Due to the massive response to our blog post received yesterday, I’ve provided a list of definitions that will help you understand what some of these tagging games are and show you why Facebook may flag these as spam.
A silent march or bus trip works something like this: You tag your business page in the comments of a status update by whoever is running the march or bus trip. At a designated time, the organizer randomly chooses a number of businesses from that list and then invites page fans to “march” on those pages, ie. go and like them and leave a comment. Where this comes undone is when lots of people are using the same words over and over again. Facebook picks that up as unusual, spammish activity. So if you’re liking a page and leaving a comment “Hi I’m marching on your page from such and such a page”, most likely everyone else is using much the same wording. Another way of doing this is to put up an image and invite businesses to tag themselves and share the image. I should say, in principal I get the idea and I think it is great that businesses want to help other businesses, but unfortunately, such activity is unlikely to result in any real benefit to your business and could see you all suspended from Facebook for 15 days to a month.
Silent tagging is another variation on this idea, except for that other businesses are encouraged to just “like” and not leave a comment. This is probably a lot less likely to attract the spam bots. However, if there is unusual activity being picked up, again, it may flag your business page. We do not have a crystal ball showing us the inner workings of Facebook spam-bots, so it is hard to say what will get flagged and what wont.
Other Tagging Games
Some tagging games are seemingly quite innocent in that they are just fun ways to shout out other businesses (like spell your business name and shoutout whoever comes up when you type the first letter). However, the more popular these games are, the more potential for Facebook and other businesses to see this as spam. And, if the owner of a business page gets 20 of these a day, those participating run the risk of being removed or marked as spam, which in turn, flags them with the spam police.
Facebook is a bit like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It tempts you with the promise of delicious treats and then sucks you down a tube when you over do things. When it comes to tagging, it is best to err on the side of caution and only tag when you have something meaningful to say.
Ps: I must apologise to Business Mum’s Blog, who ended up removing her post about Marches. Our intention was not to belittle anyone for participating in or promoting tagging games. Like a lot of things, they seem like a good idea at the time and are born out of good intentions. None of us thought Facebook would take such a hardline on these games.