Thursday, November 29, 2018

Using a domain name won't hurt business when your Instagram account has been disabled

I am discovering the strange world of Instagram and Twitter users who had their account disabled for whatever reason...and the consequences of having distributed an Instagram URL that does not exist anymore. One will notice that this...doesn't happen when using a personalized domain name as single signature.

A business destroyed in seconds
Twitter, Instagram and probably a few more social networks are very powerful tools: they are famous and many use them. For example, I don't publish daily photos for my work on Instagram but I use Twitter. If that account was disabled for whatever reason, it would irritate me. Of course, my business does not rely on Twitter but some online businesses like modeling do rely...on Instagram. I am referring here to models, professional gamers and other cosplay who run their business using a Twitter or an Instagram account, sometimes both, adding to this other publication platforms with long URLs.

When you have thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands followers, you don't want your account to be disabled:
"If your Instagram account was disabled, you’ll see a message telling you when you try to log in. Accounts that don't follow our Community Guidelines or Terms of Use may be disabled without warning."
The message above was extracted from a help page on Instagram entitled: "What can I do if my account has been disabled?" and that's precisely the kind of situation that a long time Instagram user does not want to have to go through: if the URL can't be recovered, the focal point to gather with you and your thousands of followers is just...LOST for two reasons:
  1. The Instagram account you distributed the URL to your thousands of followers does not belong to you, it belongs to Instagram;
  2. Your Instagram followers WON'T have access to your disabled account: how will you tell them about your next newly created account? How will they know where to go to follow you again?
Can't happen with a domain name
Advertising multiple social networks in signatures is common: I do it too. I use Twitter, LinkedIn, I use another URL for my newsletter, and another one for may company; but I wonder if it makes sense to distribute so many information to my readers: why not use just one instead, and one that belongs to me?

Social network users should capitalize on a domain name instead of a free Instagram URL (and a lot of other long social networks long URLs). The reason for this is that in special circumstances such as the one explained above (having your account disabled for whatever reason), followers can keep the link with a user and all of the social networks on which he, or she, is present.

The example below is a good one, I searched for a cosplay model on Instagram and I found this cosplay artist. Can you tell me who is able to remember all of these details and long URLs if that account was to be disabled by Instagram? This model could use a domain name such as in its signatures as a single point of reference for all of its activities to avoid any incident: a follower can remember a short domain name, it certainly won't remember all of the details below when an Instagram account is disabled.

The domain name is often purchased at a very small price, it can be shortened to the maximum and it is easily memorable. The difference between advertising long social network addresses and using a domain name where to list all social networks addresses is simple: the domain name belongs to you, whatever happens, an Instagram, Facebook or Twitter URL doesn't.

Would a social network member need to start a new Instagram account, its existing followers would know where to go to find him again. Would they remember a long Instagram URL? I doubt it.

How to
Redirecting a domain name to the Instagram URL is a first step but using a single page where to list all of the social network URLs can help be even better. Some apps exist for this and using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) platform can also be an option. They sometimes comes for free at retail registrars. No coding should be required to do this.

Don't sign with your Instagram address, sign with your domain name.

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