Twitter is starting to slowly grow up. Now that Fortune 500 companies are starting to recruit on Twitter and social networking sites like LinkedIn and search engines like Google and Bing are partnering with them, it was only a matter of time before Twitter took steps to root out spam as well as those who are using their real-time communication platform to broadcast instead of share. And it fundamentally changes the way in which many in marketing will be using Twitter going forward. If you haven’t searched for yourself or your company on it recently, you may want to confirm that your tweets are being shown in the search results. If not, here are the reasons why your Twitter account may currently be temporarily “restricted” without your knowing it:
1) Repeatedly posting duplicate or near-duplicate content (links or tweets)
As a micro-blogging platform, why would you ever need to repeat yourself in your tweets? You’d be surprised: you may want to introduce everyone to your company or product or blog and want to do so more than once. For instance, I often retweeted a new blog post the day after I originally tweeted about it because not everyone may have caught it the first time. Guy Kawasaki posted a famous blog post about this entitled “How to Drive Traffic with Repeat Tweets.” In this fantastic analytical article, Guy shows how repeating a tweet can get significant additional traffic. The analysis is simple: not everyone is looking at Twitter all of the time, so by repeating your tweet you are increasing your chances of getting noticed. Twitter thinks otherwise: Post repeat tweets or repeat links and your tweets will no longer show up in search results. You won’t even notice that this has happened until you try searching for your own tweets.
2) Abusing trending topics or hashtags (topic words with a # sign)
HabitatUK comes to mind as the famous story of a company abusing the trending topics hashtags which ended up leading to their formal apology. You don’t want your Twitter fails to go viral either. Every time you place a hashtag at the end of your tweet, be forewarned that Twitter is watching to ensure that you are properly classifying your tweet. Don’t try to cheat the system to be found…otherwise you won’t be found anymore!
3) Sending automated tweets or replies
If you are using a 3rd party software application or service to send automated tweets or replies, beware, you are being watched! If social media is about being authentic and transparent, it leaves no room for automation, no matter how bad you want to get the message out. And if you are thinking of doing some guerilla marketing by sending out automated replies, your days are numbered…
4) Using bots or applications to post similar messages based on keywords
There are sophisticated services that allow you to post messages based on keywords that show up in the Twitter timeline. As sophisticated and attractive as these services might be to some Internet marketers, Twitter is even more sophisticated at finding you!
5) Posting similar messages over multiple accounts
If you have multiple accounts and are trying to market or broadcast the same message from multiple angles, please stop. If you don’t stop, you will be forced to stop!
If you don’t know what this looks like, check this out:
6) Aggressively following and un-following people
I am assuming that this is the reason why most people have their Twitter account restricted. I don’t think an explanation is needed here, but Twitter has its limitations on how many people you can follow in a day. In addition, if you “aggressively” unfollow people in order to follow more people, Twitter will restrict your account. “Aggressively” is an abstract term, so as long as you are doing periodic follows and unfollows I assume you will not have any issues here.
The above 6 reasons why your account may be restricted aren’t issues that I made up: they actually come straight from the Twitter support article on Best Practices. Twitter is definitely getting serious about the “quality” of Tweets, and if you aren’t equally serious, you will be removed from search results and lose the benefits of being able to use the real-time service.
The common point for all of the above is just to be “natural.” If you use Twitter in a real and authentic way without over-relying on 3rd party applications or tools you should be O.K. Should you use any programs to completely automate your activities, use with caution!
Have any of you faced these restrictions before? Did your Tweets come up when you searched for your name? Please do comment below.
Looking for some Twitter marketing advice? Check out these posts!
- The Top 15 Twitter Clients Used by the Top 35 Social Media Influencers
- Why Evergreen Tweets are Critical to Twitter Marketing Success
- 7 Insanely Effective Ways How to Write Tweets that Drive Traffic
- Twitter Followers vs Following: What is the Ideal Ratio?
- Here’s How to Tweet a Link with a Preview Image on Twitter
- Twitter Etiquette: What are the Rules? Here’s 21 to Consider
- The 22 Best Twitter Schedulers to Ramp Up Your Twitter Marketing
- How to Find My Top Tweets – and Those from My Competitors – on Twitter?
- How to Conduct Your Own Twitter Audit for Free
- How to Tweet a Video the Right Way on Twitter
Hero photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash
Twitter Account Restricted FAQs
The duration of a restriction on a Twitter account differs depending on the violation committed. When you see the error message saying that your account is restricted or some features have been limited, it will show how long you will get full functionality back. But typically, it may take between 12 hours up to 7 days. Restrictions are created to control abuse so make sure to check and abide by Twitter Rules to prevent account restrictions.
To unrestrict your Twitter account, simply log in and look for the message saying your account has temporarily been restricted. Then click the Start button and follow the steps asked to regain access. If you are unable to complete the steps, you may also reach out to their customer service and submit an appeal especially if you think you didn’t violate any rules. You can do this at their Help Center.
When your account gets suspended, you will receive an email notification explaining why or what have you violated. The only way to unsuspend a Twitter account is to submit an appeal and complete the form to submit a ticket. You need to convince them and explain well why you think your account shouldn’t get suspended or else your appeal will be denied. Once denied, the suspension of your account will be permanent.
To get your restricted Twitter back, you need to determine first the nature of the restriction. Typically, Twitter will tell you which specific content, tweet or activity is against Twitter Rules. To regain access, just log in on your app or website and find the message indicating your account or some of your features is locked . You will then see instructions on how to restore your account and simply follow the steps.
When a Twitter account is restricted, either you won’t have temporary access to your whole account, or some features may be temporarily disabled. For example, you won’t be able to post a tweet, do retweets, or like a tweet. There are couple of reasons why your account can get restricted. It may be due to aggressive behavior or spamming, posting duplicated content, or probably Twitter detected a possible hacking on your account.