Automatically splatting content from one social network to another rarely ends well. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin etc are all different types of networks with different constraints, different audiences etc. However, some folks feel that they have to have a presence on all networks but, they’ve not got enough time, so what’s the answer? Yes! Let’s hook them all up so you only have to update once!
Ok, let’s back off a little. I’m not the Twitter police. No-one gave me authority to tell people what is right & what is wrong on social media but I do quite a bit of training for my clients and that gives me an opportunity to try to steer them away from making glaring mistakes.
Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of tweets which don’t make a lot of sense…
Note: I’ve tried to anonymise these tweets as this is not a flipping witch hunt; hey, someone could go through my tweets and find some humdingers but let’s just try to see what can be learned from this.
As you can see, the gist of this tweet is about a recent social media news event where Twitter are no longer allowing tweets to flow into Linkedin (which is quite ironic giving this post).
This tweet (sic.) was sent by someone who has automatically linked up their Facebook feed to their Twitter one*.
(* – it’s not visible in the above picture but the app which posted this tweet was indeed ‘Facebook’).
The tweet doesn’t make sense as the longer message area of Facebook has been badly truncated here (the message was not meant to end with the word “Hootsuite“). The truncation has left the message badly wanting in Twitter. It’s like trying to pour a pint into a half pint glass; ain’t gonna work.
To read the full, non-truncated message, you’ve have to click on the link (fair enough) but it takes you to Facebook! I’m sorry, but this is just a no-no. You can’t assume that just because someone is on Twitter then they are happy to hop over to Facebook (they may not even have an account). That’s like a restaurant saying “I’m glad you enjoyed your starter Madam, for your main you’ll have to move to another area of the restaurant. And afters are served in the car park.“. No, you can’t change social network gears like that unless you’re 100% sure on that the audience is happy with it.
Instead of linking directly to a completely different social network, my recommendation would be that you link off to (say) your blog as that is a more neutral platform. And if your blog highlights that you are also present on other networks such as Facebook then your audience can spot these signposts for themselves and they can decide to engage with you where they want. And not have the decision thrust on them.
Also, Instead of pushing every Facebook update across to your Twitter account, a better approach would be to use the selective status app. With this app you update from Twitter and, if your tweet contains the #FB hashtag, then it is automatically posted to Facebook; this selective approach is much more useful.
In this tweet the person is offering advice on how to use Linkedin & Twitter; fair enough. However, if you set yourself up as the expert, then it’s probably best not to drop clangers.
So, what’s wrong here?
Well, the link goes to Linkedin; and you know how I feel about that! The tweet is trying to convey that you should follow the company over on LinkedIn. But they didn’t factor in that the word “follow” means something pretty significant over in Twitter land. A clumsy tweet indeed. Not one which oozes social media finesse.
I’m saving the best to last with this one…
Confused? Yeah, so was I.
This tweet originated from…you guessed it….Facebook!
And author had obviously decided to thank ’Damien‘ for liking something they did over in Facebook*. But, because they have Facebook set up to pump everything across to Twitter, guess what? Yep, this comment ended up in Twitter. Completely stripped of context and meaning. It couldn’t appear more lost & confused than a drunk, amnesiac, naked man wandering around dazed in the middle of rush hour, Heathrow airport. With a cone on his head.
(* to be honest, thanking for likes sounds a bit odd to me anyway).
As I say, I’m not trying to be mean here (although I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a tad grumpy tonight so I may have gone a bit over the top with sarcasm) but I’m genuinely trying to highlight why automatically connecting these disperate social networks is not a great strategy.
Oh, and I did reply to all of these tweets trying to open up a dialog but, guess what, no replies came back*…which is pretty much unforgivable. I don’t mean that it is unforgivable that I was not responded too but, for most of these cases, no-one was getting responded to. Why? Because the message originated elsewhere and the replies were not being heard at all! Who said Twitter was about engagement eh?
*Well, someone did reply to me but only after I nudged them via email that something was badly awry with their tweets.