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How to wham the spam on LinkedIn

I hate spam and spammers, and so does LinkedIn. It puts loads of functionality at your disposal in the battle against spam. LinkedIn is not the best at promoting the functionality that is there to help you, make your experience better and, in this instance the whole community better, so I thought I’d lay it all out here.

SPAM blog image 1

Some people just don’t know when to stop so here’s a guide to what you can do to reduce spam you see in groups, to flag spammy invites and to flag messages / InMails as spammers, when they are.

Personally I never understand why some people insist on using cutting edge marketing principles (as in 1982) to spam, mass volume messages or mass invite, but here are a number of reasons why people get spam into groups:

1) They think if they spam the max number of groups (130 for the record) their “message” gets in front of a lot of people and a small % might “buy” what they say / sell / spam about

2) They simply don’t know how to make LinkedIn work, if they did they wouldn’t spam groups they’d do other things. It is the best referral engine in the world, with it sending you easy to reach referrals for free, why use a spamming scattergun when you can snipe for targets? Spamming just gets you a reputation and erodes the value of your personal and organisational brands.

3) Moderator neglect, sorry moderators but running a LinkedIn group is work and to make it work really well you need to police, moderate flag out, spam and delete posts or ultimately help people leave the group when they don’t listen.

Spammers erode the value perception of your group and then all the good people, the good audience and the people you designed your group for will drift away and leave.

Here the fun starts for everyone as users of LinkedIn, you can self moderate in groups, you can flag the spammers up to LinkedIn, you have the power to make LinkedIn spam free! Here’s what you can do about spam in groups:

Underneath each discussion you can flag as

1. Promotion – moves to promotion tab, out of discussions area, as long as group set up right.
2. Job – as above but moves from discussions tab to jobs tab, as long as group set up right.
3. Inappropriate – flagged to moderator for removal

BLOG image spam discussion flag

Now let’s deal with all those spammy messages and spam invites

Beside each invite or message  you get in your inbox you have a flag you can set that it is spam, it is a small red triangle when you put your mouse pointer over it and it is on the right hand side . With each message you also have the option (as you can see below) to flag them all as spam. It doesn’t tell the sender but LinkedIn counts and in a short space of time their account will be limited, they will be notified and then locked out till they call LinkedIn to explain themselves – good eh?

BLOG IMAGE SPAM MESSAGE

There is no need for spam and you have power of the above options to manage it. Personally I’d like to see a huge “flag this discussion as spam and provide a small electric shock to the user that posted it” button on discussion and if LinkedIn ever ask me for ideas it’s on the list.

Anyone that knows me knows I won’t defend LinkedIn if I don’t think it is appropriate, but in this case spam isn’t LinkedIn’s fault, but more that more people are becoming aware of LinkedIn and there are more cheesy grin / white teeth social media “experts” (that aren’t  , who spout on about impressions and sometimes even teach spam merchants how to do it – in my opinion just wrong.

Do us all a favour and mark discussions, invites and messages as spam when they are, let’s all make LinkedIn just a little more professional and a little better.

I’d love you to share this with the connections you have that bemoan the spammers, to share it where you think it will be useful (and of course not spam) so we can make LinkedIn a better community for us all.

What’s your thoughts and experiences?

 



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  • http://twitter.com/combyne combyne-laurence

    Spot on message, Nigel, and as I moderate/manage a number of groups, I wish more people would flag up issues.

    • http://www.thelinkedinman.com/ James Potter

      Glad it was helpful and please do feel free to share it with those that you think would benefit inside your group and wider. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man

  • BookMarkLee

    Useful summary James.
    I run a number of groups on Linkedin but none are open so that I can avoid the spammers joining in the first place. One reason they do this is to send connection requests and sales messages to fellow members. I rarely get these despite belonging to 50 groups and having over 3,200 connections.

    The other disadvantage of leaving spam in discussions is that it reduces the tendency of ‘real’ members to review and contribute to ‘real’ discussion threads.

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