“Your Account Has Been DISABLED!”

As Social Media Marketing Networkers, those are some of the most dreaded words you could possibly hear. Several of my good friends have received those notices lately. And to be straight up honest with you, it’s getting me very concerned.

By no stretch of anyone’s imagination am I a passive community builder. I don’t offend and annoy people with my approach. I simply send a very short and compelling message to targeted prospects letting them know how they will benefit from connecting with me. They can either accept or reject my invitation. It’s their decision.

A lot of my strategy is borne of the fact that I’m a direct response copywriter by trade. I’m used to getting readers to respond in a positive manner, in the moment, and it’s paid off in helping me to connect with a lot of friends on Facebook (3,600+). And out of those connections have come many true friendships as well as clients for my coaching and writing business.

I rarely let a day go by without approaching 70 to 100 targeted prospects on Facebook with my benefit-rich invitation message to become my friend. And once they become a friend, I contact them again with another benefit-rich, compelling , message inviting them to join my Social Media Marketing Network Fan page.

BUT, I’m getting more nervous each day when I hear about all the citations being handed out by Facebook. Am I doing something uniquely different than others or am I just lucky? Maybe I had better slow down while I’m ahead. 😉

Part of me believes that there is a method to the madness, meaning you can be proactive in your friending strategy without losing your Facebook privileges.

Here are a few steps I believe you can try that might help you avoid Facebook’s message of doom while expanding your network:

  1. DON’T send too many messages in a short time span. Don’t ask me how many is “too many” and in what time span, because I really don’t know. There are people that have been penalized for sending far fewer messages than I do. Facebook doesn’t want you to know the magic number because everyone would ‘play’ right up to that point before stopping their activities.
  2. DON’T trying to break any speed records. You know what happens if you get caught speeding on the freeway. Well, Facebook is no different. They’re worse. They’ll take your Facebook driver’s license and disable your account. Slow down. Send your invitations throughout the day rather than in one session.
  3. DON’T send invitations without a personalized message. When you send invitations without personalization it’s easy to go too fast. Plus, it lowers your acceptance rate.
  4. DON’T use a 100% cut ‘n paste technique. Yep, it saves time, but it can also get you in trouble. The Facebook radar can zoom in on such activity real quick. You really need to provide some variation to each message in order to avoid this pitfall.

There have been times when I’ve commented on someone’s pet they were holding; congratulated them on the baby they were admiring in their picture; handed out compliments on a person’s hair style or a piece of clothing they were wearing. I remember a time when I complimented a lady on her dress (in a respectable manner) and it turned into a two-day exchange of emails.

I don’t’ know what your experience has been in trying to build your Facebook connections, but if you know of any tips that work, and just as importantly, some that can get you in trouble, please post them in the comment section below.

Cheers!

Jim Turner

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25 Responses to “Your Account Has Been DISABLED!”

  1. John Carson says:

    A very timely post, Jim. I am working on an initiative that is helping a client to promote their “Say F.U. To Student Debt” campaign.

    I set up the group here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=15142408179

    Then I researched relevent groups to invite in. The important word: invite. I didn’t just spam their walls, I wrote an individual e-mail to the creators of the group, and asked them to give my F.U. group a mention. Some were very appreciative that I took the time to do that. All was good with the world.

    Then, after around 15 of these, I got the “possible spammer” message from Facebook, so had to hold off. I don’t consider what I did spam. I contacted each person by name, and asked them politely — it was their choice whether or not to mention my group.

    I think FB has to take another look at its system of checking to look at whether REAL people are using the network correctly, or using bots.

    Cheers,
    John Carson.

  2. Jim Turner says:

    John,
    Your experience is very much like that of others. There doesn’t seem to be any real consistency in how FB dishes out these citations.

    Thanks for posting your experience.
    ~Jim

  3. Nurcan Guzel says:

    Dear Jim,
    I think this is more than being spammer. Because some time other user is reported or flagged your post as a spam, in this case you are being spammer too. But this is social disorder 🙂 even your friends can do (because people does not read help section easy way is always as it is), but software programmer is thinking always with 0101010101 so they forget the emotions of users. When social networks giving a freedom to the users, is start others there is a very thin border between two users. If they do this kind of platform(which I believe in they do very near future) with artificial intelligent we will never use privileges of our account, but there will be another discussion start privacy!
    The best is being cordial like as real life, and you do this way.
    Thank you, seeing you online is nice:) and sharing your experience.
    Warmest Regards
    Nurcan Guzel

  4. zoeyjordan says:

