Why Twitter Shut Down My Account and What YOU Can Do to Avoid It

Why Twitter Shut Down My Account and What YOU Can Do to Avoid It

Last updated on

Twitter ban trafficI know many of you noticed that my Twitter account (@WebTrafficCafe) has been suspended for a while now; since November 22, to be more precise.

Considering Twitter traffic is my largest referral traffic source, it was quite a hit.

I’ve gotten many emails asking if I knew why it was suspended and what to do to avoid the same fate.

It took 4 emails to Twitter support, multiple tweets to their support account, and almost 3 weeks, and FINALLY I heard a voice from the Twitter black hole that said:

Hi,

The following behaviors are violations of the Twitter Rules:

• Creating serial and/or multiple accounts with overlapping use cases
• Cross-posting Tweets or links across accounts
• Aggressive following, particularly through automated means

As such, these accounts will remain suspended.

Let’s take a look at these reasons a bit closer to see what we can learn.

Multiple Accounts with OVERLAPPING Use Cases

“Creating serial and/or multiple accounts with overlapping use cases”

Overlapping use cases“?

As in actually tweeting through all of them???

It’s no secret that I am very much into getting in touch with as many people on Twitter as possible with the sole goal to bring them back to my blog where I can build relationships with them.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t talk to my followers on Twitter. I do.

However, I prefer to do it right here, at TGC.

That’s why I had several Twitter accounts set up (which is not against Twitter TOS), that represented my different interests (being a Mom, a Christian, a fan of travel, TGC owner) and yes, they all had an internet marketing twist to them.

I fed those accounts with relevant to that specific group of people information. For instance, for my @SuitcaseCafe, I had several great travel blogs that fed it with great travel tips through Twitterfeed.com.

TAKEAWAY:

When setting up multiple Twitter accounts, make sure the themes and the information you tweet vary substantially.

Cross Posting Across Multiple Accounts

Sounds like they don’t want us to post the same tweet in multiple accounts.

Does that include retweeting something?

I am confused about this one (and yes, very mad).

So I can’t post the same tweet across multiple accounts and I can’t RT anything between accounts because it would be considered cross-linking?

Aggressive Following

I’ve been using TweetAdder to help me automate some of the tedious Twitter tasks, like searching for potential followers, following them, unfollowing the ones who didn’t seem to be interested in what I had to say.

I also stick to the same following/unfollowing schedule that I’ve established since I first started on Twitter almost 2 years ago.

PLUS, I never even used TweetAdder on 2 of my accounts – everything I did there was manual. Yet, they got suspended anyway.

The only difference that might’ve triggered this whole “Ana Hoffman Twitter Ban” was the fact that I decided to try out TweetAdder automatic features (which I’ve never used up to that day), didn’t think they were beneficial, and stopped using them after a day.

Will I stop using TweetAdder? Not a chance.

But I won’t use their automation features ever again. Just in case.

I actually wrote a full TweetAdder review that will be publish shortly, where I’ll go over how I use it to stay on the good side of Twitter and save a lot of time while at it.

One More Guess

As I already mentioned, I wasn’t using TweetAdder on all the accounts that were suspended.

However, I WAS using something to help me keep track of all of them and the only Twitter account that was NOT suspended, was the one that I forgot to add to this platform.

MarketMeSuite.

I don’t really know if it had anything to do with MMS in particular or the same thing would’ve happened no matter which social media management platform I was using, like Hootsuite, etc. – maybe it was about how I was using it and not the platform itself.

That was the ONLY thing that connected all those accounts though.

Marketing Takeaway

So what did we learn from this?

The fact that Twitter could be as capricious as Google and can bend their TOS whichever way they’d like to.

As much as I disagree with them (naturally), I know that it would be a waste of time to argue with them. All they have to do is simply ignore me, like they successfully have in the past three weeks.

With that said, I am starting anew.

Today is the first day of my new Twitter account @AnaTrafficCafe and it feels like it’s my first day at school – no one wants to talk to the new kid on the block.

I suggest we change that; what do you say?

I’d appreciate if you could help me to get my new account off the ground by following me and sending this tweet to your followers:

Click to TweetLet’s make some noise at Ana Hoffman’s new account @AnaTrafficCafe; follow her and RT, please!

Look forward to getting connected!

traffic generation cafe

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

262 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. ChrisD

    Sounds like you upset somebody and pushed their buttons.
    My account was suspended after pro gun nuts complained about my logical and sane posts. They claimed I was doing something illegal which I have never done or heard of.

    Only had the account for a week! Not worth even having a Twitter account in my view.

    Everything is run on auto robots so your shut down forever. They need to hire a few in India. They work for nothing.

    Still it is more fun talking with the living and not a screen.

  2. Dave G

    Hi Ana, nice article but you will find that Twitter will hit your account if their bots find you following more than 30 a day, happened to me with only 20 on a new account. One of the reasons they ban accounts when their bots find aggressive following is to make for a better and more engaging conversation in accordance with their policies, absolute rubbish is the message I sent to them. Since when is Lady Gaga or Bill Gates ever going to have a conversation with me, in my dreams. The end result is Twitter have a rule for the rich and famous and a rule for normal people, the only way to hit back is leave by the droves, just a personal opinion, best of luck

  3. I have not really been using twitter for much traffic generation in the past, but reading this makes me realize everything that I have been doing wrong with twitter. Next I will probably check out your review on TweetAdder. Thanks for the info.

  4. Hi Ana,

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Would you mind telling us how many you were following/unfollowing per day? and how many followers you had at the time?

    I would like to figure out how “aggressive” is too aggressive :-)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I used to follow 300-400 per day, Chad, and cumulatively, I had over 100K followers.

      I’d say go with about 100 per day. Not that it’s any guarantee that you won’t get a kick in the rear… lol

  5. I only read the first page of comments, (there are a lot). One reason I haven’t seen mentioned, is you can actually report people to twitter very easily. If someone has a beef with you, that could explain “unexplained” bans? Anyway, I have followed you today and mentioned

  6. Annetta Powell

    Hi Ana,

    I have a question about the Triberr and the Tweets going from it. I started using Triberr about a month back and used to Tweet about 4-5 from my tribe. The frequency between the tweets were set to be 45 minutes in the beginning. I changed the frequency between tweets to 20 minutes now as I am in more tribes. I know that you are a very active triberr user and would like to her if the change in my tweet frequency is going to trigger Twitter in any ways?

    I never had any problems so far with Twitter and I really don’t want to pi$$ of the Big Boys :)

    • Ana Hoffman

      I know what you mean, Annetta, and no, I haven’t had any trouble with using Triberr. I have my frequency set to 30 min.

  7. I’ve never even considered that Twitter could shut down my account. Iprobably need to break down and go read the TOS if I’m going to play it safe from now on.

  8. Twitter shuts down one account of mine every week. Each time it was due their aggressive filters. I finally got tired of it and and opened a new account, but doing everything by hand it a pain. They seem to have a personal grudge against dlvr.it

  9. Twitter also has backhanded ways of “suspending accounts.” After using TweeAdder on my account, all my tweets were suddenly hidden from view without the account being suspended. I tried pulling up my tweets with the “from: x” command and nothing came up. No answers from Twitter on the account, so I started a new one and WILL NOT use TweetAdder again or any kind of automation.
    P.S. I haven’t read your recent article on TweetAdder, so will head over there right now and see if I change my mind.
    I like your conclusion: treat any traffic from Twitter as a bonus.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Well, I’ve never heard of Twitter do that before, Marta – I am not sure why your tweets wouldn’t show up, if the account is still in good standing…

      Let me know if you hear anything explanation from them.

