Do your tweets automatically post to your Facebook account?
Do your Facebook updates automatically post to Twitter?
If you answered yes to either of these questions, there is no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it:
Please do not sync your Twitter and Facebook updates.
I know it’s a time saver, but the benefits of using social media are more important than just saving time. Each platform has its own set of users, language, and unwritten rules. If you’re most concerned with saving time, you are missing out on the point of using social media as a marketing tool for your business.
Twitter and Facebook are two different channels with different audiences and different purposes. Yes, most of your content will work on both platforms, but that content needs to be tweaked to fit the channel in order for it to be fully effective.
What’s Wrong with Automatically Posting Facebook Updates to Twitter?
The biggest dilemma is the character count. You have a lot more to work with on Facebook than you do Twitter. So what happens when you go over Twitter’s 140 character count when you have your Facebook updates automatically sent to Twitter?
- The message is cut off and a link to the original Facebook post is created.
- Twitter users are forced to click over to Facebook to see the entire update.
This is soooo annoying! If we wanted to be on Facebook, we would be on Facebook.
And oftentimes, the first 120 or so characters of your Facebook post don’t tease people enough to even want to click on the Facebook link to continue reading. You don’t write the same when you don’t have to count characters.
But do you want to know what irks me the most when people sync updates from Facebook to Twitter? It’s when I see either of these tweets:
- a tweet that’s simply a Facebook link, with no pretext, or
- a tweet that says “I uploaded a photo to Facebook” and then there’s a Facebook link.
Who cares? I mean seriously?! I can almost guarantee nobody on Twitter cares that you just uploaded a photo on Facebook. And a tweet with just a link and no explanation is about as tacky and absent-minded as you can get!
This tells me (as a real Twitter fan) that you don’t care to interact with me on Twitter, you only created an account because of peer pressure, to be one of the cool kids. If you’re not going to talk to me on Twitter, why should I follow you here? Chew on that for a minute.
What’s Wrong with Automatically Posting Twitter Updates to Facebook?
So, you’ll just reverse engineer this problem, and sync and post your Twitter updates directly to your Facebook account. That way you won’t go over any character counts and everything is fine, right?
Ugh, no! You’re putting limitations on your content for no reason, and, again, is annoying.
You’re missing a big piece of the problem here: Facebook and Twitter are not equals. They weren’t created to sync together. Each platform have its own culture, functions and layouts.
- Twitter and Facebook are not twins. People use them differently and for different reasons, and each will work best for you if you use them in different ways.
- Even though Facebook has now added its own hashtag feature, it isn’t nearly as robust as Twitter’s. Facebook still has some work to do in the hashtag department.
- If you participate in any Twitter chats, that hashtag will mean nothing to your Facebook followers.
- Any retweets will show up on your Facebook feed with the letters “RT” and some random @username very few people will know included. Twitter mentions will also only show one part of a conversation, leaving your Facebook fans left out of the context. @username means nothing on Facebook.
More Key Differences
- Visuals: Facebook is a much more visual space than Twitter. Graphics, pictures, and other images work really well on Facebook.
- Speed: Twitter feed flows at a frantic pace. All of your conversations are part of your feed. In contrast, on Facebook, you reply to comments within a single thread as opposed to starting a new update for every comment.
- Users: Facebook users log in to check in with their friends and their favorite brands. Twitter users log in to find out what’s happening now with their network AND the world.
You don’t have to come up with completely different content for each network. You just need to adjust the update itself based on which one you are using.
Ok, but I don’t have time to create new content for each platform.
So what am I supposed to do?
First, stop saying you don’t have time to meet and connect with your audience. Throwing up your hands with the “I don’t have time so I’ll just copy and paste and sync everything” does nothing to solve the problem.
So here’s an easy fix:
Post the same subject, but modify it just a bit to work better for the social network you’re posting to. If you’re posting it to Twitter, you’re usually abbreviating, eliminating words for brevity, etc.
Now, take that same subject you want to share, and write it in full for Facebook.
BAM! It’s that simple.
It doesn’t take that much extra time to create a separate update for each network, especially if you’re using tools such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial to schedule your updates. You’ll show your followers you understand the social networks you are using as well as respect their favored choice.
And isn’t that the point of talking to your followers on social media? So go ahead and un-sync your Facebook and Twitter accounts please.
On behalf of your Twitter followers and Facebook fans, I say thank you!
So have I convinced you to un-synchronize your Twitter and Facebook updates? Or did you already know this, and now you’re sending this blog to your friends that don’t get it?