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MARKETING
'Fiverr Fools' Are Among Social Media Spammers
Twitter Bombing The #voiceover Hashtag
August 18, 2016

By Rob Marley
Voice Actor

In its simplest form, a hashtag (a word preceded by the symbol #) is like a keyword used to categorize and organize subjects, opinions, articles, etc. on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Adding a hashtag to a post allows it to be tied with posts from people around the world who’ve used that particular tag.

This allows someone to find a subject by either:
  • typing it directly into a search bar,
  • clicking on a tag to bring up everything tagged with that hashtag, or
  • using a third-party program like TweetDeck to group them together into a feed.
A more detailed explanation of what a hashtag is can be found at Wikipedia.

And by the way, you really should try TweetDeck. It’s super helpful to keep track of various people, lists and hashtags. Especially when you’re following thousands of people with a variety of subjects and interests. Its my go-to program to make sure I don't miss anything important on Twitter.  

Back to hashtags.

SPAMMERS ATTACK #VOICEOVER

It wasn't long ago that the hashtag #voiceover was a great way to keep track of what peers were doing ... read articles by top professionals on how to improve your voice over business, marketing, or voice skills ... discover businesses that hire and use voice artists ... and be a general collecting point for all things voice over within the Twittersphere.

But now, not so much.  

The source of this new problem appears to be that some aspiring voice over artists purchased a get-rich-quick program that taught them a trick to get more work via Twitter.

In short: the newbies discovered spam.

So now these aspiring entrepreneurs are using automated scripts to carpet-bomb the #voiceover hashtag with all the class of a sleazy used car salesman.

But here’s the thing: All they’re doing is announcing to the world how little they respect themselves and how terrible their marketing skills are.

CALLED 'TWITTER BOMBING'

"Twitter bombing” as it's called, is not a new phenomenon.

According to Wikipedia, the earliest use was in 2008 - just two years after Twitter launched - by a couple of bloggers who rallied their readers to oppose offshore oil drilling. Since then, it’s become more refined, more widely used, and now it appears to be sold as a marketing tactic to would-be voice over people.

But for most Twitter users, Twitter bombing is a form of "Black Hat SEO” - an ethically-challenged tactic used to manipulate search engine results in order to drive traffic to a specific location.

VO SPAMMERS TARGET FIVERR

In this case, these wanna-be voice artists are Twitter bombing to drive traffic to their Fiverr-dot-com profile.

And while that online casting website may have some advantages for the person just getting started in voice over, the opinion that Fiverr’s reputation as a low-ball, amateur-fueled collection of terrible VO is pretty unanimous among everyone in and around the voice over industry.

Most producers and creative directors of legitimate production companies simply laugh at the "talent” that choose to be on there. I've heard that some producers blacklist the voice talent on Fiverr, ensuring that they will never work for their production company. 

HIJACKING THE HASHTAG


In addition to flooding #voiceover, some would-be voice artists are adding other hashtags to their tweets.

For instance, #wovo is a hashtag used by the World-Voices Organization (WoVO) - a non-profit industry association for freelance voice over talent. WoVo was founded to educate voice over artists on best practices and set standards for ethical conduct in the voice over industry.

The spammers have been adding #wovo to some of their posts ostensibly to give them the appearance of legitimacy. But as far as I can tell, not a single newbie VO hijacking this hashtag is actually a member of WoVO - and it's unlikely they could even meet the standards set by the organization when it comes to voice over skills in the first place. 

TWITTER'S SPAM RULES

Twitter considers tweets spam based on a variety of reasons including the following: 
  • posting multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #, trending a popular topic, or promoted trend
  • posting duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account if tweets consist mainly of links, and not personal updates. 
It seems to me that a lot of these "Fiver fools” meet Twitter's definition of spam to the letter. I wonder how long they will be in existence before they’re finally shut down?

But that doesn't matter, because by that time, the individuals that thought of this little tactic and sold all those aspiring voice artists on the idea will be laughing all the way to the bank.

RATHER, DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS


The point of marketing on Twitter is to be remembered by producers and directors so that you can develop a relationship and do business with them.

People who are Twitter bombing their "choose me” spam will only make themselves remembered for the wrong reasons.  

Will the #voiceover hashtag ever recover from the spam coursing through it? I doubt it.

There will always be someone out there trying to cash in on the naivete of new talent, and there will always be people looking for a shortcut to success. Such is the way life goes.

True professionals, however, will find ways around the noise: The cream will always rise to the top.

But in the meantime, we all get to watch what was once a useful hashtag become a rushing river of garbage.
------------------
ABOUT ROB
A Los Angeles native, Rob Marley is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the hill country of Austin TX.