  10. Thanks for these awesome tips, I’m using some 3rd party websites to get followers. Will revoke access to all those apps now.

  11. Ana,

    Another great post about Twitter!

    So you mentioned, “When setting up multiple Twitter accounts, make sure the themes and the information you tweet vary substantially.”

    What kind of themes are you using for your new accounts?

    And,

    Why did you choose those themes?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I haven’t restored those accounts since Twitter shut me down, Matt, but here’s the skinny:

      -Mompreneurs (because I am a mom),
      -Christpreneurs (because I am a Christian),
      -SuitcaseCafe (because I love to travel),
      -etc.

      They were all based on my personal interest, but they all had my business tied into them.

  12. wow..
    i have like 5 twitter accounts when i was into this before, and i RT same tweets sometimes on these accounts. although i am not tweeting as much as i used to before, right now i am starting again as I have a solar blog that i want to promote and get ranked. one of the account there has thousands of follower which reminds now that i need to clean that up lol…

    thanks for the heads up on what NOT to do there.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Twitter is still a great traffic generation tool for me, Jay. We need to use it while it’s working, right?

  13. Ruth Kidson

    I had one account suspended the day after I set it up . . . go figure! I had posted three tweets and followed eight people. Twitter help desk were convinced that I must have done SOMETHING to deserve suspension & asked me to read the TOS. I did so – very carefully – and assured them that I had done NOTHING ‘unlawful’. Well, I’d hardly had time, had I? In the end they reinstated me.

    A friend of mine runs the Twitter account of a charity. She was suspended for aggressive following (actually, hardly aggressive . . . well within the Twitter guidelines) and the account was reinstated . . . only to be suspended for the same reason two days later when she followed TEN more people. Fortunately she was able to convince Twitter that ten wasn’t aggressive and the account was reinstated once more.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Unfortunately, stories like ours abound, Ruth – Twitter does what Twitter wants and, quite honestly, it’s entirely their right.

      • Ruth Kidson

        It is, indeed, their right. But what I would like to see is clearer rules – nowhere is it stated how many follows is too many. Is it 200, is it 10, or do they make it up as they go along? This is the gripe that I have with Google as well – when you have (as they both have) a staff of people administering the guidelines, those guidelines have got to be crystal clear otherwise decisions become totally arbitrary.

  14. twitter support are the most arrogant suite of numnuts I have come across…

    i had the same issue. I wouldnt have minded if my requests for help were a) answered properly and b) not responded to every time with the same automated responses even though each question was different.

    I had 8 accounts suspended inside a few hours… 2 client accounts. This meant a twitter service that was doing well had to be shut down and pulled off my site. It was embarrassing and i vowed never to add twitter marketing to my services again.

    I have since figured out a different way of running the service but I no longer and will never allow twitter to be a primary focus in a social media campaign – and i advise other marketing companies to do the same.

    My suspensions were probably like yours. i did cross post, but like you different focused accounts so seemed ok. Also, i didnt aggressively follow but i must have unfollowed a lot of people and followed again and then unfollowed repeatedly as a result of using tweetadder. This can get you ousted… I did send a number of repeating tweets and this may have contributed. but i have mostly had to figure it out from TOS as support wont/refuses/cant be bothered to answer my queries.

    This i have had to control and now I mostly dont even follow. I dont automate on TA except for RSS. So far ok, but who knows, i may be facing twitter support wrath from hell again…

    • Ana Hoffman

      I had some accounts suspended where I never followed anyone and posted only unique info, Steve; so go figure.

      I agree with you though: I stopped relying on Twitter for traffic, everything I get from them is a bonus.

  15. Hi Ana, I started following @AnaTrafficCafe last night and received a direct message from you. I tried responding with a Thank You, but received a “forbidden” message from Twitter. Just checking, is that a setting that you do not allow direct messages, or does Twitter not allow it unless you are following me? Great BLOG, BTW! -Carl

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for joining me, Carl.

      You have to be followed by the person you are sending a DM to.

      However, it’s much easier to get hold of me on the blog!

        • How rude of them not to give you a warning first or to suspend one account but all accounts at teh same time. The same thing happened to me on FB, I was making the public aware about the horros of puppy farming and trying to get as many followers to a group and they stopped my account too. Its not fair :(

  16. It seems when you use social media to its utmost you get slapped for it. The thing that irks me is the customer service. You practically have to make a full time job of getting an answer out of them. I guess it’s a true love/hate relationship.

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s why I just gave up on those accounts, Clara – wasn’t worth the kind of time it takes to fight them on something like this.

  17. Hi Ana
    Quick question about twitter rules.
    is it against twitter rules to post affiliate links directly into a tweet?

    I’ve read a few articles but I’m none the wiser.

  18. Abhi Balani

    I couldn’t find the date when you published this article. Just wanted to know how long it took for you to get 700+ followers. Because I think, no one here, can afford not following you. :-)

  19. Hey Ana,
    Well misery loves company so maybe you’d like to know the same thing happened to me. I set up a new Twitter account last week for a new blog and Twitter (forced me to choose 15 people to follow immediately before it would let me tweet). I went into my old account and chose a bunch of people including you that I like to follow and went about sharing tweets and info as usual. Within a few hours I had 22 new followers and as most were very highly targeted and relevant I followed them back… only to have my account suspended for “Aggressive Following” practices. I was not using any software these were all manual follows and when they suspended that account my follows were at 49 and followers at 22. No response from Twitter support other than the same email sent three times.
    Ah well, you share great tips and info here so I will be happy to follow you and retweet this post too.
    BTW love the new look of TGC.
    Cheers,
    Debra

    • UNBELIEVABLE, Debra!

      It seems like the bigger the company gets, the more the individual user suffers…

      So sorry to hear that. And yes, it does feel nice to commiserate. lol

      Glad you like the new look!

  20. Hi Ana
    I was suspended some time back but it was their mistake and they apologised.
    Took two or three weeeks to sort out.

    “Cross Posting Across Multiple Accounts
    Sounds like they don’t want us to post the same tweet in multiple accounts.
    Does that include retweeting something?”

    I have two accounts and I often retweet between accounts.
    Looks as though I will have to stop doing that.

    I’m fairly new to twitter but it does appear to be a fantastic way of getting traffic over to your site, so I don’t want to upset them.

    Thanks for the heads up Ana.

  21. Thanks for the information….twitter, facebook, they all want us but only to a certain extent…making money is the key, unfortunately both see it as a one way street. It is not actually about social media and sharing its about them making the money. Have you noticed how their rules change with technology LOL.

  22. Ali

    Hey Ana! I read a blog-post a little while ago titled (something like): people follow other people, they do not follow blogs. You have so many subscribers and regular readers – I don’t think Twitter, or any other entity, can make you “a new kid on the block”.

    And thanks for sharing these ‘bad practices’ – they will surely help many.

  23. I am 100% convinced that this is all to do with automation, and those who insist on “cheating” are in fact playing with fire.

    But forget about the prospect of being banned. I tend to unfollow any account that seems in any way less than organic. I think turning Twitter into a bot defeats the purpose, apparently, Twitter does too.

    Really sucks that you got banned, but it seems justified. Hate to say it. :(

    • I understand and agree, Jonathan.

      But then again.. Don’t you think we can build a much better relationship now that you are on my blog than we ever would’ve on Twitter?

  24. I was wondering what the heck happened when you informed me of your new account. I figured I’d just wait for the blog post to get the scoop. :) That really does suck, but at least you are so good at keeping your readers engaged, it will take you very little time to build up your following again.

  25. David Leonhardt

    That really sucks. But I am following your new account. To me the takeaways are pretty simple:

    1. Be very careful about letting multiple Twitter accounts overlap too much. I know I am going to be watching this one very carefully.

