One of my favorite things about PR is the variety of tasks you end up doing. Case in point: one of my ongoing duties is to monitor blog comments for a client. Mostly it involves sorting through waves of spam for legit posts, but the best part is finding the nuggets of inspired comedy that spammers and their wonky translation software occasionally come up with.
Since it’s the end of the year and I’m required to make a “best of” list, here are my top 5 spam comments of the year (stay tuned for the obligatory social media tie-in at the end; it’s pretty good):
1. “This is a useful post. It is shattering when your husband says he doesnt love you anymore. This info helps”
In case you were curious, this was in response to a post about how to keep cool in the summer heat.
2. “Guide to Eliminating Male Breasts”
Maybe it’s a site that sells The Bro (or The Manzier, whichever you prefer).
3. “Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include almost all vital infos. I’d like to peer extra posts like this.”
I’m from the South and don’t mind when a waitress calls me “Honey” (especially at Waffle House), but “my loved one” is a little too personal.
4. продажа земли сельскохозяйственного назначения
There was no comment, just this name. I Googled it and apparently it’s Russian for some sort of agricultural real estate, which is helpful on a blog that is read by people in the state of Georgia. Maybe the commenter thought it was for people from the country of Georgia. Except people there don’t speak Russian, they speak Georgian. I think I’m putting too much thought into this.
5. “You have a way with words, but remember by and large, english is a tool for hiding the truth”
Maybe if you learn to speak English the truth will be revealed.
Anyway, it’s clear that we live in an increasingly automated online world. Spam comments, automatic Twitter retweets and follows, and posts that are streamed to every online forum you belong to are becoming increasingly common. While some of these tools can be make you more efficient, be careful not to rely on them too much.
Authentic, personal communication is the most powerful aspect of social media and the whole reason it took off in the first place. Tools like Facebook, Twitter and even blog comments give you the valuable opportunity to engage directly with your audience, so don’t blow it with a generic, automated response. Take the time to interact with your followers and understand them. And don’t speak to them like a lawyer or a spambot—use normal English. Then you won’t be accused of “hiding the truth.”
Happy Holidays everyone!