Web: www.MarleyAudio.com

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Comments (10)
Rose C
11/27/2016 at 5:19 PM
I do find the "Fivver people" in the #voiceover feed extremely annoying. I also find everything that true voice talents mentioned below in the comments to be true. I've been following the hashtag #voiceover since 2008 & have experienced the overload of these folks just this year (2016). I find it best to block them out, so I can read real things that matter about the voice biz, as opposed to someone selling themselves like a snake oil salesman trying to sell their product.

I don't think the Fivver folks ever get it, mainly because someone taught them out of the gate the wrong way to use Twitter. It's a shame. & it's highly doubtful that using our hashtag will lead them to jobs (although they think it will). They don't understand that it's mainly for talents to have discussion & share awesome stuff. For shame if they are also using the #WoVo hashtag. That's pretty slimy - it's hard enough for a business to establish a hashtag, let alone try to manage the people that are hijacking it. If I were #WoVo, I'd write to them direct & ask them to stop using it. Maybe even publicize it via retweeting. I would definitely look into a strategy to fight back on that one.

For now? Stay positive. Block them all out. When they creep, block. Remind true talents of the same - they can block people on Twitter & can rid themselves of a (Fivver) person in their feed immediately. Thanks for sharing all!
Earl Thomas
8/19/2016 at 4:55 PM
I agree fiver is not good & very unhelpful to the v/o industry.
Terry Daniel
8/19/2016 at 7:14 AM
It's amazing how arrogant and ignorant SOME Fiverr talents can be. Instead of learning how to become better voice actors and listening to the advice of pros, they choose to get defensive and insulting. It's pretty sad. I guess if they want to work with 100 clients, 70 hours a week just to pay a utility bill, so be it. I feel sorry for most of them.
Rob Marley
8/19/2016 at 4:50 AM
Jim - The truth I speak is the lie you live.
Jim
8/18/2016 at 11:02 PM
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do.
- Benjamin Franklin
Mauricio
8/18/2016 at 8:04 PM
I wonder how soon #spanishvoiceover will start to be used the same way.
Rob Marley
8/18/2016 at 7:46 PM
Jim,

You're a fool. You're a fool and you dont even know it.

You working for pennies on the dollar doesn't affect me in the slightest.

Sorry I didn't get a chance to see this post until now. I was too busy recording voiceovers for clients willing to pay me more than slave wages for my effort. And I didn't even have to spam Twitter with false information to do it.

Enjoy your indentured servitude.


Terry Daniel
8/18/2016 at 5:18 PM
Jim, Thank you for your candor. I spend many hours a week steering new voice talents in the right direction. If you want to take our comments about the VO garbage dumpster site as complaining, you're entitled to do so but don't try and tell me that I am not out here helping people. And if you're going to rip me, please use proper grammar. Have fun working for more peanuts this week. #ignorance
Peter Bishop
8/18/2016 at 5:01 PM
Rob's post pretty much sums up the state of affairs with respect to Twitter at the moment. The blatant saturation bombing of the #voiceover hashtag is annoying, rendering it useless as a meaningful filter... but this could be (and is being) taught as a legitimate marketing method. However much I may not like it, it has a small legitimacy (it may well contravene Twitter rules regarding spam, but that's not for me to say).

However, the hi-jacking of the #WoVO hashtag by non-members is cynical and doubtless done with malice aforethought. For non-members to associate $5 voiceover services with The World Voices Organization is purposefully misleading a potential client. It's akin to me offering legal advice and alluding to the fact that I'm a member of The Bar Association (I'm not!)

To further reference Jim's comments... there seems to be an overwhelming sense of entitlement in evidence. He suggest both Rob and Terry should spend less time whining and more time helping people. Excuse me? I'm sure both these guys help where they can (in fact, I know they do) but their prime focus is on earning a living doing voiceover, not pandering to self-righteous Firerr warriors. Funny, you say they are relics and uneducated complainers... but you want more help from them. You say they should get over it and stop "harassing" people... yet the whole concept you are defending relies on viciously criticizing the old model and "harassing" people as one of the major tenet of the marketing plan?

There are many out there who have swilled the Kool-Aid and believe they are on the vanguard of a new dawn in VO. World supremacy in $5 chunks. A world where marketing and the up-sell trumps solid performance abilities. I hope it's all a flash-in-the-pan. I hope Twitter doesn't get broken on the way. And above all, I really hope that those who think they're going to make a dent in the market at these low rates realize that they are worth more, and that the only winners here are the "gurus" who sell their snake-oil webinars, books, and plans telling you how to master the VO business.
Jim
8/18/2016 at 10:07 AM
The only thing that's garbage here is you and major complainer Terry Daniel whining about the same thing over and over and over again. Get over it already! Spend your time focused on actually helping people rather then just complaining all the time! Guess what the statements you both spew make you both look like the uneducated complainers you are. Also this is the brave new world we all live in now. Stop harassing good people trying to and actually making it in this new world without attacking you old relics!
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