    2. Social and automation are two words you should never use in the same sentence. Heck, not in the same paragraph. You would not automate your offline social relationships, so don’t do it online. Yes, computers are tempting that way, but that does not make it a good idea.

  26. Hi Ana, it really is disappointing about you losing your Twitter account like this. Great to see you take it in stride though. Alas what can we do.. pushing the envelope with our social media presence is getting increasingly important today and it’s just the thin line that comes up sometimes.

    -Jean

        • I was doing much more than that, Joseph, but really I don’t think that was the problem.

          It was more likely the fact that I ran an automated TweetAdder campaign and the accounts were suspended the following day.

          • I use tweetadder but not sure what you mean by “automated TweetAdder campaign” (which I’d like to avoid). Is that the private proxies they have under ProTools? Also, if you change one character in the tweet on the 2nd account or space out the time between tweeting the same tweet on different accounts, will they still recognize that as the same tweet or same link?

            • You know those buttons that turn Automation on or off? I never used them before until that one time.

              And I have no idea if varying the tweets a bit would help, Joseph…

  27. Ana,

    Sorry about your experience with Twitter. I think this is something that just pervades a lot the social media. I was banned from Mixx for too much self promotion, when all I did was post my blog articles along with a lot of other stuff unrelated to dentistry. At the same time, they had active accounts that were doing blatant advertising in 99% of their posts? I wrote requesting an explanation – nothing!!
    Like your commenter Ian, Twitter has blocked me from following anyone new for almost two months, even though over 100 people have started following me in that time. Reason was my follows and followers were the wrong ratio. They didn’t tell me what the ratio should be and I have tried dropping some follows that I am not particularly interested in with the idea of adding some new ones – that doesn’t seem to work either. Very frustrating, since I am still not totally sold on Twitter anyway.

    • Ana Hoffman

      It is frustrating, Cynthia.

      However, I do realize that I am on their playing field, and Twitter has brought me enough traffic in the past for me to get “back in the game”.

  28. Hi Ana,

    I am also a bit surprised that they shutdown your account. At least they should have send you warning, to give you the chance to get things fixed. Right or wrong, aggressive Marketing backfired in this case.
    Thanks for this informative post.
    PS. I just followed you on your new twitter account.

  29. Jeevanjacobjohn

    Hey Ana,

    Never thought that Twitter would do something like this. But, Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about that. But, thanks for the article. It will really me (and others who are reading this article) to be more careful in the future. I was going to start a new twitter account for my new blog. But, after seeing all this (and realizing that I had to start everything from first) made me to change my twitter username to fit the new blog.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing the article,

    Appreciate your time and effort,

    And sorry for the trouble caused by Twitter,

    Jeevan Jacob John

  30. Ana, I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner and I’ve sent out those tweets. this just blows. I use MMS, as per your suggestion, but only for RRS feed management and sometimes to schedule branded tweets. I can’t help but wonder if the feed management is going to get me in trouble…I so don’t want to lose my account since it is my real name.

  31. minka kelly

    Thanks for your article that explains why Twitter shut down your account and how to prevent the closure of a Twitter account. The key is not use the automatic feature and accounts TweetAdder overlapping series. If those two things are not violated, we need not worry. Your article is really very important for anyone who has an account on Twitter, especially for those who make an account on Twitter for business or making money.

  32. Aanchal

    Hey Ana,

    That’s quite sad that your twitter account get banned, But what I understand from “Cross Posting Across Multiple Accounts” is that if you continuously promote each link through multiple twitter accounts then it’ll be considered as spamming and twitter is going to ban your account.

    The only way to avoid such penalty is to promote only limited links through multiple accounts, as you got 5 accounts so it’s better to promote 1 link through 3 accounts and then next link through rest 2 accounts. This may look natural and you won’t get penalized.

  33. Of course Twitter is as capricious as Google – the company was founded by an ex-Google employee. ‘All for one and one for…themselves’! :(

  34. Wow, all three accounts!. Don’t they give warning before just supending your account. They could have atleast suspended maybe one first with a warning. Guess I have learnt a few lessons from your experience.
    just Followed your new account @Car_LeasingUK

  35. This absolutely sucks Ana and I felt the same way back.. Fortunately when that happened, I had very little to no activity yet. Anyway, look at the bright side.. at least you get to filter some of your followers and people you have been following.. “Winter Cleaning”.. just kidding, it ain’t funny… Following you now on your new account..

  36. I understand that these big guys, Twitter, Facebook and Google have to make people follow the rules, but would it be so hard to send a warning to users and give them a second chance?
    You’re not following the rules, you change that immediately or we shut your account down.

    Who am I kidding? That’s utopic.

    Anyway, soon you’ll be back on track. Your followers won’t let you down.

    • Ana Hoffman

      That’s why you SHOULDN’T cultivate friendships on social media, Cristina; rather focus on bringing them back to our blog.

  37. Hi Ana

    Thanks for the heads up about this, could not think of any worse than losing my Twitter account. Like you I have manually been creating followers and building my account for more than two years. I have just started using automation to do this so maybe I will take a step back and stay manual for a while longer.

    I also have a few other friends who have fallen foul of twitter and they experienced the same responses as you did very slow and for some no response at all ever.

    You might all want to take a look at a new service called JustRetweet.

    • Ana Hoffman

      JustRetweet looks interesting, Ron; plus, have of my friends are already on it. LOL

      Thanks for the recommendation and the comment.

  38. I started with Twitter when they first launched and should have a massive targeted list but I don’t. The internet is very distracting and dealing with the changes in terms of service that companies can implement at the drop of a hat is frustrating. That’s why I like my domains and websites. I have some control over what happens there as long as I keep spam bots away with Comment Luv Premium!

  39. Ana,

    I’m on the new account. The good thing your community is so strong I’ve seen people tweeting out your new account all over the place…

    That is a testament to what you do.

    Thank you!

  40. Danielle

    Hi Ana,
    That’s a warning for all of us. I hate bullies. Google may have been the biggest bully on the block, but Facebook and Twitter are right on its heels.
    Good for you! Fight back.
    Dee

  41. sharon akinoluwa

    H Ana, sorry to hear about the suspension. I believe in every adversity there is an equal seed of advantage. This will surely be a case of adversity for advancement. It should not cause distraction. I’ve learnt from your experience, thanks for this privilege.

  42. Wow. I’ve created a couple of Twitter accounts for different niches — at least that is the intention. Sometimes I tweet the same stuff to both of them since it’s appropriate to both. TweetDeck makes that super simple to do.

    I haven’t been using Twitter that much lately though, but I’ll have to be more careful about posting to both accounts in the future.

  43. Sorry to learn of your troubles. Naturally I’ve followed your new account. Perhaps the sparrows could teach us a thing or two about tweeting – they have been doing it for a lot longer:)

  44. Ana,

    Sorry to hear this happened to you :(

    Sounds like the power is going to Twitter’s head now! Just like Google. I checked and my accounts are all still working, but once these purges start, they only seem to get worse.

    Darren

  45. Dee

    I had this happen with Google Adwords and with my Yahoo account. I was considered a top contributor to Yahoo answers, with a very high percentage of what were voted “best answers” then one day, POOF! Account suspended – no reason, no recourse. So what does one do? Pick up and start over. That’s all you CAN do, right?

  46. Tweeted and followed Anna. Good of you to share your unfortunate experience with us, I will be extra careful in future with my Twitter account.

  47. Ana,

    Definitely a shame that you had this happen to you. I do fear something similar happening to me someday. I will have to be more careful myself. Anyhow, good luck getting the twitter train re-rolling.

