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The Down and Dirty on Social Data Spam Warps Info Brands Need, Says Networked InsightsSocial media offers a mother lode of consumer data — from tastes and preferences to past behavior — that has the potential to help brands better understand their potential customers.

But is it getting skewed by the medium it’s in?

“Even though savvy brands use social data to evaluate and inform their actions, they are being thwarted by non-consumer or social spam posts,” explains Networked Insights. “Unless careful steps are put in place to remove social spam from their analysis, brands run the risk of missing or misinterpreting key consumer insights because of skewed data.”

According to Networked Insights, “It’s a well known problem.”

For instance, though Twitter has anti-spam measures in place, the “black market” can produce faux Twitter accounts faster than Twitter can excise them.

“There are ways to identify and remove spammy tweets from your data set,” the report continues. “(Our) models, for example, can identify social spam with accuracy greater than 80 percent making it possible to clean up the data set and achieve more accurate results.”

Interestingly, shopping, finance, and tech suffer the most spammy material and data. It’s less of an issue in categories like religion, sports, and science.

“The real issue for marketers is not spam count,” says Networked Insights. “It’s that all of that spam changes conversation themes that marketers discover using social data analytics.”

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