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Have you come across this LinkedIn term: Site-Wide Automatic Moderation (SWAM)? Well it’s been around most of this year and it seems it’s a BIG secret.

But it’s REALLY important that you know about this, and here’s why…

If you post something in a group and the manager/owner doesn’t like it, you can get “SWAM’d” – your content and comments need checking before being let loose into the group. This also means that for EVERY GROUP YOU ARE A MEMBER YOU ARE SWAM’d TOO <- in CAPS for emphasis.

If you are SWAM’d this is bad for 3 reasons

  1. What you post needs to be read and “authorised” by the group manager before others can see it – this clearly causes a delay and will affect your business.
  2. Been SWAM’d in 1 group? Tough – you are now SWAM’d in EVERY group.
  3. Group Managers may not know about this and may be inadvertently either blocking you unilaterally or neglecting to moderate your pending posts.

Some other things to think about:

You won’t know who “SWAM’d” you, or in which group. Read LinkedIn’s official line here.

Here Fishy, Fishy! Have you Been SWAM’d?

Post something / comment on something – if it doesn’t show straight away you are either under SWAM arrest or the group manager/owner has sought fit to moderate you manually (be aware of the groups that do this – I find this a little anti-networking but hey, it’s their group…)

Ways to Prevent Being SWAM’d

  1. Make friends with every group manager (REALLY think about how influential these people are – if you went to a regular face to face networking event you’d ”work” the room and network with the event owner, so why not do this on LinkedIn? Don’t use your keyboard and large workload as an excuse to be rude.)
  2. Obviously read the rules – although to be fair some group managers don’t have them and expect you to be telepathic! (Read my mind!)
  3. Jobs! Are you really allowed to post them in the group? And if so, where’s good to do this? Check point 2, and if no rules, check point 1 and ask!
  4. Think about whether joining a group run by a competitor is a good thing – I get tactics, but they may SWAM you and that has a massive impact on the rest of your business.
  5. Read my blog about 10 LinkedIn Group Commandments.

If you are a Group Manager/Owner Be Responsible

Check your moderation queue regularly. You can help you group members by checking if they’ve been put in here and decide whether you agree. You can change their permissions in your group so that they can post without being moderated. (You may even want to let them know this…).

If you really feel that someone has dropped content in to your group and it’s not appropriate, then have an escalation procedure and make sure that you spell this out to your members – don’t just whack the “block” button.

The average person on LinkedIn spends 17 minutes per month on the system – it’s really likely that they’ll not have a “strategic protocol” for how they behave in your group, so give them the benefit of the doubt and be the bigger person.

Think about

  • Contacting them separately and let them know that you’ll be removing their content
  • Point to the rules
  • Only block if they ignore you and you have no alternative.

Swimming with Sharks

SWAM can ruin a great LinkedIn networker’s day so use wisely, and if you don’t want to be SWAM’d be strategic about the groups you join and how you spend your time in them.

Thanks UK Recruiter for publishing this blog.

We run LinkedIn for Recruiters courses for time-starved recruiters, who think they have a handle on LinkedIn, but want to improve their profile, increase their relevant application response and place more jobs. Read about the courses here.

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