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! 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.
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”.
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.
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.
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