When I was in kindergarten, we all had to sit silently on rows of tape on the floor in the front of the classroom when the teacher explained things to us on the chalkboard or read a story to us.
One day when we were all sitting on those rows of tape, a boy named Kyle decided that now would be a good time to play with the hair of the girl who was sitting in front of him.
And that girl just happened to be me.
Well, it really bothered me that he was playing with my hair, so I turned around and told him to stop. And guess who got in trouble…
My teacher Mrs. Shoffner (I actually don’t remember how to spell her name since I was only 5, but that’s what I come up with now) told me to go sit and put my head on my desk… as punishment for me defending myself against the boy who obviously had a huge crush on me and thought my hair was so beautiful and luxurious that he couldn’t keep his hands off of my lovely locks.
What happened to Kyle? No I didn’t marry him, although I did end up marrying A Kyle, just not that one. Well, Kyle from kindergarten didn’t get any punishment. Mrs. Shoffner didn’t ask me if anything was wrong, and I was too shy to offer up my defense to the prosecutor. I was the one talking, so I was the one who got in trouble.
I wasn’t doing anything wrong, though.
You’re probably wondering how this story has anything to do with Twitter suspensions… or maybe you get it. Well, the best way I can explain it is, Twitter is basically another Mrs. Shoffner in my life.
Twitter doesn’t care to hear your explanations to defend yourself. They just suspend you, just like Mrs. Shoffner immediately sent me to put my head down on my desk when the boy behind me was the real trouble maker.
By the way, I never got in trouble for talking in class ever again until 9 years later in 9th grade. That’s how much of a goodie two shoes I am.
Since I started doing Twitter management for people about 7 months ago, I’ve noticed that about 5% of accounts get suspended. Not because of anything I am doing, or anything the account owner is doing, but because of the nature of how Twitter works, and how Twitter responds to things.
Some people totally freak out like it’s the end of the world, or that their business is going to fall apart when their twitter account is suspended. Really? Seriously? Come on, people!
Some people take a twitter suspension lightly, like it’s no big deal, which is really the right attitude to have.
Reasons For Twitter Account Suspensions
It really isn’t a big deal for your Twitter account to be suspended, especially the first time. And there isn’t even always a reason for it. Sometimes it’s a glitch or a mistake on Twitter’s part. In fact, I have even gotten emails from support that say the following:
“Twitter has automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. Unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake. I’ve restored your account; sorry for the inconvenience. Please note that it may take an hour or so for your follower and following numbers to return to normal.”
Another reason accounts are suspended on twitter is because you are following “way” too many people per day. Or you’re following people, then unfollowing them too quickly (they call this fast follow/unfollow churn). I think these reasons are the main reasons twitter suspends an account, but I think they just use this reason as an excuse to suspend an account because some accounts will get suspended for following 25 people per day, and others won’t even be suspended for following 600 per day (yep, I know people who follow 600 people per day on twitter!). People can actually spend enough time on twitter to actually become interested and follow 25 people per day, but 600? Come on, people! I don’t see how that’s possible to do even if you spent all your waking hours on twitter.
The other reason for a suspension is because people report your account as spam. There are a number of reasons people might report your account as spam. For one, they don’t know who you are. Some people are so paranoid in this world and they think you’re creepy if you follow them if they don’t know you. Why? It’s just twitter, people. Calm down.
Another reason people will report your account as spam might even just have to do with your profile pic (or should I say, lack thereof)… Please update your profile image. Don’t have the default egg. This is simple twitter 101.
The other reason is your tweets. If you’re just shooting out a bunch of links to iphones and ipads, you’re obviously a spammer, so that’s a normal account to report as spam, because it is.
But if you are tweeting like a normal person (or business) and tweeting interesting things, or offering value to your followers and potential followers, and even, GASP! some tweets with links to your site, this is NOT spam. Twitter is a place where you can share your stuff. If people don’t like what you share, they shouldn’t follow you, and it should just end there.
All I have to say is everyone needs to just calm the heck down on twitter. If someone wants to follow you, let them. Unless your tweets are protected, who cares? And even then it doesn’t matter because you don’t have to approve that they can see your tweets.
What’s Good About Twitter?
Twitter is extremely helpful in many ways as far as getting and staying connected with the right people and businesses you want to stay connected and updated with.
Where Twitter is Flawed
Yep, Twitter is flawed. I said it. I don’t care. I have a super huge love-hate relationship with Twitter. Why?
Twitter is extremely ridiculous! They’re so focused on keeping it spam free, but it’s really impossible for them to keep up with, and they end up making a lot of mistakes as far as which accounts they suspend, and which accounts should REALLY be suspended.
Everyone has the choice to follow whoever they want. So if you don’t like an account, don’t follow them. And if you don’t want someone following you, just block them.
If they REALLY are spam, then report them. But be realistic in figuring out whether an account is really spamming. Someone who tweets a few times a day about what they’re all about is not spam. Spam is tweeting every minute about stupid iphones and ipads. Those accounts are so annoying.
Why You Should Not Freak Out When Your Twitter Account is Suspended
So you’re afraid your business is going to go up in flames if your customers or potential clients see that your account is suspended. This is why you should stop thinking that: It is completely irrational thinking. And…
1. Very few people (if anyone at all) will even notice your account is suspended. Have you ever gone to a twitter account’s URL only to see that big suspension message:
Probably not too many times, if any. And what did you think of that instance? Probably something along the lines of, “What?… Oh well…” and then you leave and continue doing what you were doing before you went to see that person’s twitter page, not thinking twice about it, nor thinking back on the situation ever again in the future.
So if that just happened to be a business, did the 2 or 3 people who might have happened to see that page was suspended gossip to the tabloids which spread rumors to all the four corners of the earth which ruined the business forever? No.
2. Accounts can be unsuspended. Almost every account, the first time it is suspended, all you have to do is check some boxes to say you won’t do anything wrong again (this is not an admission of guilt because they’re not really asking you IF you did anything wrong, a suspension is an ASSUMPTION that you WERE doing something wrong — i.e. Mrs. Shoffner).
The second time an account is suspended, you have to fill out the support form and wait for a response from twitter, then respond to their response saying you understand the best practices, and again won’t do anything wrong. Also, since you are actually in communication with twitter at this point, this might be a good time to explain that you REALLY WEREN’T doing anything wrong (or if you were doing something wrong, stop it, and change whatever it was you were doing).
So using twitter is a full on catch-22 in my opinion, and just by having a twitter account your account is at risk for suspension. So don’t freak out when your account is suspended. Just analyze what you might be doing wrong, and change it up, or if you really don’t feel you’re doing anything wrong, then tell it like it is to Twitter support and tell them to leave you alone and stop suspending your account because you’re not doing anything wrong. They’re like overbearing parents or kindergarten teachers that give you no sense of autonomy and punish you for nothing, lol!
So don’t freak out when your account is suspended.