How marketers get banned from social media

Social media should be a nice pleasant experience for all participants, no matter what your agenda. And for that reason, there are a few rules and regulations in place to prevent spamming, poor content, and an overall poor experience.

Of course, these rules and regulations are broken from time to time, and a lot of companies who have a presence on social media, may not even be aware that they’re flouting the social media laws.  If you are found to be breaking social media rules, you may end up getting banned. And that’s not a pleasant experience for anyone.

In this post we will look at the top 5 social media sites, and the way marketers can get banned from social media.


How to get banned from Pinterest

1. Using a company’s name

If you sign up to Pinterest on behalf of a company, you are confirming that you have permission to post on their behalf. If you are not an employee of the company, you do not have permission to post and you will be banned.

2. Pinning images or content that is copyrighted

The content you post on Instagram should be created by you, or you should have a license to share it.

3. Using automated software

Pinterest does not allow content to be posted automatically, in the way that Twitter or Facebook allows. You must manually post your pins and content.

4. Scraping content

Any information or content you take from Pinterest has to be taken manually. It cannot be automatically scraped.

5. Scraping followers for personal information

Your email contacts must have opted in to receive your content, or be part of an opt in purchased list. You cannot take down your follower’s personal information to add to your content list.

6. Placing links incorrectly

Pinterest prompts you to place links a specific place. If you start placing them in ‘unauthorised’ areas, this could result in Pinterest banning you.

7. Spamming comment boxes

In the same way that you can get banned for spamming blog comments, you will be banned for spamming Pinterest comments.

8. Getting banned

You only get one shot with Pinterest, so don’t blow it. Once you’re banned, that’s it for life.

Read Pinterest’s T&Cs here.


How to get banned from LinkedIn

1. Trying to connect with strangers

On LinkedIn you should only connect with people you know, otherwise you can be reported and ultimately banned.

2. Posting copyrighted content

This only applies in LinkedIn’s forums. Don’t post other people’s work, or LinkedIn can close your page and associated groups.

3. Using InMail for marketing

Messages on LinkedIn are not to be used as a replacement for email marketing. This is a misuse of the service.

4. Incorrectly filled out forms

Putting incorrect details in the wrong place, such as a link to your site in the Name field, is a sure fire way to get banned.

5. Selling your LinkedIn Group

If you’ve built up a large LinkedIn group, it can be seen as an asset. You should not sell it or monetize it in any way.

6. Using bots to grow your reach

This should only be done organically through informative and relevant content. Bots are a big no no.

7. Creating fake profiles

This is a running theme through the majority of social media privacy and terms. You cannot impersonate another company with a fake profile.

See LinkedIn’s User Agreement in full here.


How to get banned from Twitter

1. Creating fake profiles

Again, social media sites do not like this. Do not mislead other Twitter users through impersonation.

2. Using trademarked usernames

Don’t attempt to use your competitor’s user name. If you do, Twitter can take it back and you’ll end up having a suspended account.

3. Creating a handle so that no one else can

If a Twitter username has been taken and remains inactive after 6 months, Twitter can take it back. The same applies for taking a username with an aim to sell it on.

4. Buying or selling usernames

Usernames are not for sale. Ever. The penalty is permanent suspension for both parties.

5. Giving yourself a Twitter badge

Twitter gives away badges for Verified Accounts and Promoted Products. If you place one of these on your page without earning it, you will be suspended.

6. Spamming followers

Don’t post the same link over and over and over again. If you post duplicate content it’s classed as spam. And no one likes spam.

7. Acting like a bot

Aggressive follow and unfollow behaviour, such as following a large amount of people in a short space of time can tell Twitter that you are a bot.

8. Using dodgy follower schemes

Buying followers is not, and will never be a good thing.

9. Hijacking hashtags

People sometime do this to increase visibility. Create your own hashtags instead of stealing another person’s hard earned hashtag.

10. Posting only links

Posting links without context or other content is a spammy technique and should not be done.

11. Large numbers of users blocking you

If a large number of fellow Twitter users report your page or block you, Twitter will take action and boot you out.

Read the Twitter Rules here.


How to get banned from Google+

1. Creating fake pages

Notice the running theme? Just don’t do this.

2. Running promotions

You cannot run competitions, contests, sweepstakes or offers on Google+. You can link out to other pages where the competition is featured though.

3. Going Circle crazy

Just as with Twitter, you cannot add hundreds of people to your Circles without punishment.

4. Adding fake +1 buttons

Similar to the Twitter badge rule, you cannot trick your followers to get more clicks.

5. Stuffing posts full of keywords

As Google+ is tied closely with SEO, you cannot go wild on the keywords just to boost your rankings.

6. Marketing regulated products

Tobacco, alcohol, medical devices, fireworks etc. are all regulated and are all not allowed on Google+.

7. Not bothering with your page

If your Google+ account lies dormant for more than 9 months, Google can close it down.

Read Google+ Policies and Principles in more detail here.

How to get banned from Facebook

1. Creating fake accounts

Need I say more?

2. Using bots and scrapers

Facebook says you cannot use bots or scrapers without ‘prior permission’, which is kind of an oxymoron.

3. Posting copyrighted content

Facebook can disable your account if you post copyrighted content that does not belong to you.

4. Breaking page Name guidelines

Your Facebook page cannot consist of a single generic phrase, such as ‘burger’. Nor can it include symbols, be made up of all capital letters, or have poor grammar.

5. Collecting user data incorrectly

You must make it clear that your business is collecting user data, and not Facebook, for example if you have a newsletter sign up form on your page.

6. Using generic CTAs in your cover photo

You cannot use your cover photo to ask for Likes, for promotions or use a generic CTA such as ‘Tell a friend’.

7. Running contests outside of a Facebook app

Facebook has a lot of requirements when it comes to running competitions and contests. The contest must take place within a Facebook app or canvas page. The user should not have to Like your page, posts a picture or take any action in order to enter a competition. You cannot notify winners through Facebook either. Be careful with this one.

See Facebook’s Page Guidelines here.

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