Friday 3 February 2012

Protected Twitter accounts are no use for compers!

Last week a fellow comper, let's call him @fred,  told me that he'd entered literally thousands of competitions on Twitter and never had a single win. I offered to have a look at his Twitter feed to see if I could see any obvious mistakes.

So off I went to his Twitter page and all I could see was:

@fred's Tweets are protected.
Only confirmed followers have access to @fred's Tweets and complete profile. You need to send a request before you can start following this account.

I couldn't see any of his tweets - and neither could any of the promoters whose competitions he had been entering. So he had entered those thousands of competitions and hadn't stood a chance of winning anything.

When I told him that, he unprotected his tweets and I could then see that he  had tweeted me several messages - questions, comments and even messages of congratulations when I won things, and I had never seen any of them.

This is because if your tweets are protected, ONLY people you have authorised to can see any of  them at all. You can be following other people, you can retweet their tweets, you can send them messages and they will never be aware that you have done it!

Twitter doesn't really make this clear, so you might think that having a protected account stops stalkers and potential spammers from seeing your tweets while still letting you talk to people you follow even if they don't follow you, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way. So if you are a comper and have your tweets protected, you will never win anything.

To check whether you have protected tweets, go to your Twitter page and click on the arrowhead next to your name on the top  right, then select Settings. On the Account tab, scroll down to Tweet Privacy  and make sure the box next to "Protect my tweets" is unchecked. If it is checked, click the box to clear it then click on Save at the bottom.

That's what @fred did - and just five days later he had his first Twitter win.

There is a handy guide to who can see what when you send a tweet which you can see  at Meg Pickard 's Flickr page.

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