you so much for the follow, find more info. about me at blah blah blah…” Yeah, frustrating and for some, it’s almost a signal to immediately hit unfollow. Nobody wants to engage with automated messages. I don’t care if you think it’s effective, it hurts your brand and should NOT be a tactic used.
If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about, here are some examples I’ve received in my personal Twitter direct message inbox.
The “I know it’s automated, sorry”
This is a great example of someone using an automated reply tool, and quite common. I hate getting these because 1) don’t apologize if you’re not sorry and 2) I don’t care about you yet, I just followed you because I thought you were interesting…
Result: Immediate unfollow.
The “obviously this is automated, I didn’t even look at your profile yet”
Hey, Brandon, if you want the URL of my blog, you’d see that it is in my Twitter profile, so maybe you should actually be interested and look at it first before messaging me asking me to send you the link. You’re not interested in getting to know more about me, you just want me to care about you and your 2 million visitor blog.
Result: Immediate unfollow.
The “here’s a great offer”
So some of you might be confused why I’d hate getting an offer like a one day pass to some gym. Lemme break it down: I don’t tweet about fitness, I’m not really one of those “I went to the gym but if I don’t tweet about it it never happened” type of people. So, I don’t really know where they’re seeing my “passion for fitness”. And yeah, my one day pass I’m sure will lead to more sales messaging and I’m not really down with that.
Result: Immediate unfollow.
The Alternative to The Automated DM
So if you can’t DM, how are you supposed to connect with your Twitter followers? Easy, don’t send an automated anything directly to them, this includes automated “Thanks for the follow” tweets. Go through their timeline, actually read what they’re posting, comment, share, etc., and do this consistently.
You’d be surprised how a little flattery or sharing of content goes a long way on Twitter. It’s kind of like meeting new people, you’re not going to automatically hand them your business card before saying an actual “Hello.”, and if you do hand out business cards like that, um, please stop.
LinkedIn InMail Spamming
Treat LinkedIn like it’s own separate channel, it’s not Facebook, don’t post your stupid selfies… And don’t send people messages with shit they don’t care about.Stop posting stupid selfies on LinkedIn, it's not Instagram or Facebook. Click To Tweet
The “fake conversation sales pitch”
When people connect on LinkedIn, the last thing they want is an InMail selling them something or, even if you’re not selling them something, they don’t want a message that sounds like you’re going to pitch them. If you are genuinely interested in building a connection, be genuine about it, not “Hey, thanks for connecting! Tell me more about yourself!”. Duh, you can go on my LinkedIn, go to my website, check out my social media, etc. to learn more about me.
Here’s an example of a sales message I received:
Upon connecting with him, that’s the immediate message I received. From his first message, you can already tell he’s after something.
The “send a mass InMail to connections” (brought to you by NEBA – North Edmonton Business Association)
As I said earlier, LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. Sending a mass message to your LinkedIn connections is a no no. It’s not a best practice, just because you’ve connected with them doesn’t mean they want to get your spammy message.
Here’s an example of one I received in February, don’t mind my amazing image editing:
There are a couple things wrong with this message or with NEBA’s (North Edmonton Business Association) LinkedIn approach in general.
First of all, the account for this particular business association, NEBA, isn’t set up as a Business Page, it’s set up as an actual personal profile. So, you’re not actually following the company, you’re a connection of theirs.
You’ll see that this message was sent to myself and 40 other people. When I noticed that 40 people also received the same message, it’s an instant eye roll. I don’t want to be on this list, with big InMail groups, every time someone responds, you get a notification. Please stop taking over my LinkedIn notifications.
Instant eye roll = peeved. I left an annoying comment to the entire group NEBA started and left the conversation.
In response to my message, I got another direct InMail from NEBA North Edmonton Business Association:
Actually, my message regarding spam wasn’t even referring to CASL. It was referring to the tactic of sending 41 people a message about promoting your event. And if NEBA North Edmonton knew their connections, they’d know that most likely the majority of them are already subscribed to their email list. If they had set up their LinkedIn account correctly as what it is, a BUSINESS page, and not a PERSONAL account, they could control messaging more and actually put some spend behind their spammy messaging tactic. (See LinkedIn Sponsored InMail.)
Oh and also, here’s the kicker, after I sent the spam complaint NEBA unfollowed me on Twitter. SO profesh, bros.
The Alternative to LinkedIn InMail Spam
If there’s anything I learned from my LinkedIn homegirl, Viveka von Rosen, “When you message someone, make it conversational. Don’t do a sales pitch in a message.” And yes, people who are constantly InMailing people with sales pitches are ruining it for people who actually want to have a conversation, this is why the majority of people are leery of adding people they don’t know on LinkedIn.
To Spam on Social Media or Nah?
If you just fast forwarded through the post in typical internet scanning fashion, the learning is: DO NOT SPAM PEOPLE. EVER. Take into consideration all you’ve read about email marketing, a personalized message has a strong open rate. So, sending a generic message to people on social media shows you’re lazy and don’t really give af about annoying them.
Also, another learning, don’t let n00bs (ahem, NEBA), who think any of the above are good tactics, handle your social media marketing.
BONUS! Want to know what pet peeves people have about companies on social media? Check out my YouTube video.
Wanna chat more about other tactics that are actually successful? Shoot me a message. As long as it’s not a mass email, I’ll most likely respond.