Black Hat Social Media

‘Black Hat’ is a slang term often used in reference to unethical search engine optimization practices; as opposed to ‘White Hat’.  Black hat SEO uses techniques that are effective short term, but probably will result in penalties or a complete ban from search engines in the long run.  So what is ‘Black Hat Social Media’?

Black Hat Social Media is:

  • Results-driven – focused on quick gains.
  • Dishonest – built on fake profiles and deceptive messages.
  • Annoying – repetitive keywords in profiles and pointless apps are a turn off.

White Hat Social Media is:

  • Relationship-driven – focused on building a quality network.
  • Transparent – what you see is what you get.
  • Interesting – relevant content attracts like-minded individuals.

Black hat social media is basically what happens when companies try to manipulate social media to their advantage. You can’t manipulate the masses to do your bidding.  Perhaps a web crawler or search engine algorithm can be fooled, but real people have more experience at identifying frauds.

Moral of the story: Before you act, ask yourself why you want to take a particular action on the social web.  If broadcasting that reasoning on the social web would make you uncomfortable, it is black hat.

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