    Hi Jim,
    Timely post, and I think you’re providing good keypoints. I’d take your post one step further and say you could actually relabel your information as “FaceBook Ettiquette.” I would much rather make a connection with someone who takes the time to send me a message with their friend request, and in fact, I’ve come to ignore request from folks who don’t. Experience has taught me well…every friend that I have “confirmed” that didn’t actually personalize a message to me, within moments of me confirming the connection, that new “friend” has sent me a very spammy email, promoting their latest and greatest affiliate program. It’s almost like, “who needs an opt-in and autoresponder program, when you’ve got FaceBook?” Yikes.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Jim. Right on target.
    Best,
    Zoey

  5. Jim Turner says:

    Zoey…
    you’re so right about those folks who connect just to spam you. I’ve started immediately ‘unfriending’ anyone who sends me SPAM through my FB inbox. It really is poor etiquette.
    Cheers!
    ~Jim

  6. charlie says:

    Jim, via FaceBook I believe the magic number is 1000 xc

  7. Jim Turner says:

    Hey Charlie… what do you mean when you say 1,000 is the magic number?

    Jim

  8. Good Advice says:

    Well Done Jim

    Late for me but a Lovely post.

  9. Melissa says:

    Great advice Jim. A good reminder that we should be trying to build our relationships with others first and our business second!

  10. Hi Jim,
    My understanding from people who have been cut off and banned and then subsequently negotiated and reinstated is that what got them in trouble in the first place was sending “messages” to around the 1000 people mark. On more than one occasion.

    But I’m sure it’s more than that that gets the FB radar going (in my humble opinion). Firstly the few individuals that I know who had difficulties also work the room in a BIG way. A systematic approach to a) join group b) upload photo / video / other c) leave group… over and over and over.

    I experienced a warning ONCE… it was an auto generated “you’ve reached limit for entering events” (pity as it was a sporting team) – so I simply stopped doing it for that day and went back a few days later to add the rest.

    I guess – an individual isn’t going to be so intense with their activity. And FB seems to pick up intensity :>

    Hope that helps clarify. xc

  11. Jim Turner says:

    Thanks Charlie. You’re absolutely correct there are many reasons or behaviors for which FB will nail you. I guess we just need to do things with moderation and not go ‘crazy.’

    Cheers!
    Jim

  12. ian chapman says:

    Hi Jim,
    great post , We have a thread running on Facebook made easy that discusses all these isues, and gives firsthand accounts from users who have been disabled. anyone who wants to read further can check out this link

    http://tinyurl.com/4kf68f

    at the bottom of the thread is a list of the 13 reason to get your facebook acount disabled.

    I myself am very carefull now, as I also have large groups. I know that if you message a large group more than twice a day you put yourself at risk , this is what got Regis Peletier’s account disabled. I never invite more than 300 or message more than 1000 in one day. I have tended to slow down on friend requests as my list is growing naturally without taking any extra risk.

    keep up the good work Jim

    Ian

  13. Jim,

    You are always so pro-active with your posts.

    There are a lot of scary things happening with social networking in between the wonderful things.

    I think the companies and people in general are over-sensitive about spam, and point fingers so quickly.

    At the same time, I lost my motivation to read private messages on Facebook because it is mostly ads now!

    As you know, I coach people one-on-one in social networking, not because I am the biggest expert in the world, but because I can hold their hands and get them going if they are afraid. A lot of people are scared these days! They would just rather not poke their nose out into the social networking ponds!

    Where is the happy medium? We are not there yet.

    Have a great weekend,

    Sally

    http://www.drsallywitt.com

  14. Jim Turner says:

    Sally,

    I agree with you about the SPAM issue. I always thought SPAM was tied to an offer for a business transaction involving money. I never considered SPAM to include asking to be friends.

    There are many folks who blast me with their business opportunities that I’m not interested in. In most cases I consider it junk mail because it’s something that I’m not interested in, rather than calling it SPAM.

    A lot of these issues eventually boil down to what makes you happy vs. what makes me happy.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Jim

  15. Joan Sotkin says:

    Jim,

    Helpful post. Thanks.

    I tried to put myself in FB’s shoes and can see their point of view. It was created as a social networking site, not a site for direct marketers to do thier business. Those of us who are trying to monetize our presence on FB have, in some way, hijacked it for our purposes.

    As a realtive newcomer, I wonder how long the frantic pace set by some marketers can contnue befoe some other site becomes the “it” place for them to be. The frantic pace and exaggerated promises of some concerns me. (I do appreciate your sober, calm approach.)

    It is frustrating because the exceses of a few have put FB on guard. I figure that those of us who are willing to take a more moderate approach will prevail.

