Don’t Auto-Connect Your Twitter and Facebook Social Media Accounts

Just like in real life social events require certain attire, behavior and social graces are expected, so goes social media sites. Shorts and tank tops are perfectly expected on the family camping trip, as well as all the laughing, beer and casual atmosphere that goes along with it. Try the same outfit and behavior at a networking event or corporate board meeting and you will likely get a very different reception. Understanding the differences between Facebook and Twitter and dealing with them in the appropriate social manner is extremely important!

Recently I have noticed a lot of my personal profile Facebook connections have connected their Twitter and Facebook accounts so that whatever they post on Twitter, automatically posts on their Facebook wall. This is highly problematic, especially if you are using social media for business. The two platforms have very different cultures and norms that beg different approaches to be effective.

Twitter:

The Twitter platform is far more informal. It’s design automatically generates a higher volume of posting due to the fact that you can follow anyone you like, without the required approval as with Facebook. The shorter, non-visual aspect of Twitter, also prompts more back and forth communication, resulting in a much higher volume of updates.

I liken Twitter to the big commercial fishing boat with huge nets behind it.

Facebook:

Facebook is far more intimate. I often explain it to people as being your living room. Have you ever been to lunch or gone to a new friends home for dinner and had them talk about themselves and/or what they like or do the entire time? How eager were you to go back to their home or get together over dinner again? Exactly!

To be effective, Facebook requires a slightly more personal approach and FAR LESS volume of updates! A good measurement tool I have discovered is to watch likes and comments. If your Facebook updates are getting a very low Like or comment rate, there are typically one of three reasons:

1) You post so much nobody is paying attention anymore due to annoyance.

2) The content or updates you are posting suck.

3) Your friends are not really friends, or you have friended the wrong audience.

The bottom line is, I highly recommend you understand the differences between the two platforms and for Pete’s sake, don’t auto-connect the two!!!

Robert M. Caruso
@fondalo
Founder/CEO – Bundle Post

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42 Comments

Filed under Facebook, Social content management, Social Media, social media automation, Social Media Content, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Twitter, Uncategorized

42 responses to “Don’t Auto-Connect Your Twitter and Facebook Social Media Accounts

  1. Couldn’t agree more! It pains me to see Tweets posted directly on Facebook with RT’s, @ signs and #tags which don’t translate as anything more than gibberish to a non-Twitter audience. I totally agree with the analogy of Facebook as a cosy living room too – far more slower paced and relaxed :-) Great post.

    • Thank you Paula… Here is a wrinkle I will throw in though:

      On appropriate posts to Twitter I also manually (using HootSuite) will send it to Facebook as well. The key word in that sentence is appropriate. Furthermore, I have found that Hashtags have crossed the social Twitter/Facebook divide in some cases and wrote a post about that in the past. However, auto-posting ALL content across both platforms is a big no, no as we both agree!

      Robert

  2. Even though I love Twitter, I hate seeing tweets posted in Facebook. I’ve blocked several people because of it. It just doesn’t fit. Great reminder!

  3. for many, FaceBook is not a work tool but a social interface for the individual, not the professional. I’m perfectly comfortable with people’s blurbs on FB. on the other hand, i expect people’s twits to be a bit more professional or of higher relevance.
    so for me, it’s OK to have twitter cascade into FB, it’s the other direction that i rather avoid.
    so my order from most professional content to most casual is LI > Twitter > FB. blog of course may be used for all, or have two blogs if you need to.

    • Thanx for the input and different perspective Yael. You are correct that Linkedin is also a VERY different platform. Though your preferences are not at all the norm, everyone uses social platforms differently.

      My experience in and out of the social graph tells me that typically people do business with people they FEEL they know and like. I am no exception to that. The people that are overtly professional and don’t share the personal and human aspect with their social media engagement, don’t get my business and are not TYPICALLY too successful within the space. Though that is the norm, there are exceptions to most everything.

      Thanx for the comments!

