The basis of social media marketing is by definition, “social.” That means not doing things which might be considered “anti-social” like scamming people out of their hard earned money.
It is not a difficult thing to avoid scamming people. All you need to do is decide to be forthright and honest in your business dealings online and ‘presto!’ you’re being scam-free. However, not everyone doing business online, specifically via social media, has everyone else’s best interests at heart. In fact, a recent report shows that there were nearly 9 million different social media scams in operating during the past year.
That’s an astoundingly high number of scams, regardless of how you slice it. It is also something which every social media marketer should keep in the back of their mind. We are the ones who decide what sort of reputation social media marketing gets. We are the ones who people first see as a potential threat because we are the ones who decide what to promote, how to promote it and where to promote it. If we choose the wrong person, product or company, we not only risk tarnishing our own reputation, but also the reputation of the entire Social Web.
This might seem like a very large burden to carry for the average social media marketer, but we should at least bear in mind that our actions online, as in the brick and mortar world, may have far reaching repercussions and act accordingly.
Here’s a list of the common attacks on Facebook and Twitter today, as outlined by Symantec.
Manual Sharing Attacks (Facebook)
This typically involves clicking on the Like button on a friend’s post to win a prize, but the user often ends up with the same message on the Facebook wall and it spreads from there.
Copy Paste Attacks (Facebook)
User are tricked into clicking on an enticing link in a post. This unleashes a malicious script to post the same message on the user’s wall.
This also involves clicking on a bait link, though it brings the user to a page which claims to require some sort of identification, usually in the form of a captcha test. However, no matter where the user clicks, an invisible layer on top of that section will ensure a Like is generated instead. (See illustration above.)
This attack baits the user into supposedly typing characters to complete the captcha test. The text is added as a comment instead. (See illustration above.)
@replies Spam (Twitter)
The attacker uses @replies to spam users with malicious links.