Social networking provides an excellent way for candidates to create additional exposure for themselves. It’s easy enough to create social profiles – and even easier to forget about them.

If you create profiles on social networks, they should be monitored and maintained. If not, you run the risk of unanswered attacks, hacking attempts, and accusations that you are not engaged in your own campaign.

For example, one drawback to having a Facebook campaign page is that once a person is listed as a ‘friend’, that person may have has access to post comments on your page. (This depends on your page settings.) Obviously, some comments might not be ‘positive’, and candidates run the risk nasty material being posted about them. This should be taken in stride. It can provide an opportunity to post a reply comment to discredit the remarks and strengthen their own platform.

Even worse things can happen if it’s apparent that no one is keeping an eye on the profiles. They may start to attract people with all sorts of malicious intentions, including run-of-the mill spammers.

Social spam messages are unsolicited commercial messages sent to your Facebook inbox, that appear in your Twitter replies, or show up on other social networking sites. The best way to deal with this problem is to block the offending user and report them to the service.

Comment spam is ads or links on your blogs, forums or guest books. They are not always blatant advertisements, so beware of innocent-looking or generic blog comments such as “Terrific post! Keep up the good work.” The commenter is only looking for the link back to his site that most blog comments provide. To deal with comment spam, either turn off all comments (recommended), require admin approval of all comments before they go live, and/or use a spam filter (such as Akismet for WordPress blogs) to help you with the job.

A good idea is to have several people on your campaign keep an eye on your overall web presence. That includes the website, your social media profiles, and what is being said about you online.

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