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August 18th, 2009

How to Slice Through Spam on Twitter

Last week we had our first guest posting here on the WebEden blog. Its was from Alison Cross, a self confessed non-techie webby. As part of our attempts to get to grips with Twitter, Alison discussed how to spot spam on Twitter.

Well Alison is back, and this time she’s talking about how to slice through – and get rid of – spam on Twitter.

How to Slice Through Spam on Twitter

When Sting warbled: ‘I never saw a miracle of science or progress that didn’t turn from a blessing to a curse’, he could have been singing about Twitter.

The handy little micro-blogging tool has rapidly become a magnet for spammers.

What’s a spammer?  The people who keep trying to make you visit sites that you’re not interested in; the people who want you to watch Britney Spears doing something unmentionable with a courgette.

Although Twitter mount regular pogroms against spammers, there are a few things that you can do to slice your spam.

1. Follow @spam. This is Twitter’s own route for rooting out the spam accounts.  When you follow @spam, any Twitter announcements about spam activities will drop into your timeline, allowing you to take their suggested action.

2. Stop hoovering up thousands of followers via advertised apps to artificially boost your popularity – this is a sure-fire way to voluntarily attach yourself to spammers.

Robert Scoble, self-confessed social media addict, had some 7,000 spammy accounts following him. Read his account here.

3. Vet your potential followers by using one of the many Twitter applications available.  I use Tweetlater (if Ken lets me, I’ll come back to evangelise about it!).  This app allows me to block, ignore, accept and report followers as spam.

4. Watch what you tweet! I call this the Law of Twitter Attraction. Out there are millions of tweeters, some just ready to pounce on you if you tweet their magic word.

For example, if you tweet off a complaint to a friend ‘sick of cash generator spam!’  What happens? Yup, you are suddenly followed by a slew of ‘cash generator’ tweeters.

If you have an automatic follow set up, then their tweets will enter your time line, diluting your product/services message and interfering with your conversations.

To combat this, don’t tweet the proper spelling of the trigger word.  Sticking with the above example, I’ve found that if I don’t type ‘cash’, but ‘c4sh’, that will, for now, keep me beneath the spammers’ radar.

Even better, simply adopt the New Age philosophy and only tweet about things that you WANT in your timeline!

Now that we’re nearly at the end of this guest blog, have a think about my definition of what constitutes a spammer.  No, not the Britney/vegetable people, but ‘people who make you visit a site that you’re not interested in’.

If you are not discerning enough with your Twitter marketing campaign, if you contact uninterested twitterers about your product or service….YOU’RE spam.

About Alison Cross

Alison Cross lives on the Isle of Bute where she has built over a dozen websites using our software. She also helps people use Twitter to market their business. For more info or advice, contact see her website alisoncross4webs.co.uk.

  • http://www.alisoncross4webs.co.uk Alison Cross

    *Dear Lord*, I totally promise – no more quoting Sting lyrics. Girl Guide’s Honour.

    AX

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