      Robert

  4. When it comes to business tweets on a fan page and blog posts that relate to the fan page that you write it makes total sense to link up Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Especially when using the Network Blogs tool. To see your business tweets on your personal Facebook wall – ah, yes that is annoying. To see your personal tweets on your fan page or in your business stream on LinkedIn.- NOT. Goal: find your audience with each stream, find your message voice, then decide where the cross over exists. Hootsuite is a great tool! Cross posting can be useful when you know your audience.

    • Well put Lyn. Again, it depends on who and where your audience is and how you are using the different platforms. My Personal Facebook profile is largely made up of business contacts, not just family and friends. So my 3-4 industry related posts within that graph makes perfect sense, along with my personal pithy comments and family activity. :-)

  5. You didnt touch upon it here but when LinkedIn enabled people to link to their Twitter accounts, I completely lost site of the purpose of status messages on the network and have since ignored them. For some people who tweet all day, i just see a bunch of garbage on LinkedIn. I was actually attended an event a couple weeks ago and the speaker suggested to do exactly what you are saying no to :) I was like ‘o my god, I just want to stand up and say NO!!’ the suggestion was to post on Facebook first since you could write more and then twitter will catch the first 140. Are you serious?!? Ok, well if that is really your strategy, you better tell those people to make the first 140 the best because most wont consider this. Give people a reason to join all your communities people. If you are giving me the same thing everywhere, why do I need to belong to all your networks?

    • Exactly why I do not attend too many events in Social Media. All of what I write about and how I conduct myself within the space is what I have developed and learned without poor input from others. I here you on Linkedin, however I think that scenario varies as to the when or if. In General, I don’t recommend it though…

      As always, great heart felt input Christina!

      Robert

  6. maverickmindonline

    I like to follow the mullet strategy (business up front, party in the back) with LinkedIn as pure business, Twitter in the middle and Facebook as personal. I think its OK to automatically send some business info downstream, but rarely should personal info be sent upstream. Here’s my configuration: If I post something on LinkedIn, I have to manually make the decision to also let it post to Twitter. I have the Twitter widget on my LinkedIn profile, so I don’t see a need to also post tweets as my LinkedIn status. I have Facebook set-up to automatically post new tweets to my wall, so if I send a new tweet (no RT, DM, etc.), it will show up on Facebook. I don’t send a lot of personal stuff on Twitter, so the content that makes it to my Facebook page is usually semi-professional. Content I post on Facebook will not show up on Twitter (one-way only.) This strategy allows me to automate some business content (like blog posts, rss feeds, etc.) without having to post on every platform, while also allowing me to use each platform as it is intended.

    • Well I don’t agree with most of this John, but MY RULES on Social Media is as follows:

      1) Don’t Spam!
      2) Everything else is left up to the individual.

      I simply try to give my best practices and experience to help people to more effective. If the above works for you, that’s your judgement call and more power to you. :-)

      Robert

  7. Miven Trageser

    I think this issue points to the tech-fog that many people are in, even the ‘advanced’ ones of us who do post to all these networks. I think that many people sign up to link accounts, like LinkedIn Twitter and they check a box once and do not realize that it is posting all of their tweets, or they don’t want to bother finding where those settings were or what their password was. Many who signed up for iTunes ping service did not realize that every song they listened to was auto-posting to Facebook. People do not always read the fine print, especially when they feel overwhelmed by the magnitude or technicality of it.
    Facebook and Twitter are each so important and different that I think they warrant special attention for anyone who is serious about using social media in their overall business plan. And I recommend reading the fine print!

    • Miven, as with most of what you write, you nailed it well. I will add the ignorance of Social Media and the laziness factor as well to your eloquent comments.

      The devil is always in the details! :-)

      Robert

  8. 1000% agree!! I use each outlet for different purposes and different audiences. Tweeps tend to expect, for instance, more frequent updates and the ability to pick and choose those of most interest to them. LinkedIn connections, however, may only view my profile once a day, week, or year! Content on Linked In, in my case, has to be relevant for longer periods of time. And FaceBook is entirely personal for me so no link at all there.
    As always, another insightful blog post.

