This last weekend Twitter inadvertently suspended my account. Getting it restored was far more difficult than I imagined. Here are a few practical tips if (God forbid!) this happens to you. I certainly never thought it would happen to me.
1.) Diversify — If you are highly dependent on Twitter for business, establish another account with a name people will recognize as you. Twitter allows multiple accounts. Establish and begin to grow multiple accounts. Also, I have decided to put more effort into my Facebook account. I was forced to communicate through Facebook during the suspension and realized it provides me a broader portfolio of communication. Just as investments should be diversified, so should our social networks. We should not put all our eggs in one basket.
2.) Multiply — Have an “emergency contact.” If suspended, know who will be your go-to person(s) to communicate to the world what has happened to you. I was shocked to find that Twitter was sending “@RandyElrod does not follow you” to anyone who DM’d me and there was NO explanation. Have someone help with damage control that has a similar circle of followers.
3.) Standby — Have restore information on standby. The folks at Twitter are notoriously hard to reach AND you must be logged in to submit a request (another vital reason for additional Twitter accounts). Here is an emergency link that will save you LOTS of time digging through the page maze of Twitter support. http://twitter.com/help/escalate Save this for emergencies and as a last resort. Don’t use it for everyday concerns no matter how important they are. Please note this link was active as of this writing. Twitter changes policies and means of communication regularly.
4.) Exemplify – Courteous behavior. Just as the airport ticket agent holds your destiny in their hands—so do Twitter support workers. Anger will not get your account restored. In fact, it may do just the opposite. I quickly realized that Twitter wanted everything to be right as much as I did. When my support person realized he had inadvertently suspended my account—he was horrified and extremely apologetic.
5.) Backupify—During the Twitter suspension nightmare, I was offered a multitude of help. The single best resource recommendation was by @marksnewton . It is called Backupify. Backupify provides daily automatic backups, archiving, and export for all your social media. Much of the data we generate today is not stored on our personal computers; we have data locked up in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs, Basecamp and other online services. Backupify is not just about backup, it is about users controlling data independently instead of having it stored and inaccessible in services all around the web.
What have I missed?