Spam, affiliate programs, trust and Twitter

I’d like to get your input on what you feel constitutes spam and how much discloure you expect in your network.

Spam, spam everywhere
Spam stunt in World of Warcraft

Some spam is easy to spot – like the spam stunt pictured here in World of Warcraft or the unwanted emails you get when you open your in-box.  Others are more subtle.

I’m a regular Twitter user – I treat it like a virtual coffee break where sometimes people can get silly, sometimes they’re profound but because I choose the participants (for the most part) they’re people I know or are friends of friends.

Twice now, I’ve had these friends of friends “recommend” books to me based on a topic I raise and I have found the link goes to a site that gives them money for people who buy from the sites.

I honestly have nothing against people trying to make a buck.  Or should that be I have nothing against people trying to honestly make a buck?   But when someone recommends a product they are in essence selling in a forum that is not retail in nature but trust-based — isn’t some sort of disclosure appropriate?

Something like “I onsell a book about X, DM me if you’d like the link. If not, NP” or “I onsell the sevices/products of this site – let me know what you think.”

A person whom I’ve met and who arranges get togethers for geeks recently suggested a site that helps you artificially boost the number of people who follow you on Twitter.  Big turn off here. Trying to rort the system in an attempt to create social status is dishonest.  And it cheapens it for everyone else.

So can social media and marketing mix? I think it can, but it is not about spam.  I think it’s more about developing trust relationships and listening. And I feel that when a marketer shares personal information and asks after my health and then doesn’t disclose that he or she will make a buck if I click on a link they suggest, my trust has been violated. And as for the lady who is going to try to artifically boost her crediblity — consider it lost.

One Reply to “Spam, affiliate programs, trust and Twitter”

  • Good questions.

    I think recommending products and services that have impressed in some way is a natural part of Twitter conversations.

    Spam in Twitter is tweets such as that which suddenly appeared under a friend’s name: “Made an extra $xx today by using tips from [url link].” Someone hijacked the account to tweet spam.

    In this case, they misjudged both the account holder and their correspondents, who immediately questioned the tweet, and the spam scam was spotted.

    I wonder how many aren’t so easily spotted, better disguised as personal recommendations.

Comments are closed