  48. The first thing that keyed me into your blog was one of your twitter accounts. I remember thinking at the time, “How did Ana get so many followers? What is she doing that I’m not?” I’m a big fan, so wherever you are, I’ll be reading your articles and tweets.

  49. Hey Ana,

    I am sick of twitter’s so-called rules. I can’t follow anyone, because I somehow reached their following limit, again. This is the third time this has happened to me, even after I un-followed most of the tweeters who didn’t follow me back.

    It seems to me that you have to use 3rd party products/websites in order to use twitter to it’s full potential and I am not going to buy any of those other products, just so I can keep following people. Not that they don’t work, it just doesn’t seem worth it to me at this point.

    I am sorry to hear about your plight with twitter and I would follow your new account, but of course I CAN’T, errr.

    I am thinking about boycotting twitter, who’s with me. ;)

    Anyway, I hope everything works out for you Ana and thank you for sharing this with us.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am with you, Ian – if it wasn’t bringing me traffic, I’d boycott it! Still thinking about it though…

  50. This is the exact reason I don’t use Tweet Adder. It is very risky to use automated software to follow/unfollow lots of people. However, I think that suspending it’s totally unfair from Twitter: just give me a damn warning before deleting my account!

    Don’t worry Anna, you will be okay. People who follow this blog are aware of the situation and will follow your new account. Like I did. ;)

  51. Ana,

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma… I find this bit of news VERY disturbing, since I am aware of ( and p.o.’ed at) some self-absorbed social media “gurus” who have as many as 5 twitter accounts running – all total CRAP and 99% automated.

    How can netizens contact twitter to report these true schnooks?

  52. Sunny

    This is pretty scary – all that time building your accounts and then BAM – they’re gone.

    However, I guess having multiple social media presences (on Facebook, G+) will help you get your original following back in no time.

    Best of luck…

  53. Ana, this is ridiculous! Following you again but still – they throw in this lame response which kind of reminds me of Google Adwords support – they somehow, dont know how, flag certain businesses as questionable and then good luck proving the opposite and restoring your Adwords acct. Very frustrating.

    see I was just about to start automating things with one of my Twitter my accts – now I am kind of scared of using things like Tweet Adder

    • Ana Hoffman

      Oh, well, Tanya – it won’t stop me from doing it again though. LOL

      The benefits of some automation far outweigh the potential consequences; for me anyway.

  54. Do these things happen in FB too? Because I am guilty of the first two points there – OMG, need to be careful from now on. Thanks for the alert :)

    • Raj,

      I enjoyed your article on “Interlinking Your Blog Posts”. The point about the scrappers picking up these internal links was great – I had never thought of that. I just have great dislike of scrapper sites, so that point makes me feel a little better.

  55. sam

    Hi Ana,

    That is very embarrassing some time before also that kind of activity had done with one of my friend and he have lot of followers on his twitter account and i was connect with him after almost 3 weeks.

  56. feel sorry for your but its great to see you moving. I also want to thank you that you have described those reasons here which made the suspension of account. Others will learn from this.

  57. Sorry to hear that, personally I am not active Twitter user but looks like Twitter wants to become a better place shutting down accounts, but the actual result is totally opposite. It becomes harder to trust Twitter.

  58. Bobby Collins

    Great article. Thanks!

    One for the kids at the back of the class. I do feel sorry for your on one level but on another you really are killing it on the twitter followers..

    I think I have 49 all up :-)

    • Ana Hoffman

      Right or wrong, I brought a lot of my readers back to TGC through my Twitter tactics, and I don’t think they are complaining, Bobby. LOL

  59. Hi Ana,

    While I do feel bad at all that you had to undergo, but I am also glad that everyone including you, learnt their lessons for the future and are much more aware and lert now about things and of course, Twitter.

    I too am on MMS, but luckily just managing my own one account is sufficient and keeps my handfuls as I really don’t use other software’s as yet for anything other than feeding tweets.

    But I guess you really don’t have to worry much, as no matter where you go or what accounts you create, you ill have your followers right back with a bang, with many more following suite :)

    Wishing you all the best with your new account name and we all are there to help spread the word. :)

  60. Yesterday after havng received the welcome message for joining your list I went to your twitter account and found it was suspended, which is a bummer. Also because it doesn’t make such a good impression right? Anyway I’m following your new account so everything is fine, and if you like you can follow me back, just look for the little robin. :)

    But, is it Twitter important if you’re not Demi Moore or Ashton Kutcher? I mean what is the real value of a Twitter account? Beside being a kind of vip and being able to drive purchases with your tweets? Or make a buzz about something?

    I have almost 500 followers there and I think I’ve received 10 visits to my website from tweets, and I follow around 400 people there and sometimes I look at their links, when I’m able to find an interesting tweet in all that mess. I mean everyone uses Twitter either for self promotion of to inform the world about what they are doing, if the world is interested. Taking away self promotion from Twitter, and Facebook, immediately transform them in useless services. It’s almost impossible to find really interesting stuff there if you follow more than 50 people. And it isn’t yet demonstrated the real utility of twitter for business and promotion, except for Twitter itself.

    The real appeal for some people is that you can be informed immediately if a “star” has a new pimple, not what I’m interested into. I’m biased because I can’t see so much use for social media in general, beside losing an enormous amount of time. While I find an enormous potential in comments, also because my voice gets heard. Social media remind me of the internet bubble, empty boxes; if you take away self promotion from them they are for the most time simply useless. Except for the Arab Spring probably. Hey, this comment is becoming a kind of guest post right? Well, better if I shut my mouth then.

    Conclusion: forget about Twitter and stick with comments which work better. :) Also with comments you have the keys not them, be them Twitter or Facebook or Big G or whatever. They rule the net but they don’t own it. Imho. ;)

    • Ana Hoffman

      The only way I’ve ever used social media was to bring my followers back to my blog. My house – my rules, their house – their rules.

      Thanks for joining me!

      • My pleasure. :)

        As you say that’s probably, 95 percent of the times, the only useful feature of Twitter and Facebbok, driving traffic to personal websites. Take away that and they are just a waste of time, imho.

        Have a great day!

  61. Hey Ana, sorry to hear about the suspension. But glad you are taking it on the chin and restarting rather than battling with corporate(s) that find it easy to bend ToS rather than give people what they want and need! Oh well, onwards and upwards.

  62. Ana, it’s a tough break but nice to see that you’re moving forward. A couple of things I noticed that you might want to fix asap. Update you Google+ and Facebook with the new Twitter account. Actually on Facebook it looks like you use the Involver app, but only the last tweet from the old account is showing.
    I’m sure there are a lot of sites that need to be updated but those 2 came to mind first for me :)
    btw – I added the topic of SEO to your Klout profile.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for the reminder, Ileane.

      I’ve been trying to figure out where I connected my old Twitter account and completely forgot about FB. Will fix it.

      And thanks for following me!

  63. I feel your frustration just from another company: Hostgator suspended me not too long ago citing cpu issues and then they instructed me to uninstall W3tcache instead of the WPSupercache plugin I was already using and as so as I did that They immediately released the suspension..

    Though the W3Tc does seem to bring better improvements, it almost sounds like they have a “special” relationship with W3TC?!

    Then the same thing happened a few days afterward except this time they told me to install Gregs High Powered SEO plugin instead of AllinOne and sure enough right afterwards they released the suspension..what is going on :?

    Ana, perhaps we’ll make it to the day when we can own our own social networking and hosting conglomeration :idea:

    • Ana Hoffman

      Believe it or not, Hostgator suspended my blog not too long ago for exact same reasons, Caleb.

      They also told me I needed W3Cache and Akismet, which I refuse to use because I am banned by them for some reason.

