Viral Marketing Vs. Search Engine Spam

December 29, 2006 3 By Tad Reeves

I just read an intriguing article on Viral Marketing, as compared to frowned-upon practices of splogging (spam blogging) or search engine spam.

The more that Web 2.0 apps evolve, the more that proper etiquette and protocol will have to be thrown together on how to properly all use these services. Obviously, the intention behind one’s actions is generally key, but even well-intentioned people trying to get across a straightforward and positive message, can end up executing their intentions in an absolutely dorky way — one which others would consider ‘spam’.

In the article, the writer lists the following points as key for viral marketing:

Points to start your viral marketing:
Viral marketing best works when it starts from the time it s first contact of their prospects.

  1. Freebies-
    “Free” is the most powerful word in a marketer’s vocabulary. All viral
    practices are mostly free of cost, inexpensive is good, free is better.
    Free reports, free “buttons”, free information, free software which
    have powerful features. Though Paid Stuff has better quality but free
    stuff is more useful for the first impression.
  2. Be Creative- Innovative ideas in your ezine, will make your ezine more popular and wanted in your niche.
  3. Have your very own affiliate system structured, so that promoter gets benefited for promoting you.
  4. Getting to the nodes. Promote your Big Viral Idea through Pushed Press releases.
  5. Anything
    that is cool, tells how easy, how beneficial and profitable it is to be
    part of your business or being customer of your business.
  6. Be first; be innovative by attacking the biggest problem brings in the best viral marketing features to your business.

Now, again, the key to whether or not any of your viral marketing ideas come under the heading of “spam” all comes down to the creativeness and originality, as well as intention of the article that you’re posting. If you’re posting something that you honestly think is going to be of some use to people who are using the media you’re promoting into, then it will most likely turn out OK. For instance, repeated Digg posts on articles that you didn’t create (i.e. plagarism), foisted off as your own, would clearly be Spam. Obviously, posting off-topic, link-laden comments to Digg or Reddit would also be spam.

So, before posting articles to Reddit, Newsvine, Digg, etc — one would definitely want to peruse around the board and find out what it was that people found acceptable, and what they don’t. Now, this obviously doesn’t mean you should never post anything objectionable. It just means you shouldn’t post spam, and thereby break the rules that make each of these services great. One also shouldn’t lie and post inflammatory comments just for the heck of it, because people click on them. I commonly will post articles on Psychiatry and on drug companies, because it’s preposterous that people are buying into their pharmacological falsehoods and fake science. I also post on things like Scientology Volunteer Ministers, and the good works they’re doing on various disaster sites like the Philippines and in Australia. Obviously, I don’t appreciate it when someone posts some off-topic link as a reply to my post, so there you go — it’s just manners and etiquette.

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