Friend: So what are you working on these days? Some new hot technology nobody will ever use?
Me: I'm working with a couple of big pharma brands on social media strategies, wise guy (edited).
Friend: You mean like getting my page flooded with junk for cheap pills?
Me: No, this is actually a pretty regulated industry.
Friend: Tell that to BRAND X (edited). All they do is send me spam. I can't believe people really use that stuff. I'd never use it. They just feel so dirty.
Those of us in this industry forget that spammers only send spam because real people click. Right now, somewhere out there, there is a suburban mom clicking on a fake email from her bank and giving away all her account information to a spammer. Somewhere else, there is a teen clicking on a message that appears to be coming from Facebook and giving away all of his personal information to a spammer.
That mom isn't going to trust her bank and that teen isn't going to trust Facebook. Neither brand did anything wrong.
What marketers should do about social spam
When you monitor social media, remember to occasionally glance through the spam filter. Share this information with your legal department. Get cracking. Because if you're doing a good job building the brand, somewhere out there there is a spammer trying to piggyback their next gig on your hard work.