Marketing Mistakes – Comment Bombing Other People’s Posts on Social Media

Social media can be a wonderfully productive place to market your services… if you approach it from a heart-centered place and you keep yourself in the light! Don't comment bomb other people's posts!Unfortunately, there are a lot of marketing tactics out there that are not so heart-centered, and the truth is that some of them can do you and your practice more harm than good. In this post I’m going to talk about one of those tactics, ‘comment bombing’. We’ll look at what it is, and what to do if it happens to you.

What is comment bombing?

Comment bombing is the act of posting an irrelevant comment, usually an advertisement, in a comment thread underneath someone’s post on a social media site. It is done to steal readers who are interested in the original post.

Let me show you a recent example I ran across on Facebook. I have blacked out the names and website info of the people involved because my intent with this post isn’t to shame or name anyone, but rather to make you aware that this happens and let you know what to do if it happens to you.

This is an actual screenshot of a comment bomber in action, taken from a spiritual advertising group on Facebook.

As you can see, Jennifer posted a text ad in the group, offering a nice deal on a package of readings, (which seems wildly underpriced to me, but that’s another conversation, lol ) Anyway, Jennifer posts her ad, hoping to entice some group members to take advantage of her offer, and then… along comes Charlotte.

An recent example of comment bombing.

A comment bomber in action.

Charlotte leaves a comment on Jennifer’s post, but it’s not the kind of comment you would expect. You might expect someone to inquire about Jennifer’s readings, or maybe to leave a word of encouragement, like “Wow, great offer”.

But nope.

Charlotte the Comment Bomber had other plans.

Charlotte comments on Jennifer’s advertising post by offering readers her own FREE reading, and shares a link to her website.

Say what?

I don’t even know where to begin with this. I mean, are you kidding me? How un-spiritual can you possibly be? In the same amount of time it took to piggy-back on someone else’s post, Charlotte could have posted her own advertisement. Remember, this happened in an advertising group.

Now, I’ll be honest. At first I thought Charlotte was just misguided. Perhaps she read or heard that this was a good idea to try. After all, there are a lot of marketing coaches out there teaching some crazy stuff – stuff that’s not very heart-centered. So maybe she’s doing this because no one told her it wasn’t a nice way to market.

So I click through to the link she shared and quickly realize that there is much more going on here than just simple comment bombing. The website she links to has her picture on it, but is using a totally different name. So, I go back to Facebook, where with two clicks I do a quick Google image search on Charlotte’s profile picture. Surprise, surprise! Google shows me pages and pages of results with Charlotte’s photo, dozens of them from various stock photo sites, the rest from sites and articles that have used that same stock photo.

Oh yeah, that Google image search also showed a bunch of Facebook profiles using that stock image.

This is one of those sleazy tactics that I just don’t understand, and in this case it turned out to be a darker mess than I originally thought. I’m not saying that the person on the other end of that website doesn’t have amazing gifts. They very well may. But the way they are marketing is probably doing them more harm than good.

Unfortunately, this is only one example of comment bombing that I’ve seen lately. There are many others out there. They show up on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and pretty much any site that allows commenting. People also comment bomb the comments on people’s blogs!

Anyway, I’m pretty sure that if you are reading this post you are not the type of person to jump on someone else’s post for your own purposes! So let’s talk about what to do if someone comment bombs one of your social media posts.

 

What should you do if you get comment bombed?

Hopefully none of your social media posts will ever be comment bombed. But if it happens to you there are a couple of things you can do.

Delete, Block, and Report – You definitely want to delete the offending comment, that’s for sure. But you also want to take steps to prevent it from happening again, so you should block the person if you are able, and report it if there is someone to report it to. Taking a screenshot before you delete it will often help you report it if you need to.

It shouldn’t happen on your own blog, because you should have your blog set so that you have to manually approve comments, but if for some reason it does happen, you can always block people by email address.

If it happens on Facebook you can block people from seeing and commenting on your posts. If it happens in a group you should let the group admin or moderator know what happened. Especially in active groups, admins don’t always have time to read every post and every comment. But most want to know when people are spamming or scamming in their groups.

Whatever you do, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. At first you might feel offended or violated or angry. That’s okay, just breathe through it and then take action to clean things up.

You’ll never be able to avoid all the jerks and trolls and mean people in the world, they are going to show up. Maybe it’s to help us learn a lesson, maybe it’s just because there are so many of them, but all you can do is choose to take the heart-centered path in all you do.

