Many Internet Marketers today include Twitter in their overall Internet Marketing Strategy. It’s proven itself to be a great platform for reaching out to consumers and clients, and is an effective communication tool.
What many Internet Marketers don’t realize is that Twitter accounts can be suspended and permanently terminated if the system is abused. In fact, the Twitter rules state that they reserve the right to immediately terminate any account, if that account is violating their rules or terms of service.
Why Does Twitter Have Rules?
Twitter basically wants to provide an open network where users can share content with others, and have a great experience doing so. Their usage guidelines and rules are meant to discourage spam and other types of abusive activity that would negatively impact the Twitter experience.
What Is Twitter Spam?
Twitter considers the following activities to be spammy or abusive:
• Posting harmful links to phishing or malware sites.
• Posting the same tweet over and over again.
• Aggressively following and un-following other accounts.
• Updates that consist mainly of links, and not dialogue or useful updates.
There are many other rules and guidelines that Twitter considers when making a determination as to whether an account is creating spam or being abusive. You can find the complete list of Twitter Rules at:
How About Automated Tweets and Follows?
Many Twitter users use automation tools to tweet at scheduled times, or to grow their list of followers more quickly. Twitter doesn’t state that you can’t use an automation tool, but they do strongly discourage the use of them, and have adopted very strict rules and guidelines concerning their use.
The most common automation practices discouraged by Twitter are:
• Following and un-following large number of users over a short period of time.
• Posting the same tweet over and over again.
• Mass promotion of affiliate offers or advertising.
Before using any type of automation tool, you should carefully read the Twitter Automation Rules and Best Practices article. In fact, we’ve found that one of the most popular Twitter automation tools available today actually provides features that are in violation of the current Twitter rules. If you do decide to use an automation tool, be sure to review the Twitter Rules, and proceed with caution!
What To Do If Your Twitter Account Is Suspended
Fortunately, Twitter is willing to work with you if your account is suspended, and as a result, you’ll have an opportunity to appeal their decision. In fact we’ve heard that they will re-activate an account if the account holder changes the behavior that resulted in the initial account suspension. For more information about the appeal process, please checkout the article My Account is Suspended.
It’s important to remember that Twitter is keeping a close eye on activities that impact their primary goal of providing an open network for freely communicating with others.
If you use Twitter in a spammy or abusive manner, you risk account suspension and eventual termination. BUT, as long as you use Twitter to have an open dialogue with others, and you’re providing useful information, you should be fine. Happy Tweeting!
When it comes to internet marketing, not all businesses are created equally. An internet marketing strategy that works for one business, will likely not work for another. Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t able to think outside of the box when it comes an internet marketing strategy. They’ll assume that if the competition is doing one thing, they need to do the same in order to keep up.
This past weekend, CBS Sunday Morning, did a segment on the growth of street food vendors in Los Angeles. Many of these vendors operate out of a truck and sell mostly tacos or burritos. Street food vendors park their trucks (or carts) at different locations for only an hour or so at a time because many times they are prohibited from parking longer than this at each location.
Now I know what you’re asking at this point. You probably wondering what street vendors have to do with internet marketing?. Well, let’s look into their challenges a bit more to find out.
Let’s assume that you operate a business that is dependent on walk-up traffic, and your business is required (by city law) to change locations every hour or so. How would you generate enough walk-up business to support yourself? Well, historically, the best way do this would be to make sure that you are parked in an area where there are lots of customers that can generate sales for you in a very short period of time.
The challenge with this approach is that from a marketing perspective, a local business that needs to constantly change locations is going to be a challenge to promote. After all, you can’t advertise your address because it’s always changing. It’s also going to be difficult to capture a loyal customer base because they won’t always be able to find you in the same place at the same time. Lastly, you’re always going to bump into competition at the busiest locations.
So how would you promote this type of business in today’s online world? Well, thanks to Twitter we have our answer. In fact Twitter is responsible for creating a boom for street food vendors. Enter a truck food vendor by the name of Kogi. Kogi began business back in November of 2008 and has become a Twitter phenom (NPR Article).
There were several things that Kogi did differently that made them the business success that they are. One was to create branding around their truck with a logo, a clean look AND most importantly, a memorable company name. Next, and more importantly, they started announcing their truck locations and specials via Twitter. Now they were in a position to create a customer base that could find them wherever they were.
Needlesstosay, business is booming for Kogi and now several other street food vendors are following this example. Just check out this list (from 2009) of street food vendors around the country with their Twitter user names. It almost seems as if Twitter were made for this purpose. In retrospect though, this is a classic example of a business that decided NOT to run with the herd, and instead do something completely out-of-the box when it comes to internet marketing.