Who Makes Affiliate Marketing Synonymous with Spam

When I Really Wish I Were Called Something Else)

Picking up the topic of what we should be called both individually and as an industry, and also returning to the topic I raised back 9 months ago in my 93 Percent of “Affiliate” Tweets Are Junk post, I’d like to share a little experience.

For the second or third time in my life, I’ve used an #affiliate hashtag in one of my tweets, and guess what? Spam immediately followed (as it frequently does):

Spam via Twitter API

It is interesting to see that both of the tweets I received this time were sent “via API”. To start using Twitter’s API you actually must “register an application” with Twitter [more here]. Does that mean we’re actually seeing automated spam here?

In any event, it’s when I see people abusing the word “affiliate” in such ways that I wish I were just called something else… We shouldn’t be tolerant of those who try to make the name of our industry synonymous with “spam” (like it has already sadly happened with at least one other type of digital marketing). People like the two mentioned above have nothing to do with authentic affiliate marketing! They are plain spammers.

7 thoughts on “Who Makes Affiliate Marketing Synonymous with Spam”

  1. Geno- great post and very interesting information. I guess this would indicate that twitter is either doing little at this point to police that sort of thing, or they just can’t keep up with it right now. In coming months it will be telling to see how they will handle this spamming type activity. Your thoughts on the affiliate title seem to echo the same dissonance that I perceive between CPA and more traditional retail type affiliate programs. Seems they like to try and keep themselves separate as well.

  2. Dear ??? (I am sorry, but you didn’t indicate your name),

    You’re right on the money on CPA networks vs traditional affiliate programs/networks. I’ve actually started thinking in this direction closer to the end of my post.

  3. Hey Geno, very intersting post. I am working as an affiliate manager in mobiles and telecommunication segment and have worked in health sector as well.. I have observed many affiliates spamming their promotional campaigns, be it email or tweets or micro posts. One thing the affiliates/publishers should understand that the market earlier was a PUSH market but now its more a PULL market…. Blindly pushing the products to visitors or customers won’t give them any click through or converions, in turn that will lead to spamming. So, understand the market, and pitch the product rightly to the right people. That will help earn better and succeed.

  4. @Jed: Thank you. I appreciate that, and should you be looking for an answer on something, and not find it here, let me know. I’m always open to suggestions on blog post topics.

    @Bhuvan: I love that “push vs pull” parallel. Thank you for this input.

  5. Thanks for your post, Geno. Aside from sending a ticket to Twitter support, is there anything one can do to have these accounts shut down? There are a number of spam accounts that have tweeted about a non-profit I work with. Of course, it’s just bait to click on their link. I’d appreciate any insight you can share. Thanks!

  6. I always go with the “Report [user] for spam” Twitter option in such cases, Robin.

    I’ve never followed up on that “report for spam” action beyond the reporting itself, but your comment made me go back and check on the above-quoted two accounts. It appears that one has been suspended by Twitter ever since, while the other one is still alive. I’m not sure what Twitter’s policy on spammers is. They may require a certain number of “report for spam” instances to ban an account.

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