'Fiverr Fools' Are Among Social Media Spammers
Twitter Bombing The #voiceover Hashtag
August 18, 2016
By Rob Marley
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:
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:
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.
A Los Angeles native, Rob Marley is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the hill country of Austin TX.
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