LinkedIn is a killer destination…for spammers

Spam on LinkedIn
Spam = Everywhere, including LinkedIn Groups. Click the image to see a close-up of this beaut.

You knew recruiters would jump all over LinkedIn Groups when it launched a couple years ago. But even back then there were fears that spam was only a matter of time (scroll through the comments if you care to).

Well, yeah, LinkedIn is still a great destination…but that’s exactly what is happening. It’s being overrun. Despite some great commentary about using social media for two-way conversations, there is a subset of the population who are fine with playing the big numbers and micro percentages that come with marketing via spam.

It’s a shame. You can incorporate LinkedIn in a social media strategy, but you have to include in that plan how you’re going to get rid of the seaweed that washes in. You can’t just setup a group, start up  conversations with some intriguing questions, and engage those who reply with answers. You now have to decide what is spam and what is not, and then deal with the offenders.

Is the link and free ebook offer in that person’s reply just spam? Or is it a legitimate, excellent resource for your group’s members?

I’ve joined a few groups at LinkedIn, but I think I’m whittling that list down in pretty short order. Some of the discussions going on are interesting and I’ve gotten involved. But I’ll admit, I’m largely turned off by many of the conversations. They’re pretty superficial. Most people have run across people who always find a way to guide otherwise harmless conversations towards talk about themselves and their products. When you arrive at their destination in these conversations, you want to take a shower, don’t you? You feel the previous 10 minutes were a big setup?

“Hey…I’m so sorry to hear about you throwing your back out. Were you out of work for long? Wow! Three weeks? That’s a long time. So anyways, I’ve got this acai berry drink that might help with that…”

LinkedIn Groups can be even worse, though. Instead of that acai berry drink for your ailing back, you’ve got to wade through offers of free ebooks, webinars, and Twitter software that will yield you 10,000 instant followers, etc. The offers aren’t relevant. They’re spam.

So, keep on linking-in at LinkedIn. I’ve got a profile there. But I wouldn’t recommend Groups. Pass on that menu item.

2 thoughts on “LinkedIn is a killer destination…for spammers

  1. You’re right!!! I am so tired of Linkedin’s nonsense, when it comes to the spam, but I’m afraid we’re all in a ‘catch-22’, of sorts. LI is kind of THE social place to go for career-minded professionals, and in my opinion, most of the alternatives fall short… so there’s not much we can do.

    But you’re absolutely right. This spam is ridiculous. And even the stuff that doesn’t LOOK like spam, often is. Why are people adding four and five line “signatures” to every comment they make in group discussions??

    It’s starting to look like this:

    (insert generic, redundant comment about they agree with the person above, adding nothing new)

    (insert full name, as if we can’t already see their full name ABOVE their post)
    (insert Twitter link) (insert Facebook link) (insert Linkedin profile link — mind you, their name is ALREADY clickable)
    (insert their cheesy, branded catchphrase/ slogan)
    (insert personal website, link to blog)
    (etc.)

    You may think I’m going overkill above, but I promise you, I’m not. I’ve seen the above MANY times, and it seriously needs to stop. I don’t think there is much we can do about the porn spammers and such (they will simply jump from one social network to the next; i.e. Myspace to Facebook, Facebook to Twitter, etc.), but the self-promoters we CAN.

    I say we retweet posts like this! :)

    GOOD POST, Brandon.

  2. Thanks for the comments, Robert. A catch-22 it is. I’m heading towards using LinkedIn solely for business connections. Maybe occasional questions and answers. But Groups are in the process of being cleansed from my profile.

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