    Joan
    http://ProsperityPlace.com

  16. Sally and Jim,
    A couple weeks ago it hit me that I don’t even read my facebook mail anymore. I glance at my email notices on gmail to see if anyone real has sent me a message, but they hardly ever do. I would guess that is because I’ve stopped using it. I direct message friends on twitter now or drop them text or emails from the phone.
    Robert

  17. Bendz says:

    Hi,

    Useful tips for myspace users. I’m new here.
    So, At moment I’ve got no idea 😦

    Thanks for sharing…
    🙂

  18. Michele says:

    hey thanxxx for the blog and the short note
    i really like short and fast and video
    thanxxxxxxxxxx

    Michele

  19. Franca says:

    Jim:
    Great timely advice to never abuse the networking privileges we have been given with Facebook. It’s a powerful platform and medium if used wisely. We’ve been warned.

    Cheers

  20. matthew hunt says:

    Jim,

    Great points! The tortoise always wins the race!

    Matthew

  21. Hello Jim,
    Great post so I had to respond with a question. I am hosting FACEBOOK meet & greet professional mixers on a monthly basis in New York and Philadelphia. I am about to post 12 upcoming FACEBOOK networking mixers for each month over the next 12 months. Will FACEBOOK consider my events as spam and boot me off the network. I am only sending out email to those who added me as a friend. What are your thoughts.

    Mark Anthony Jenkins
    Meeting Planner/Organizer
    718-993-2999

  22. Hugh Ervin says:

    Hello Jim,
    As a relative newcomer to FB there are some very helpful points made on this page. There is no magic number, I asked FB support that question. As one of the people using FB for both social and business purposes, I can see how easily we can create offence to individuals.

    The success of sites such as Facebook, MySpace etc. is due to our(peoples) driving need to talk to teach other, about anything, and everything, and for many people, that everything includes their business.
    There is a perhaps a piece missing from the various etiquette outlines. It was mentioned in posts above, that a personal contact asking for an approval of a post is one way to go, but also not enough to justify “sharing a link”.
    Who is going to monitor your wall, if not you? You have delete options, you also have comment options, you can de-friend as Jim pointed out.
    Yet paid for ads run in the margins of everyone’s FB page. Do we take offence at that?

    It was pointed out by Dr. Witt that we have not yet approached a liveable middle ground. Where do we separate social and business activity?
    What do we mean when we say we are here for networking?
    We don’t separate them off-line either. Do you gather with the family and friends to watch a TV program, or a movie? We don’t jump up and yell spam every time a commercial runs (maybe we should). So why do we do it here? If this was meant to be a social site only, (social defined by whom?), then why have the blatant network marketers not been shut down? The hare, so to speak.
    And what of the turtle? Are they not going to the same place? Is it ok if we move slowly instead of quickly? What exactly is being judged here?

    Maybe, it would be a little simpler for all, if, there was an option to specify what sort of networking we are here for. eg. social networking vs business networking. As it is those options are not available, but it can be specified in a persons profile. If profiles are not read before responding to a friend request, what’s the point of profiling? It begs the question… What’s the point of responding?

    Hugh

  23. Jim Turner says:

    Hi Hugh,
    Thanks for your comment. You make some very valid points in your discussion. I think as people learn more and more about how to conduct themselves in Social Media arena, things will settle down.

    Right now, it’s kind of like the days of the Wild, Wild West! People are shooting from the hop and hoping to hit a target.

    Regards,
    ~Jim

  24. Jim,

    A wonderful post, as always. I feel we’re at the beginning of social networking… the “Wild, Wild West!” you spoke of. The mores and standards are still sorting themselves out, errors will be made and some wonderful things will come of it too. In the end, ‘civil’ society will reign.

    Personally, I look at FB as I would the physical environment… how I conduct myself in the physical, I try to replicate in the virtual. I agree with Dr. Witt, I’m turned off by the constant ‘advertising’ in posts. Just as I would want to get to know someone before doing business with them in the physical world… same thing goes in the virtual. There is a level of responsibility in how we conduct ourselves in the FB environment.

    I’ve found the way people use FB, pretty much mirrors their professional relationships in the physical world. There are those who nuture relationships, and those with whom it’s simply a game of numbers.

    Keep up the good work… and the great advice.

    David

  25. Ron says:

    When we join these social networks were at their mercy once we activate an account I’ve had multiple accounts deleted for no reason,Myspace,facebook,and even youtube it can happen at any time.When it first happened to my Myspace account I had over 2000 friends I wanted to cry this was over 5yrs then all of a sudden poof.I sent email after email and no response on why.I just move on so beware.

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