What I Learned When Facebook Disabled My Account

Customer Loyalty Is About How You Treat Your Power Users

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Craig Daitch Craig Daitch also writes the blog Thought Industry.
On Friday I received notification that my Facebook account was disabled. There was no reason given. No explanations, no email, nothing.

For a social network, that sounds surprisingly unsocial, doesn't it?

I'm still trying to find out why their administrators decided to throw me off the Facebook train. Was it my high frequency of posts? Was I sacrificed for a Whopper? Or was it the video of me singing a Radiohead cover song? I swear I tried to croon it in key...

I'm taking it all in stride, although my friends are panicking:

"I miss your posted articles!" one of my friends instant messaged me.

"Can't you just open up another account?" another one asked via Twitter.

I suppose I could do that. Just use a different e-mail address, reconnect with my friends and be done with it, but out of principal I'm staying off Facebook.

Why? Because after assessing the frequency of my posts and the influence I've had in bringing friends, colleagues and bosses onto the network, I came to the conclusion that I deliver more value to Facebook than Facebook delivers to me.

Sure, I'm just one of 30 million or 40 million unique visitors. But within my social circle, I'd curate conversations, share hundreds of industry articles within my network and create multiple photo albums for my family and I to enjoy. In fact, the only reason I want my account enabled again is to gain back access to the pictures I took with my wife and daughter over our last vacation to Orlando.

Which brings up another point: Facebook became a host for my digital life. And now, it's being held hostage for some reason unbeknown to me. That in itself is a tad bit troublesome, don't you think?

I've created multiple page views, over-indexed on time spent on their social network, and extended the duration of my friends on the site by introducing them to emerging Facebook plugins like Tokbox video chat. I almost feel as though I should receive a bi-monthly check and benefits from Mark Zuckerberg himself. OK, how about deferred stock options instead? I'm easy to please. Did I mention I can sing Radiohead covers at company picnics?

Ultimately, I have learned everything lives and dies by how one treats its customers. Much like brick-and-mortar businesses, understanding who your best customers are will guarantee their loyalty. And analytics are the key to figuring out who those are. My question is how can a company that collects so much data on its user base be unable to segment its power users?

If Facebook tracked and measured the activity of members such as myself, I don't think I would've lost my account. More so, it would have kept this blogger in check. Had I received any form of communications, it may have still left me upset but it certainly would've mitigated my frustrations. Now here I am armed with a keyboard and an internet connection -- our 21st century version of the adage the pen is mightier than the sword. Only in this scenario, I'm strapped with an RPG and a Star Wars light saber.

I originally asked for a letter of apology from Facebook. Now all I want is access to my albums and to know why they killed my account without speaking with me first. As an advertiser, I've encouraged clients for half a decade to run campaigns through Facebook. I thought it treated people better than this.

I know Facebook has its hands full, especially with the phishing scams it's been up against. Last week, one of my colleagues was spammed via a live Facebook IM conversation; a hacker took control of his friend's account and attempted to solicit my colleague for money. Like I said, data management and CRM will either keep Facebook as a popular destination for social networking, or doom them as a company that never took security or its customers seriously. Either way however, I'm done using it for now.

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