Promoting vs. Spamming: What is the Difference?

Laura Johnson Social Media & Content Director, Follr

Posted on August 16th 2014

Promoting vs. Spamming: What is the Difference?

When trying to promote your online community there can be a fine line between good-hearted self-promotion and down right spam. As an online community administrator, you need to be well aware of that line. It’s easy to spam unintentionally, which is what roughly half of spammers are guilty of, but the other half are just plain trolls who have no qualms about blasting out links left and right. For your reading pleasure, the difference between spam and self-promotion:

These things are good (Promoting):

1.         Using discount codes.

2.         Being active in other communities without posting links in conversations.

3.         Having the appropriate links on your email signature and/or business card.

4.         Building a relationship before you pitch.

5.         Sending newsletters to members or customers that they have chosen to receive

6.         Having an active, non promoting-obsessed community of Twitter or Facebook followers.

These things are NOT good (Spamming):

1.         Sending out mass emails to persons who have not opted in.

2.         When your only involvement in other communities is to comment with a link and/or pitch.

3.         When your social media feeds are nothing but links and sales pitches.

4.         When you have keyword search alerts on your Twitter account so that you can immediately send a link once someone mentions one of your flagged terms or phrases.

5.         You pitch people on your brand/product/business idea without their permission

6.         You jump to similar sites and blogs and bombard the site/community manager with “Hey, I think you’d be interested in (fill in the blank)” messages.


Laura Johnson

Social Media & Content Director, Follr

Laura  - a Texas native & Southern California transplant - is a new breed of media mogul. With experience and interest in all sorts of industries – Tech, Finance, Fashion, Wine & Spirits, Journalism – It’s no surprise swooped her up to head their social media and content strategy. Media and Journalism being in her blood (Dad owns Dallas-based media powerhouse Success Partners), she’s a fresh & well-rounded authority on all things currently taking over the universe. As for accolades, Laura started writing and editing for before she had her high school diploma. From there she organized and lead massive email and print campaigns for international social justice organization, Invisible Children’s some 500k donors and helped weather the media MEGA-storm that was #KONY2012.  With degrees in International Business & Economics, Laura then left the non-profit world to become the social media strategist for a SoCal based fashion retailer. In addition to freelance writing and blogging, she spends her free time taking in as many beautiful San Diego sunsets as possible and perfecting the G&T (extra lime please). 

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