      My blog was down for 2 days…. Fortunately, it was over the weekend and my traffic didn’t suffer too much.

      Just goes to show: our businesses is never safe online because we never truly own anything!

  64. Hey Ana,

    Too bad you had to go through all the twitter hassle you mention here.

    This is the first time I actually hear of twitter banning an account or at least, an account that wasn’t about someone trying to impersonate somebody else on the social media platform.

    I’m already following you on your new account and hope to read your posts about how you use Tweetadder and your recommendations on how to avoid getting ourselves banned!

    It was cool being able to see the first peeps you started following and I’m happy to recognize many familiar faces there.

    I’m pretty sure you’ll have your new account rocking in no time, so all the best Ana and have a great start of week! ;-)

    Sergio

    PS. Your X-mas picture ROCKS!!! I thought it was some model haha

    • Ana Hoffman

      I had a great first day on Twitter, Sergio.

      I’ve heard people getting suspended before, but then getting reinstated. I’ve never heard of anyone being shut down like I was.

      PS Modesty aside, this picture was originally printed in a magazine, but it is of me.

  65. LOL! Ana, I bet they would be really irritated if I was still doing this…

    Twitter Spike! – How To Automate Twitter

    Sorry for posting a link in your comment, but I just had too. If they nailed you for aggressive following, I wonder what they would think of my bots doing it.

    Honestly, I’m not too worried about it. I stopped using Twitter looong ago ;)

    Mark

  66. Sorry to hear of your Twitter demise Ana.

    I followed your method with TweetAdder too, the difference was I just have the one account. I just found managing multiple accounts more than I could handle.

    ~Bruce

  67. Jenny Barron

    Great Googily Moogily!

    You know I am very. very glad now that I didn’t keep my free trial at “TweetBig” going. I tried out their auto follow / unfollow feature and did not like the way it worked. I just gave up on that idea all together. I’ll take my time and do it slow and steady.

    Thank you for this summary – I have two Twitter accounts but only use one actively. However, if I do decide to get active on my other account again, I will certainly be avoiding much of the above!

    *gives Twitter a stern glance and a shake of the head*

  68. That’s just wrong Ana! No worries, I can always catch up with you and your posts here and still get to converse with you anyway. Don’t trip girl!

  69. That bites! I love, love, Tweetadder but I only use one feature and that is to automate my tweets. Not to mention that I use the same tweet sets (affiliate tweets) in 2 of my accounts, thanks for the heads up.

    You think Twitter would be less concerned with good content and relevant links and focus their attention on “Spammers and Pornographic Twerps!”

    • Ana Hoffman

      Seriously, Eleanor – Twitter is swarming with spammers and they are shutting me down?

      Thanks for supporting me at my new account!

  70. Ana,

    I am really so sorry this happened to you. I know personally I would be devastated if my Twitter account that I have been building for the past 3 years was randomly banned.

    I will do my best to help promote your new account.

  71. Sorry to hear your plight. The popular one is always hegemonic. We are the looser and they have nothing to loose by deletion of one of their subscribers. It is ‘Head I win, Tail you loose’ situation.

  72. Ana Hoffman

    Thanks so much for your incredible support, everyone!

    My Twitter account is ROCKING now, thanks to YOU!

    I am having a lot of fun getting reconnected and no time to catch my breath. LOL

  73. Oh Dear Ana.

    Fallen foul of the Powers that Tweet I see. I suppose – a reminder that social profiles are never really our own. Finding the limits sometimes means crossing them, and – illogical though it is – some limits change.

    I’m sure your loyal army of fanatical fans will help get your following up again in no time. Do you plan to open multiple accounts as before?

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Jym. LOL

      Yet another good reason to focus on bringing your followers – whatever the network – back to your blog.

  74. Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

    Oh! Found my way here finally.

    Hi! Ana,

    So sorry about this. Guess you’ve been hit twice in a month. Sad but it happened for a reason. Good things are not hard to hide and very soon, you’ll get more followers than envisaged.

    God has a better plan.

    I already followed you and tweeted to my few followers.

    Blessings,
    Chukwuka.

  75. Hi Ana,

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience with Twitter. I was banned from Google Adsense several years ago. And your experience with Twitter reminds me of this. My biggest problem was to get in touch with them and to get them to explain what i had done wrong. Let me just say that i sent many emails and I still don’t know.

    I have been using TweetAdder as well, and I have never experienced any problems with it. I have never tried the fully automated features.

    I’m going to follow your new account, and I’ll do whatever I can to help out :-)

  76. Jeff Padovani

    Hey Ana,

    Same thing happened to me about 4 months ago. 6 of my accounts where suspended and I received the exact same reasons from them. After my initial meltdown and hand wringing I did go back and forth with them with various begging, apologizing, reasoning and grovelling and got 3 accounts back! Yes they tend to ignore these requests but if you get hold of a more sympathetic ear you can make things happen. The point being, DON’T GIVE UP!

    Sorry for yelling

    Jeff

    • Ana Hoffman

      Great… now I am deaf in one ear… LOL

      Wow, you actually got some of them back, Jeff?

      How did you actually get in touch with them? Is there a better way than to send them emails that go without response?

  77. Hey there Ana:

    I too got the Twitter slap recently, and as a result I started to search around for tips of what I could and could not do. I had an account suspended several months ago, and got no real insight as to why they would not turn it back on. A couple of weeks ago, I had two accounts suspended nearly at the same time. The common link: Buffer. This is a tool that I love, but it was the only thing I could see that may have been a problem. Not so much in the use of the tool, but how I was using it. I was only tweeting a few times a day on each account, but frequently I would have the same tweet on several accounts; Buffer makes it very easy to do. I have since changed my Twitter game plan and have more distinct difference in my tweets; keeping myself clear in the twitter guidelines.

    Still it does suck to lose a well established account my friend…. I have followed you and passed on your tweet.

    • Ana Hoffman

      That makes a lot of sense, Jeramy.

      Need to change the tweets, not just send out the same tweet to several accounts.

      Great, more work… LOL

      • Yea, I thought the ability to quickly share on several accounts with Buffer was great…. but I think that is what got my accounts suspended. Same content on 4 accounts was bad. I got them back, but learned in the process.

        BTW…. I have been using the automation on TweetAdder with a lot of success…. just very different tweets on the accounts.

        • Ana Hoffman

          I never really used TA for tweeting, just following/unfollowing and MarketMeSuite for tweeting.

          Either way, the lesson is the same: don’t send the same tweets to multiple accounts.

  78. This is one excellent reason, Ana, for why the chief goal after generating traffic from all these social media sites should be to build your own list! For as long as the bulk of contacts in Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. remain there rather than in a list under our own control, we’ll be at the mercy of these platform providers.

    And this is to say that those contact names should be inside a database under your own control in your own server and not at an email service provider like Aweber, Mail Chimp, etc. alone.

    The customer is the business, ergo the customer list is the business in list format.

    • Ana Hoffman

      EXACTLY, Arturo. Social media is just the tool, not the way.

      Good point about backing up your contacts though; never thought about it.

      Any tips on how to do it?

  79. Cathy Presland

    Sobering lesson there Ana. I’ve been building my following slowly – two years now – although I just have the one account. Keep us posted on the MMS question – I have it but rarely use it. But i do post practically all my tweets thro tweetdeck – hope twitter isn’t clamping down on clients in general – so helpful to keep lists etc organised.

    Take care and good to see you back ;)

    Cathy

    • Hi Cathy, I hope Ana approves my other comments as I explain it pretty well in those, but it isn’t MarketMeSuite, and I am really sad for Ana that this happened. I’d love to help in any way I can, but I can assure you, MMS doesn’t break any rules.

      Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite

      • Cathy Presland

        Thanks tammy – yep i figured it was a combination of different factors! I’m still playing around with MMS versus tweetdeck. I’ll @ you on twitter if I have questions!

        Cathy

    • Ana Hoffman

      I think it was of a cross-posting issue via those platforms, Cathy; not so much the platform itself.

      If you have only one account and let it run naturally, you have nothing to worry about.

  80. Michael

    I once got my primary account suspended, but I when I changed the email address, it went live again. I then changed the address back to the original, and it still worked,,,

    I have no idea if this trick will still work, but might be worth a try?

    Anyhow, you got your self an other follower.

    Regards
    :)
    Michael

    • Ana Hoffman

      I wish, Michael… Now they don’t allow you to make any changes when the account is under suspension.

  81. I hope people aren’t put off by the concept of automation itself. Multiplying your message by broadcasting and syndication are helpful force multipliers and it helps connect the world community to our thought leaders. It’s our mission to reach the people who want to engage in good ideas. If that means using leverage responsibly, and if it means taking risks to reach people… even if it means making mistakes sometimes, it’s worth it because we’re here to help each other. Sometimes I just can’t help but wonder if there are a few people at the top who’d rather keep good ideas from rising too fast.

  82. Ana, this is unacceptable. I understand how you feel but, as a community, we have to try to get some definitive answers. Why the heck can’t services give warnings to its long-time users? It’s not like you set up a botnet, for crying aloud.

    Actually, THEY violated their own TOS!

    “All Content, whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person who originated such Content. We may not monitor or control the Content posted via the Services and, we cannot take responsibility for such Content. Any use or reliance on any Content or materials posted via the Services or obtained by you through the Services is at your own risk.”

    By singling out the “over-lapping” nature of your accounts, they imply that the do monitor and control your Content.

    I’m sure they have a slick lawyer who will twist that “may” into “might”.

    One of the red flags is the MMS coincidence. It would be helpful to know if Twitter suspended other MMS users with Twitter setups similar to yours.

    Good luck with the new account!

    Mitch

    • Hi,
      No other accounts have been suspended. This is wholly related to an IP ban that Twitter does when they sense too much automation / affiliate links, ie: using tweetadder. The fact that one account survived is luck, or that Twitter hasn’t yet got to it. The fact that Ana used MMS was just bad luck for us, since now we have to face this sort of post. I can’t stress enough just how much MMS is against spam, and how we take our responsibility very seriously.

      Ana, I’m so sorry this happened to you. Lets skype this week. I want you to understand that it isn’t MMS. You’ve been such a good friend to the app.

      Tweet me if you have any questions Mitchell.
      @tammykfennell

      -Tammy

      • Tammy, it’s great that you answered my question. I don’t like to speculate and jump to wrong conclusions. Thanks for that.

        Ana, you have such a wonderful attitude about the whole thing. There will be no stopping you. So, yeah, who cares! The timing is just rotten, though.

        Cheers,

        Mitch

    • Ana Hoffman

      I wish I had the time to comb through their TOS, Mitch! But even then, if they decide not to respond to my emails, like they did in the past 3 weeks, who cares, right?

  83. I am using TweetAdder too with mulitaccounts.. but I think I will put them on hold for a week or two to see how it all turns out.
    Sorry to hear about your problems with the twitter…

  84. Kris Pashek

    Sorry to hear that your Twitter account was suspended. You had really good and well established one.
    I know the pain. Well, maybe not exactly the same, because I started using Twitter not so long ago so I didn’t have much chance to get it suspended, but I was suspended from eBay once. I pushed too far and they banned my main selling account – it was shock for me. But I learned my lesson and in time I grew bigger and stronger. And will surely do even better now on Twitter. I’m sure of it.

    Cheers

  85. Hi Ana,
    I’m really sorry to hear about your Twitter woes, especially after you’ve put so much hard work into developing your accounts. I was wondering why I kept getting a ‘ user doesn’t exist’ message, I thought it was just something wrong with my cellphone browser. Sorry that you’ve got to start over, but I know you will recover and come back even stronger – I bet Twitter would’ve left you alone if they knew that!

  86. Sorry to hear the bad news regarding your Twitter account Ana.
    But to be honest I’m not all that surprised. I am more convinced than ever that all of the social networking sites. Absolutely HATE AUTOMATION.

    I have been banned on a couple of the major Article directory and video sharing websites. For using automation. But even after you take all of this into consideration. The TOS on all of these sites are heavily stacked against the user. Because you are not paying to use their service. So ultimately they can do what they want.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Theoretically, I understand and agree, Paul – automation shouldn’t be a necessity.

      Yet it is.

      A blog like mine is pretty much impossible to run without some sort of automation. Otherwise, I’d have to outsource it, which is also human automation of sorts.

  87. Hi Ana,

    WOW–bummer!

    I know how hard it is to manage my one little Twitter account. Multiple accounts with tons of followers — no thanks. Don’t have the time (as I actually read the tweets I get) or energy (1000 followers was a HUGE effort for me over many months — I’m pooped).

    I use Twitter as a way to spout off and find interesting people to exchange thoughts with. I think of my tweeps as ‘cyber associates’ — but not anyone I would consider a friend (at least my definition of one). So far, no one has purchased one of my books due to my stellar twittering [;-)], although I have purchased 8 books from other peeps.

    In general, I don’t think that thousands of Twitter followers translates into anything tangible in terms of business success. But you can set me straight if I’m wrong about that.

    Some time ago you posted a video of how you go about the process of adding followers to your account. It seemed really convoluted and draconian. It’s been a while since I saw the video, but what I recall was that you follow-follow-follow and then dump a bunch of people so you can follow more — based on some 10% ratio rule — and repeat the process over and over.

    I followed you way back when. You followed me back and sent me a nice DM. Shortly thereafter you unfollowed me. (And it can’t be because I am not the kind of person who doesn’t need your services — or that my tweets are boring — cuz they ain’t!). I laughed at your scheme. It made you seem disingenuous to me.

    Whatever. Didn’t mean that I wouldn’t stay on your mailing list and read your blog posts from time to time and even comment occasionally Heck, one time I thought your information was so valuable and appreciated that I actually sent you a REAL (not digital) gift basket to Arizona. I seriously doubt many people do that.

    But, I learned a lesson. Twitter is about numbers. Not people. I like people better.
    Sincerely,
    Toni Dockter
    @tonidockter

    • Ana Hoffman

      I definitely understand your point of view, Toni.

      The fact that you followed me and I ended up unfollowing you is not an ordinary occurrence. I don’t actually unfollow people who follow me; only those who DON’T follow me back. And it has nothing to do with quality of tweets.

      My goal with social media networks is this: bring my followers back to my blog and build relationships here, where I know no one is going to shut me down and I can take all the time I want to (like I am doing right now and like you just did in the comments).

      To me, this is the best social media network – right here in the comment section.

      If I hand out at Twitter instead, I’ll never have the time to build up my readers. Something’s got to give. And it’s Twitter, not my readers.

      I really appreciate you sticking with my blog!

  88. That is a shame and very disheartening to read after all the time and effort you have put into Twitter. I will follow your new account as soon as Twitter will allow it. Right now they say I am following too many people and do not have enough foll0wers of my own (I follow 2,000 and have 700 followers) which I find highly annoying. So anytime I try to follow an additional person I get their message saying I cannot do it. I appreciate your blog posts, your knowledge and expertise, and since I am pretty much a newbie at all of this despite my advanced age the things I have learned from you have been very helpful to me. Keep up the good work.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Marian.

      You actually have to unfollow some of the people who are not following you; otherwise, you might never pass the 2000 mark.

