Diversify Your Social Networking Efforts

Written By: Stephen Scott
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It is tempting to try and concentrate all of your social networking efforts on one site like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Since you do not own the right maintain any of those profiles, pages or posts, be mindful that you need to build ALL of your social networking profiles up, not just your favorites.

Each of the three big social networking services maintains the right to shut your profile, page or group down at their own discretion and you have no recourse other than to call or email support and ask to be re-instated.

Accounts that are shut down are sometimes re-instated and sometimes not, but if you have spent all of your time building up a Facebook profile and lose that, you have to start at square one.

So what can get you banned from social networks?

  1. Having your profile name be your business name is a big no-no on Facebook. Facebook offers pages and groups for small business owners to use for marketing purposes. If you make your profile your business name you are violating Facebook's terms of service and they have the right to suspend your account.
  2. Copying your message over and over when you are adding friends on Facebook. If you are adding your high school class in, make sure you do it five people at a time and vary the message you send to them. Spammers copy the same message over and over to people so Facebook frowns on that practice.
  3. Unfollowing everyone who doesn't follow you on Twitter. There are services out there who will automatically unfollow for you. There have been reports that this automation is getting accounts shut down.
  4. LinkedIn is very fussy about you knowing the people you ask to be a connection. Make sure you know the people you are approaching or that their profile says they are a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker). Additionally, it is a little known fact that you can only ask five thousand people to be a connection, after that you have to email people directly and ask them to ask you to connect. Sounds confusing and it is, also rather ineffective.
  5. LinkedIn also requires an actual picture of a human being for your profile picture. Cartoon characters, pictures of your dog and other non-human pictures are unacceptable.

Overall it is just best to follow the rules of the road for each site, actually read the terms of service for each so that you do not run afoul of one of them, AND do not put all your social networking eggs in one basket.

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