FB Spam About Celcom’s BeBozz Programme Is Not Effective Marketing
About a month ago at Vulcan Post, we started noticing something quite strange in the comments of our Facebook posts.
As a digital publisher sharing content on social media, we’re used to seeing just about all kinds of comments ranging from rude comments to genuinely insightful and educational.
However, it was different (well, at least for me, as I’ve only been in the business for a little over a year now).
On just about every post we’ve posted in August (so far), there would be a few Facebook users over a dozen spamming our comments on a Celcom program called BeBozz.
Warning: This article is not sponsored by Celcom, we are writing this to share our experience of receiving spam due to any of the company’s programs, and our opinion on this type of marketing strategy.
While the first sentence of their comment would start in different ways (see examples below), the back part would be the exact same words, asking whoever sees the comment to register for the program using their referral code.
However, we eventually noticed that even the first sentence would be reused multiple times by different users, so it’s safe to assume that the whole post could just be edited versions of a template.
At first we thought they were robots. Some time after a post was published, a swarm would follow along and make their presence known in the comments within a matter of minutes, which looked a lot like a bot.
What troubled us, however, were the few observations we made on this whole phenomenon.
What’s even going on?
First of all, they are not robots. These are real people who live real lives.
Granted, I oddly clicked on a number of public profiles, scrolled, and saw that they were decently active accounts.
For example, some had recently uploaded new profile photos and received a number of comments from friends and family congratulating them.
Robots surely are not this still advanced, right? At least not to the point of having a community of bots that can interact with each other like you and me.
Second, what we couldn’t understand was how we were being targeted.
Regardless of whether or not the post was linked to a mobile device, they were spamming the comments.
Are they just going to target us in general, along with a bunch of other publishers? As spam is a real horror on our page, we actively hid it by noticing it.
It’s likely that other editors are doing the same on their Facebook pages, but the other day I saw a BeBozz comment still hidden on one of The Edge Malaysia’s posts.
This is actually what prompted me to write this article, because for a while I thought we were the only ones being targeted. Seeing this, I realized that it is also a problem that affects others.
I cannot confirm if only Malaysian digital publishers’ pages are targeted by comments, but I can confirm one thing: spam is annoying as hell.
Third, I would never spot the same user in comments for different posts.
Each comment would be written by a new user, without fail, so simply banning the user would not have helped reduce spam.
Is this even an effective marketing strategy?
From what I can tell, BeBozz is a Celcom program that claims you can become your own boss and earn income without subscribing to the 9-5 grind.
Essentially, you sign up to become a sales agent for Celcom prepaid and postpaid products.
However, spam comments don’t market Celcom products at all – they market the program itself and try to recruit more people to become sales agents under BeBozz.
Assuming these users were supposed to market the program this way when they signed up, is that even an effective marketing strategy?
The most common types of marketing strategies for promoting something are giveaways and referrals.
You see giveaways happening all the time on various social media platforms, where a brand will get its audience to tag a friend / family member (or multiple) in an attempt to win.
When the tagger tags someone, they help the brand gain brand awareness and practically do free and voluntary marketing for it.
But that’s not something the tagger and the people they tag, as the brand would usually already be a target of their interest.
Referrals can make business even sweeter. These are virtually guaranteed rewards if you manage to get someone to sign up for something through a unique link provided to you.
Gifts and referrals give people a chance to earn a reward. If you fail to win a giveaway or if no one signs up with your referral link, you don’t lose much, if anything at all.
A strange situation at all levels
On the other hand, this BeBozz marketing strategy is neither a gift nor a reference, and you make have something to lose (if you don’t play).
Because comments ended with a link after all the encouragement to sign up for the program, I initially assumed they were referral links.
On closer inspection, they all made up the generic link to the main Celcom BeBozz page.
Based on the information I was able to gather from the FAQs and terms and conditions, those who sign up for the program actually have to invest RM20 up to RM270, depending on which starter investment package you choose. .
Sure, it’s a small long-term investment if you can kickstart your career as a BeBozz sales agent, but if you can’t, it’s still money wasted.
Everything I’ve learned about it so far still makes me scratch my head. What is the purpose of these spam comments?
Is it a Celcom stipulation that you to have do this if you sign up for the program?
If not, why are these users willingly marketing the program for free, since they don’t receive any referral rewards (to my knowledge, by checking the FAQs and terms and conditions)?
Are the comments posted just to get everyone’s attention in the hope that someone will click on the link and join?
Do these users specifically choose to spam our comments (and those of other editors) for any reason, or are their accounts unintentionally hijacked to make the comments appear “real”?
I have so many questions and no answers. I tried contacting Celcom to find out why this was happening, but couldn’t get any contact.
It’s not about the program, it’s about marketing
To clarify, I have no issues with the program itself, as it is still an opportunity for Malaysians to make money (as long as it is not a scam).
What I really disagree with is the way the program is marketed, taking advantage of the public pages and the traffic they generate.
Worse yet, the comments are an absolute horror to everyone and to their audience.
So much so that one of our readers who owns a public page personally contacted me with a recommendation on how to automatically hide comments with a mention of “BeBozz”.
I would like to pass on the knowledge he gave me, so to do that, you need to go to Facebook’s Business Manager, find your settings, and under General there is an option called Page Moderation.
Just type in the specific word you want to ban and it will automatically hide all comments containing that word.
Since then we’ve had a little more peace of mind, but just because they’re hidden doesn’t mean they stopped.
All the spam may have helped Celcom get more listings, but at the cost of their branding I would say.
Our audience might not be too bothered by this as they are not directly targeted, but as a brand seeing our page and other publishers’ social media spoiling themselves like this, it is rightly annoying. .
Our sincere thanks to