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BizReport : Social Marketing : September 06, 2011

Impermium reveals extent of social spam

New data released by social media analytics firm Impermium reveals that all is not what it seems on social networks with many accounts set up purely for social spamming.

by Helen Leggatt

impermium logo.pngImpermium analyzed more than 90 million users and 104 million pieces of user-generated content from its client base across 72 countries.

Results revealed that a sizeable number of accounts, between 5% and 40%, were fake set up by spammers and scammers. A lot of these accounts are "sleepers," says Impermium, waiting to be activated by a spammer to flood a network with messages after which it is quickly shut down. These findings should alert marketers to the fact that their user counts may not be as accurate as previously thought.

Spam isn't always as obvious as it used to be. Porn is no longer the spammers' topic of choice. Spam promoting electronics and fashion brands outnumbered porn by 3 to 1 and victims are being lured by other topics such as current events and sport.

"Most companies will be shocked to see how rampant user registration fraud is on their site," said Mark Risher, CEO of Impermium. "Bulk accounts for most popular social networks can now be purchased on the black market for pennies. This type of fraud has many significant ramifications, including a company's ability to accurately value its user base and determine the actual cost of new customer acquisition."

"Rather than play into the aggressive real-names-only policy on Google+, sites need a flexible approach that maintains privacy without exposing them to this rampant proliferation of fake, bulk accounts," added Risher.

The data forms part of the new Impermium Index which will track the types and severity of social spam across Google, Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

Tags: Impermium, social marketing, social media, spam

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  • A brief review of two separate Impermium clients leads me to believe that Impermium has not solved the comment spam problems of its clients;

    Example #1 – Time Magazine


    my best friend’s mother makes $73 an hour on the Laptop. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her check was $8294 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it and get started following “Online income solutions” on this web site ht*p:/ow.l*/7wK**

    Example #2 – Wired Magazine


    Those are indeed some really cool looking maps. Wow.ano*-surf.t*

    (Note: Spam links have been deactivated to avoid more spam)

  • Spam accounts are the main reason why you can't evaluate your social media marketing campaign by how many fans/followers/friends you have. No matter how many social connections you get, some of them are bound to be spam accounts. It's much more important to measure engagement.



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