  89. Hey Ana.
    I wondered what happened with your account. I hadn’t seen you on twitter so I looked for you on Google. When I found your twitter reference there and clicked on it, it said this user’s account has been suspended.
    I thought it must have been a mistake. I am glad you have cleared up what happened. I enjoy your tweets so I’m happy to be following you on your new twitter account. Keep up the good work and thanks for helping us to avoid getting our accounts suspended.

  90. That’s enough to make you see red, I’m sure, Ana! I have two accounts, and once in a while, I’ll RT between them. But I use TweetDeck, not MMS, and never automate ANYTHING.

    I do have some friends that have a handful of different accounts, and RT between them almost constantly, bit no adverse effects (yet).

    It’s hard to imagine them being very concerned about aggressive following. I see new accounts all the time with thousands of followed Twits in a period of two or three weeks… guess that must be “different”, huh?

    I’m very particular about who I follow back. If I don’t either know you or find your Tweets very interesting, it ain’t gonna happen! If I can spot a spam account when it appears, it would seem to me that Twitter would be able to do so, too.

    Here’s a dead giveaway for you, Twitter: 82 followers, 12,386 followed, 8,012 Tweets… DUH! Ya think that one might be up to something more worth chasing than a prominent blogger that is more conscientious than the vast majority of Twits?

    • Ana Hoffman

      I was surprised to hear that posting the same tweet between different accounts could be against their TOS, Sheldon.

      One thing for sure: I never spammed any one of my accounts, never did sponsored tweets (which I hate), never sold anything – only solid value. Plus, mostly RTed other bloggers, rather than my blog…

      Oh, well.

  91. Dave Doolin

    You’ll be fine. I think you’re really cool, but I have to admit I’m snickering at the moment. What has happened to you here is one of the main reasons I am not automating anything at the moment (I don’t think…): I don’t have to time to stay on top of it if it all goes pear-shaped.

    I love that you’re pushing the envelope. I learn from your experience.

    So, kudos for going after it hard, and even more kudos for “downshifting and accelerating.”

    • Ana Hoffman

      And the worst part is that I didn’t learn my lesson, Dave. LOL

      I am now trying to figure out how to still use the same means, just in a more friendly manner.

      Without automation, I’ll be working on my business 24/7 and still not get everything done.

  92. Ana,

    I have read your posts om Twitter and know how much you rely on it to send traffic to your blog. Twitter is one of my top traffic sources too. I want to change that but being on the newer end of being a blogger, with a not so big reputation, I have no choice still.

    I’m sure you are already working on a solution. Like your mailing list and other social media platforms. I guess that is why business pros always tout the importance of your own list, nobody can take that away.

    I hope they give you back your account AND the followers with it. Either way, I followed the new Ana twitter profile.

    Thanks for the insight.

    ~Allie

    • Ana Hoffman

      Never put all your eggs in one basket, right, Allie?

      It’s amazing how dependent we are on other sites sending us traffic: Google, Twitter, Facebook…

      Thanks for checking in on Twitter!

  93. Ana,

    I think the real takeaway here is that you shouldn’t be relying on Facebook or Twitter for your marketing. I realize you are not but it’s an important point to continue to drive home to your readers.

    The only internet property you have control of is your own. Everywhere else you are a guest and they can for whatever reason decide to shut you down.

    Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to drive traffic to your own website, be diverse. If they ever end up shutting you down you hopefully have built enough of a following on your site to begin rebuilding.

    On a side note, I too have had my accounts suspended and also used TweetAdder. I think the first time I did this I was too aggressive. I was able to get the accounts reinstated and I’m definitely less aggressive with my follow/unfollow behavior.

    • Ana Hoffman

      BINGO, Joe.

      Social media is just one of the ways to drive traffic and even though Twitter was my largest referral traffic source, I still have plenty of other source to get traffic from.

  94. Good luck Ana! What a colossal waste of time this is for you. You know we’ll help get the word out for you. Your experience does serve as a warning. How many followers did you lose on this account alone?

      • Ouch! That has to hurt. It is so frightening that a company can do something like this. It could be devastating to a small business.

        Do you have the IDs of your followers? I would not be prepared for this if it were to happen to me. Do you know if there’s a tool (or a manual way) to download the IDs as a backup just in case this were to happen. (Sounds like an idea for a great post if such a thing is possible.)

  95. Jenny

    Hi Ana,

    Sorry to hear of your Twitter ban, I’d hate that to happen to me too. Personally I prefer to avoid automation of my Twitter accounts (yes I have more than one and they even overlap slightly in their audience) because I don’t want to fall foul of Twitters rules on aggressive following & unfollowing etc. I’ve read in the past that programmes such as Tweetadder (and several others) can result in this so I prefer not to take any chances. I do use MarketMeSuite as one of my Twitter clients but only as an alternative platform to the Twitter website as I only automate a minimum amount of Tweets, I like the manual way but that could just be me :-) I’m going to stick to manual for Tweeting and adding now!!

    • Ana Hoffman

      It certainly makes sense, Jenny; however, I only wish I had the time to do this by hand!

      I’ll have to figure out a way…

  96. Ana,

    Sorry about the “act” by Twitter. I too am using TweetAdder and it really
    speeds things up. I may stay far away from the automated stuff. I am now following your new account and will be sending your message out frequently.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks so much, Ray.

      Used full automation from TweetAdder for a day, and that’s what happened…

  97. Hi Ana,

    I’m so sorry to hear this. We have a few contacts at Twitter and I’d love to help you get to the bottom of this. one thing I know for sure, MarketMeSuite does NOT enable you to do any of these things:

    • Creating serial and/or multiple accounts with overlapping use cases
    • Aggressive following, particularly through automated means

    Cross posting, yes, but so does any other cross management platform.

    I am truly sorry that your account was suspended. One thing I know twitter IS clamping down on is affiliate links, so that could potentially be an issue. Skype me sometime this week. After being such a loyal user I want to do anything I can to help you, even if it’s just tweeting out your name to help you grow a new following again, but lets chat.

    I know exactly why your account got banned. It has everything to do with the automation software you use, and I can explain how I know this. Skype me.

    Remember, we do nothing without your knowledge. MarketMeSuite is 100% user controlled. In fact, we are one of the most outspoken against spam in the Twitter Marketing sector.

    ~Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite

    • Ana Hoffman

      I completely understand that, Tammy, and that’s why I never said that MMS was the one to blame.

      Rather, I meant that any social management platform like that that allows to post the same tweet through multiple accounts can cause trouble, according to what Twitter said.

      I’ll try to get hold of you this week.

      • Thanks Ana, I know you didn’t say it directly, but there’s a pretty strong insinuation so we are just responding because we have been so very outspoken AGAINST twitter spam. I just sent you an email, explaining the finer points of Tweetadder and why you should proceed with caution when using them. Hopefully you’ll be able to put an edit above to remove any ambiguity around the idea that MMS could have caused this.

        I’m super excited about what we have in store. V4 beta is being tested this week :)

  98. I know it’s common Ana and you seem like a good sport about it but it’s pretty bad that we deal with rampant spammers on Twitter on a daily basis and we see no improvements in spam prevention whatsoever. Then an obviously legitimate account holder loses their accounts without warning for what amounts to very small infractions, if that. I know, business is business but common sense should take hold at some point.

    • Ana Hoffman

      My new account was not even 5 minutes old and I was already getting messages from spammers, Brian.

      Go figure…

      • Ana, Sorry to hear of what occurred with your accounts. As others have stated, you should be up and running with your new account(Building up a good sized following) in no time.

        Just another thing, the Twitter spamming seems to be happening quite a bit of late.

        I do not use Twitter all that much, yet recently I have noticed
        my Email account is getting a lot of new twitter followers, all of whom are Porn type spammers.

