Forum Spam: You can stay, but that noise has to go!


Noise comes in many forms. Usually, we think of noise as sound. Spam is also noise. Useless Facebook posts and Tweets are another form of noise.

Of late, a big irritation is poorly targeted posts within Facebook groups. I manage several groups for myself and clients. Most of them are professional groups. Mostly wedding industry business groups of one sort or another. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t notice or think about the following:

  • It isn’t a group targeted toward brides. So why are their posts targeted toward brides, not businesses? Didn’t you notice what you signed up for.
  • It’s a national or international group. Why are you posting about a meeting in Oshkosh, WI or Providence, RI. You are annoying all but 1/2 of 1% of the audience.
  • A group is often operated by a single person or company with a specific mission. If your company has a competing mission, don’t make announcements on their Facebook Group page; make them on your own… or on non-competing groups that have relevance to your product or service.
  • Pride in a major league accomplishment is usually cool. People like to see others succeed. Shameless Self-Promotion is almost always two thumbs d0wn. Different people will react in different ways. Think before posting.
  • Golden Rule: Don’t encroach – Try to see potential invasion or encroachment through the group manager’s eyes. If it might be offensive or intrusive to you, assume it is 100% intrusive to them. When in doubt, ask permission.

Here are my plans for dampening the noise, going forward.

  • All Facebook groups, blogs or other gathering places, I manage, will include a ‘guidelines’ document. I expect that some number of people will read the rules… others will ignore them.
  • I’m considering enforcing an approval process for every comment/post. That will slow down the real-time value of posting and responses; however, I’m going to at least give it some thought.
  • I’m planning a near-zero tolerance for post topics, outside the group guidelines. That will result in posts being deleted, some posters being deleted from the group, and other posters being banned permanently. In reality, there is no such thing as a permanent ban; however, the offender will have to seek out the group owner or admin and grovel for re-admittance. Those who have posts deleted or are removed should probably write the owner/administrator and ask for the reason.

One of my favorite sayings in life, is:

“Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”

Nobody’s perfect. I’m know I’m guilty of making such mistakes from time to time. And, occasionally, I have to ask for lenience or forgiveness. As a group owner or administrator, I’m going to take stronger control on behalf of my group members.

If we lose a few noisy people, it will mean less annoyance for the rest. And that should improve the participation and discourse.

“You can stay, but that noise has to go!”

Social Media words to live by.

Other reading: Wikipedia page on Forum Spam

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert

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