From time to time it can be advantageous to do a little house cleaning. Perhaps your bedroom, like mine often is, is a disaster area that needs a bit of TLC to make it “presentable”. Maybe you have company coming over for dinner and you want to make sure your house is in tip-top shape. Whatever the case may be, a little housekeeping is necessary.
But just like your home or apartment, your brand needs a bit of that as well. Monitoring spam is certainly the best way to go about doing this, especially if you have a blog or a general comments page on your site. But how often should you grab that virtual broom and go to town on a serious cleaning-frenzy? Where do you target?
Let’s break it down piece by piece with some tips, why you should do a little cleaning and how it benefits your brand.
This is probably first and foremost on your list and if it isn’t than it should be.
Most of you who contribute or run a blog that gets a bit of traffic certainly have run into the spam at one time or another. Typically, it’s a comment on your site that says something about your content without actually addressing the topic directly.
Something to the effect of ;
“Wow, such great information on this topic i had not thought about. I like to reference this site. Great content”
Weed these out, it can make your blog look less interactive than more interactive. Furthermore, spam comments have one purpose, to pass a link on your website. Sometimes they can hide the link in the “name” of the person posting it, sometimes they link a word in the comment or just blatantly paste a URL in the comment itself.
Keep in mind that most people who are legitimately going to comment on your blog, will directly mention your topic. They also may not sit there and rave about the content. Weed them out. The less spam is on your site/blog the better.
Spam comments can have a negative impact on your traffic but also your rankings. The last thing you want is for a search engine to think you are advocating a spam-website. No bueno!
Facebook Fans & Twitter Followers
Pretty much the largest task to manage. Not going to lie, this takes a lot of time and dedication. But it’s extremely beneficial for many reasons. Most of you cannot control who follows you, but you should take a more proactive approach in managing it.
The misconception on Twitter and with Facebook is that “more = more” and a culture of “quantity over quality” exists. People broadly think Twitter and Facebook numbers is a direct reflection on how much people really dig their stuff. While that certainly has some truth in it the reason they “like” you is for differing reasons.
- Some People just follow you to get a follow back, they have no interest in your content
- Some people just create spam profiles and merely want to DM you spam
The most important factor to keep in mind for why you should clean up your followers on Twitter and your fans on Facebook; hackers. Hackers spamming your page are in one way or another, targeting it. They want to hack it, they want to take over your account and spam, spam, spam.
So how do you combat it?
Run through your followers and fans list, no matter the size, and take a look at your followers. Are they active? Do they post regularly? What do they post? Is it spam? Are they even real profiles?
Again you cannot control who follows you. A high-traffic website will get tons of followers and fans on Facebook. But block those that meet any questionable criteria. Additionally, there could be a correlation from the spam hitting your website and the followers or fans to your social pages.
Blocking & Reporting for Spam will not only prevent your accounts from being compromised, but it will drive up your interaction. Real people who follow you for real reasons will be more likely to contribute to your conversations. That is the value! That is your goal.
What is the sense of 25,000 fans or followers if only 2,000 of them actually interact? In the end it’s just a number. If you’re a brand looking to genuinely grow and market to your target audience, don’t obsess with numbers. 25 people who are true fans of your content and your product, trump 250 just standing around.
Imagine you were a band playing in a convention hall. Having 250 people in the hall is great to tout, but if they are not interested, they aren’t listening and aren’t buying your music. You might as well imagine those 250 people wearing headphones. Therefore what would you rather have? 250 standing around not hearing your music or 25 fans, front row, wearing your tshirts and singing along word for word to your songs?
Cleaning up your fans and followers will also contribute in the factoring of Twitter verifying your account and Facebook keeping your content from tripping spam filters.
Those of you who have newsletters or mailing lists, listen up!
This is vital. Clean your list regularly! Check to see if these people are still active, if their emails still exist. If they aren’t active or the emails don’t exist anymore, remove them.
Not removing them can boost your “non-click” numbers and put your site and brand at risk of being labeled as spam.
So how do you monitor this? How do you get factual numbers?
Take a few bucks and use an online mailing list service. They each offer a level of detailed reporting and keep track of unsubscribes for you. It’s worth the money, every cent of it, especially if you rely on newsletters and mailers.
It takes a little work, a ton of effort and some dedication of time, but in the end the pros out weigh the cons. Some of you may gloss over this but keep in mind, how your brand is operated is how it will prosper. If you’re not doing your utmost due diligence on all fronts, you’re going to hit failure roadblocks before being on the fast track to success