        Keep your chin up.

        Daniel.

  99. Hi Ana,

    Sorry to hear that :(

    I think that the automation and cross linking with the same material can be problematic.

    I’ve several Twitter accounts but I’ve fed manual or with different themes.

    From time to time with the same tweet and with MMS. I’ll have in mind to not overuse the last points.

    Spreading the word with your new account.

    Cheers,

    Gera

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks, Gera!

      Everything in moderation, right?

      I really thought I was doing great by promoting so many other blogs, but since I posted them across multiple accounts, even though they weren’t my own, still might’ve caused the problem.

  100. Got your new account followed. Will be happy to help you get your followers built.

    Great information. Sharing it with a friend that just had his accounts suspended. Think he’s probably facing the same issues.

    Thanks for sharing
    ~Robert

    • Ana Hoffman

      I’ve analyzed it every way I could, David – they should’ve given me a chance to rectify if I was doing something wrong.

      • This is for me the biggest single issue.

        No one is perfect and no user of any Social Networking platform can be expected to remember every single line of text for any TOS or to read it before each Tweet ;-)

        So IMO why is a simple warning too much to offer a user?

        If they offer a warning first…then Twitter will not lose users like you that add real value to 130k+ followers. Real value and engagement. Which is surely what Twitter wants and the reason for their TOS in the first place! :-)

        Twitter should be trying to protect accounts that are clearly not spammers and work with them to avoid their accounts getting suspended. Surely people who are trying to use Twitter the right way (like you) are surely worth giving the time to help keep their accounts from suspension.

        Even if you did something wrong, surely Twitter could have seen the huge investment of time and genuine effort you put into your accounts to engage with people and given you a simple brief notification / warning about something you were doing wrong.

        What I cannot understand is why a warning was not deemed necessary but a permanent suspension is.

        If the activity of a user triggers a suspension on Twitter can it not Trigger a warning… first?

        It is quite unsettling to put it mildly to see those accounts with 25k upwards each get totally wiped out. The message that sends out is that they want to dissuade you from bothering with Twitter in future. Anyone suddenly losing the opportunity to engage with 130K followers that were carefully followed and engaged with over years would very likely not bother with Twitter again > apart from you LOL! :-) <.

        Twitter should be trying to keep users like you who add so much value, not giving you the dreaded bird boot! ;-)

        A prior warning would massively help to avoid people getting banned with no option of getting their accounts back. If someone makes a mistake is it too much to ask that Twitter warns them first at least once? It is so difficult for Twitter to accept that someone who unknowingly makes a mistake would want to rectify it, if given a prior warning?

        Some things about Twitter (Limits, TOS e.t.c) are a bit vague so they should meet users halfway and warn them about things (that are still not 100% clear IMO) should they cross the line in some way.

        Maybe this is one of the reasons why so many join and leave Twitter in such a short space of time despite its growth.

        I totally understand Twitters need to keep a handle on things with millions of users (including spammers sadly) but permanently suspending your accounts is IMO terribly harsh and misguided. If those accounts are getting banned it sends out a very confusing message.

  101. Hi Ana, I follow you when I get a chance and I am sorry for the grief that you experienced at the hands of twitter. As much testing as you have done in researching how this all happened to you, as marketers we realize how helter skelter their victim selection can be. I remember having my first 4 Facebook accounts disabled because I was trying to market and at that time Facebook was not in tune to marketing that they have since embraced and totally changed their stance. They now allow things that I used to be disabled for. Their old terms of service used to be murky and unclear in regard to what you could do and couldn’t do in regard to marketing. The first time I lost 2,000 friends, 2nd- 500 friends, 3rd 1,000 friends, 4th 1500 friends. I used market manually most of the time before the new automated software has come out and Facebook as gotten more open to this. Starting over again is painful! I feel ya…anyway I tweeted your announcement. I enjoy your articles and posts, thanks
    Professional Website Builders
    64 Chateau Court
    Ventura, CA. 93003
    www. professionalwebsitebuilders.com

    • Ana Hoffman

      “Victim selection” – I like that, Temogen; certainly feels like it.

      Thanks for spreading the message!

  102. I have been in your exact shoes Ana, twice.

    The first time my account was reinstated quickly as it had been suspended in error.

    The second time there was no notification; I had to follow up with them and it took ages for them to get back to me. NOT a nice time that’s for sure, which you know all about.

    After finally hearing back from someone, the only reason I was able to get out of them was that it could have been because of a third party application automatically posting information to my Twitter account.

    Ok, so can they give me an idea as to which application it was? I use Hootsuite and a few other tools to schedule posts – are these against their TOS?

    They couldn’t tell me. Well thanks, that was really helpful – not!

    Now, I tread very carefully so as not to offend the twitter powers-that-be. However I feel that their TOS is ambiguous, to say the least.

    I appreciate you posting about your situation. It’s a great reminder about how careful we need to be when setting up and sharing information on our Twitter accounts.

    Popping across now to follow your new account.

    Best,

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks so much for sharing, Annemarie.

      For some reason, no one ever talks about this, so I didn’t realize Twitter does this a lot until I started getting all these comments…

      Right or wrong, when on Twitter, we are in their house, and they can deny service to anyone without an explanation. Lesson learned.

      PS You have the most inviting and trust-evoking avatar!

  103. He Ana
    I can’t believe that they just shut you down like that. I must be hard, because I know from myself how long it takes to build a large follow-list. On the other hand I am sure that people will come back and follow your new account pretty fast. After all you still are Ana Hoffman and you still are a great blogger no matter what Twitter might think of you :-)

  104. Ouch, that has to hurt Ana.

    I have MMS too and no I am in two minds whether to continue using it or not. Aside from the odd branded tweet (about once a month) I am not really using it for much and I don’t like to take chances with my Twitter accounts.

    Will follow your new account.

    • Sarah, Please do not worry. I will speak to Ana this week and explain in more detail, but this is all related to Tweetadder. Twitter cannot ban Tweetadder, even though they break most rules, so they go after accounts. And they go after IP addresses. We have been saying this for two years “use automation at your own risk.” We are getting blame for something we’ve been fighting so hard against, which makes me really sad. Ana, I’m sorry but the only reason the “one” account wasn’t banned is that account go lucky, or, hasn’t come up in the Twitter ban queue yet. They mean business when it comes to “set it and forget it automation.” The only thing allowed is:
      scheduling,
      auto follow BACK
      Auto DM when someone follows you.

      That’s it.

      Please don’t worry about MarketMeSuite — we’ve got you covered, and version 4 is going to be make it even easier to filter and make sure that you are completely organic without losing a marketing edge.

      ~Tammy, CEO @MarketMeSuite

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am sure you saw Tammy’s reply, Sarah.

      My main point about mentioning MMS was the fact that it allows you to cross-post the same message to all your accounts simultaneously. Doesn’t that sound like what Twitter told me not to do?

      I am not planning on quitting on MMS, but I think a few adjustments are in order.

  105. Ahh sorry to hear that Ana! I had the same thing happen to me but with Youtube! And not once but TWICE! Someone decided to flag my video and BOOM months of hard work and momentum gone!

    But hey us entrempreneurs learn and adapt and move forward.

  106. Hey Ana, I had the same thing happen to me. I had a twitter acct for each of my 5 websites and they suspended each of them on me (85,000 followers.) I know how you feel.

    Anyway, just followed your new acct!

    Will shout out for you!

      • Sadly I’m too afraid to log into any more twitter accounts, so I’m focused only on the one! So much easier to build up across several accts vs. a single one though.

        • Ana Hoffman

          That’s why I was using multiple accounts, Warren – it takes ages to build following with just one.