 

Want to hang out with other cool practitioners and have fun sharing, learning, and growing our businesses together? Come join the Growing Your Holistic Business Facebook group!

 

Bob-headshot-240x300Bob Crawford is a holistic business coach, helping lightworkers, healers, and other spiritual entrepreneurs learn how to attract more clients and make more money, while still remaining authentic and heart-centered. “Because growing your practice should be as fun and rewarding as the work your were called to do!”

 

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4 Comments

  1. I’ve seen comment bombing in its full glory Bob, both on my Facebook Page as well as back at my blog and thereafter I took strong measures to prevent it. I owe a clean website to my visitors and a safe place to socialize back at my Fan Page.

    In the case of my blog, I was finding that despite having Akismet in place, some comments were seeping through and yes, like you advised, I decided to moderate my blog comments. I thought it was spam but some of the comments were definitely not – they were from coaches and consultants who were trying to build backlinks. This was before all those Panda updates and I guess their SEO managers got it wrong. 🙂

    Back at Facebook, unknown people started advertising services completely unrelated to my business or were actually in my niche but I had no idea who they were and why they would post an ad on my business page.

    I guess, they didn’t bother to find out what Karmic Ally was or consider that I would report them and thought okay, we can post our astrology and other services without even bothering to like the page.

    I think what happens Bob, is that people sign up for various free courses or challenges and learn a tip for marketing but don’t know the full process or etiquette involved.

    For example, earlier in the year, I got bombarded with requests to have guest posts published because a Google search showed a blog post of mine on a topic and the sender didn’t realize that there was a context to the post. From what I figured out in a Group discussion, guest posting was the latest marketing technique being ‘hawked’. Right now it’s making videos.

    Oh dear. As long as I’m not making those mistakes, I’ll be okay. 🙂

    • I agree, it is mostly misguided marketing. And there are always a bunch of people out there trying the latest fad. I remember the ‘guest posting’ fad, lol. But some of it is also really deceptive, like the example I shared. Multiple fake Facebook profiles, etc. I guess we just have to keep ourselves on the heart-centered path!

  2. perhaps things will change over time – the entire concept of having an online presence and the ability to write comments in articles written by other people whether in published magazines or blogs or on Facebook somewhere is still – for a lot of people who have been around for a very long time before any of this even existed – relatively new and so there might still be a way for these types of bombs – yet to be seen as having some type of value and therefore as not so much of a bomb per se –

    i am myself -tempted to place a link to an photograph or art image from time to time that in my mind illustrates in some way (perhaps sometimes in a very remote way) something that was being talked about in the original post –

    for example – just yesterday a fellow artist wrote a story about a flower thief:

    http://faso.com/fineartviews/113295/the-flower-thief

    and if you notice in the comments I was inspired to place a link to an abstract of flowers that I had just worked on – it may have been wrong or incorrect or whatever but for some reason with all of the people expressing how the story had set them to tears – I was moved instead to share with the readers of that story – the flowers in that image that I myself felt very strongly about and simply share it with a link in the comments –

    thankfully John – who wrote the article – instead of being upset or reprimanding me – thanked me for the link to the flowers that I placed there –

    this for me was a huge change from what usually happens when I simply place some thoughts with words on anyone’s posts – usually people totally ignore what I have written and simply communicate with the writer of the article –

    I feel that the people who are on a particular post’s comment thread might be better off communicating with each other in addition to communicating with the original author so that each individual will get to know more of the people who were attracted to such an article and it’s theme –

    another thing that happens is I might be in a particular group – like a graduating class from high school and I am moved to share about myself and my art that I have been creating all of my life – and I believe that some of what I have written has simply been removed – what better way for each of these people who seem to be showing some interest in each other by joining such a group – to get to know each other if they both post as well as read about the lives of their other classmates –

    thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts that sometimes bombings or off tangent posts can be what might otherwise be a negative – then turned into a positive – and perhaps a very big positive in a very very bigly way –

    there are certainly many different ways for the people of the world to grow and learn and to expand their horizons – so many ways that have yet to be learned –

    • Hi Walter! You are right on track, sometimes it is okay to mention or link to something that helps deepen the conversation. Whether a particular comment is appropriate or not is a matter of perspective, both of the poster and the reader. The problem comes when the comment has no bearing on the post, and is simply an advertisement. It all depends on the context of the original post. Thanks for sharing!

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