It’s hard to remember a time when there was no social media—when "hashtags" were known as the pound sign or when there was no such thing as selfies. But one thing’s for sure, social media has created an entirely new way for businesses to directly connect with customers and prospects. Yet while businesses are now more reliant on social media than ever before, with it comes new vulnerability.
In recent months, hundreds of people were shocked to find their Instagram accounts wrongly disabled and deactivated. Instagram, which is owned and operated by Facebook, has the 4th-most users of any mobile app. Popculture stated that other members found messages missing from their inbox. While not much is known as to why so many accounts were taken down, it is clear that companies are increasingly dictating what their users should and should not see and believe.
The truth is, the future of online censorship is unknown and people and businesses relying on social media to succeed and communicate should be prepared for ongoing changes. To help protect your list from being throttled, shut down, or cleared forever, here are a few ways to protect your online presence and prepare for a censored future:
Familiarize yourself with Terms of Service
Violating a platform's Terms of Service or community guidelines is the easiest way to get kicked out of your account. As a creator, it is important to familiarize yourself with these rules. The most common violation issues include posting copyrighted images you don’t have the license to share and getting flagged as “fake” due to third-party automation apps. If you would like to use another person's content, be sure to ask permission first and tag them to give them credit. As for the third-party apps, it is okay to use a scheduling platform, but it is not okay to use apps that spam likes and repetitive comments.
Avoid mass follows and likes
When growing your account, mass following and liking may seem like an easy method for quick growth. This is something that should be avoided because it goes against social media policies and your account may be mistaken for a robot account (also known as a “bot”). Violation of these rules can lead to a temporary, and sometimes permanent account ban. Instead, follow and frequently engage with accounts that are relevant and of interest to you.
Purchasing likes and followers is also another easy way to get your account deleted. Because Instagram constantly purges fake followers, you will end up losing money and possibly your entire account by violating Instagram's strict Terms of Service
Watch your hashtags
Hashtags are an easy way to connect content with a specific topic or theme. However, some hashtags may not mean what you think. Before you copy and paste a long set of hashtags, be sure to search the content behind the hashtag to ensure it will invite the right audience to your platform. If your posts are inviting spam comments, it may be time to reevaluate your hashtags and research more relevant options.
Safeguard your lists
Worst case scenario, even after following these steps, accounts may still be deactivated. To many businesses and influencers, this can be devastating as their entire community of followers has vanished. With increasing deletion of accounts, these entrepreneurs can no longer rely solely on social media to stay connected with their followers.
Before a disaster like this occurs, businesses and influencers are building their own text marketing communities with platforms like VoxDirect to ensure communication and connection with their followers, even outside of social media. With text message marketing, these entrepreneurs can send special daily or weekly messages to keep followers in the loop. Best of all, you own and control your list of followers, protecting you from the “ban hammer”.
At VoxDirect, we have the tools and solutions to help you create and automate SMS marketing communications that will help you drive more sales and accelerate the growth of your business.
For more information on who we are or what we do, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.