Would you spam your followers?

Should I spam my contacts? I don't think so.

Why do I ask? Because, I received an email this morning from someone I once knew slightly asking me to advocate something his brother had done. In essence the email told me exactly how he'd like me to spam my followers. 

Here's his approach:

After an intro he says, "I'm writing to ask you very personally for your help …".

I like the "very personally" since it's clearly not. It's a mass mailing.

He asked for 'likes' on three social networks, a Tweet, a Facebook mention and a blog post. He also asked for support on a couple of publicity sites and offered an opportunity for a minuscule and fleeting piece of self promotion.

Finally he describes the product in more detail and asks if I can help him find distributors.


That was the bin.

Am I wrong?


3 thoughts on “Would you spam your followers?

  1. Interesting question, this. We all know that social media has real potential as a marketing tool, and I for one have certainly `fallen’ for some blandishments. For example, someone we both know recently put up a personal status message on Facebook saying: `I’ve written this novel, its on Kindle, I’d be jolly pleased if anyone bought a copy’. So I did, and jolly good the book has proved to be.
    But I took the gamble on it being good. This one, however, seems to cross a subtle but important line. It is asking you to, in effect, lie; to `like’ something without knowing whether you like it or not. I believe there are occasions where getting more than a certain number of `likes’ can lead to accrued benefits for the person or thing `liked’. But if those `likes’ are sought and gained through some form of moral blackmail, then it devalues the whole thing.
    So even for the good of Facebook and the rest of social media (and who would have thought I’d ever write such a statement) I think you actually did the right thing.

  2. Wise words Mr B. Thank you.
    And, if I may be so bold, the example you give is a genuine friend with whom we have online and, sometimes, face to face dialogue. And he just made a pleasant request without trying to recruit his readers as viral agents. (Although he wouldn’t have objected had this been the outcome.)

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