When using social media, everything runs pretty smoothly (for the most part). However, something that I never thought too much about when assisting clients with social media is, “What if something goes wrong?”
With any technology, something can go wrong. A webpage might not load or connect, social media might not be sending posts properly, or maybe I can’t read something someone just sent me.
These issues are quick to troubleshoot, but what happens when you can’t use social media at all?
I recently had a client get sent to Facebook Jail (yes, it’s a real thing). She didn’t post anything inappropriate, she’s never antagonistic or mean. She’s a professional. Then, one day she was trying to login to Facebook and received a message from Facebook saying her personal account had been suspended.
Why would this happen?
In her situation, it was nothing she did. It was what other people did.
An individual (let’s call her Wendy) on Facebook had recently bought a domain name and claimed that my client was impersonating her new business by using the same domain name. When working with my clients, I make sure that everything from the name to the brand colors is not infringing on other companies copyrights and trademarks. What Wendy didn’t understand is that a domain name and a slug line are two different portions of a URL. If you’re unsure about the difference yourself, check out this article to catch up to speed. Don’t worry, I can wait.
So, Wendy asked Facebook to ban her for falsely impersonating her company. There is a strict process to getting Facebook to take down a page, but not to do a temporary ban. In that situation, the burden of proof lies more squarely on my client than the accuser. Like the opposite of a law case.
My client had to reach out to Facebook and challenge the decision with a variety of documentation and proof that she wasn’t impersonating her business. Although Facebook realized their mistake and remedied the situation, the process took time and energy away from her business.
How to prevent this from happening?
There are several prevention steps to help situation like these from happening. Here are eight ways to prevent being blocked and sent to Facebook Jail.
- Time Between Posts
Facebook uses a variety of algorithms to detect not only malicious users, but spammers. Much like the email spam section, Facebook tries to get rid of spam too. It’s a good rule of thumb to leave a few minutes between posts to avoid looking “suspicious.”
- Be Real, Be Original
This is kind of a no-brainer, but it can get difficult to make original content. The text you write should never be a copy and paste job from your favorite blog. It needs to be unique. Also, it’s not limited just to text. It’s always important to check if you own the rights to photos that you post on your site, whether it’s your website or social media. With my client, I use legitimate, royalty-free image sites to prevent such issues from arising.
- The Personal Touch
With accounts like Facebook and LinkedIn, knowing who you add to your connections or friends list (and being sure that they know you as well) prevents your online behavior being flagged as spam. Make sure your connections are honest and real. Always get permission from others when tagging them in posts or adding them to groups.
- Understanding Facebook
It’s impossible to keep up with everything going on in social media. Hiring qualified professionals to manage your social media presence can take the burden off the owner and other employees when navigating the complex social media world. However, if there were two simple ideas to take away, it would be these:
- Don’t Make Your Personal Account Your Business Name: You can’t create a personal profile with the name, “Georgie’s Garden Service”. A personal profile is like biography. Make sure to mention your business, create links in profile, or even create a business page.
- You Only Get One Account: You can only have one personal account, but you can have multiple business pages. You can even add multiple business emails to allow customers to easily contact you.
- Act Like A Business
It can be tough to separate from the competition on social media, but there are certain strategies that bring serious red flags. Promoting your business on another business’s page, regardless if it’s a post or a comment, is bad practice. It’s like selling Lenovo computers in a Dell computer store. Also, avoid using private messages for promotional purposes. Unwanted notifications can lead to recipients reporting you.
- Playing Dirty
As mentioned earlier, my client was a victim of a user manipulating the Facebook system to hurt her business. These “trolls” can be anyone and can do this to any post you may write as well. Although your business may be public facing, it doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself. If you notice this behavior from one of your contacts, you can block them from your page. You can also report the individual by going to their personal account.
- Be Accessible
Filling out your Facebook profile to completion doesn’t just have branding purpose, but it adds legitimacy to your company. Filling out the about section of your page allows people to contact you and allows them to feel comfortable engaging with you and your content.
- Less is More
Shortening your links isn’t just aesthetically pleasing. Using the same link on multiple pages and posts can be interpreted as spam. There are several sites that I use and sometimes pre-built into software I use to post content.
Hopefully, now that you know the rules, you won’t end up in Facebook Jail.