    • Thank you Adam! Insightful as always…

      Now for that Facebook personal only thing. I think I need to write a post on my thoughts about that. :-)

      Thanx again! Robert

  9. As always my friend when it comes to your opinions about the social networking I totally agree with you, to be honest at first I auto-connected my accounts but it just didtnt feel right and I just separated them back.

  10. Interesting. Points taken. I think everything is still being worked out regarding the netiquette of connecting accounts. At this point you should do what ever is comfortable for you. NetworkEtiquette.net

  11. It works just as badly in reverse (piping Facebook updates to Twitter), too, as I explained in y post “Don’t confuse your social media channels.

  12. maryct70

    I completely afgree.There are times when I post to all of my accounts, and other times when I am careful to post to only one. Each network hhpas a different audience, and a different level of interest in my ramblings. I try not pester too many people at once!

  13. meredith

    let’s face it, when it comes to social media, people are lazy. they think that if they ask for followers, that the lemmings will oblige them.

    they expect this to be easy and honestly, over the past few months, i have never worked so hard at a single task in my life.

    sure, i want followers & “friends,” a term i hate because my definition is completely different, but i’m not going to argue the point.

    but i don’t demand them and rarely ask them. instead i endeavor to win them over with my wit, wisdom and honest commentary. if they like it, they have the choice to follow me or not.

  14. Sue Blumenfeld

    I connected mine when I first started using Hootsuite. I have been trying unsuccessfully to get them disconnected. I have followed all instructions carefully and according to the settings on all sites it shows they are not connected. Everything still posts to both Twitter and FB. Any help would be appreciated!!! I understand why they should not be connected!!

  15. Jadeen

    I haven’t posted directly to Facebook since 2008. I can’t believe people actually still log on to POST A STATUS. Non of my 5k friends seem to mind.

    • And exactly what do you do for a living Jadeen? I guess using social media as a broadcast direct marketing tool, rather than a way to build relationships is something you subscribe to. Most consumers and business social media users tend to disagree with that logic.

      Thank you for your thoughts on this though…

  16. What I do is the contrary; all of my Facebook’s updates are being forwarded to my Twitter, but all of my tweets are still remains only in Twitter. And it kinda works really well.

  17. Thanks for posting this Robert. I suspect that too many people see this as a suitable form of social media ‘automation’.

    Interestingly, the BBC have recently released social media guidelines that explicitly state that any updates for social media networks must be updates native to the platform in question – Tweets composed for twitter, and Facebook posts composed for Facebook (No cross posting) I suspect that this is for at least some of the reasons you have outlined (BBC Guidelines: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/london/pdf/er_social_media_strategy_2012.pdf (PDF download))

    I hope you don’t find this too cheeky, but I blogged my initial reaction to these BBC guidelines here: http://pauldarigan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/social-enterprise-bbc-updates-its.html

    • I don’t think that steadfast rule is correct either. But I certainly think you need to make a conscious decision of what cross-platform posts and in what qty is appropriate. Automatically posting everything to all or any more than one site is NOT the way to go for sure. Every platform is different and requires differences in content and frequency.

      Not cheeky man. No worries!

      • Hmmm, interesting. I do occasionally cross-post Twitter & LinkedIn posts – Although, only when I believe that the update has a value to both audiences (and when I am happy that the form that I present it in is suitable to both audiences).

        Cheers Robert.

      • Exactly Paul. Most of my cross-platform posts are of a personal nature, something funny or one of my blog posts. All suitable for cross platform distribution.

  18. I’ve recently started using tweetdeck to schedule tweets (Great for days when I have a blog post, but am too busy to even come near a computer)

    I see that tweetdeck will let me attach facebook as well. Does anyone know whether tweetdeck gives me a choice about timing facebook updates * independently* of the twitter updates?

  19. Connecting ANY accounts is just plain stupid from a security perspective. I logged into WordPress with a faux Fakebook account purely for this purpose. If everyone would take a minute and look at the amount of data that you’ve opened to the world, it would blow your mind. Think the Sarah Palin Yahoo email hack was funny? Wait until it happens to you, and IT WILL if you connect accounts.

    Keep LinkedIn separate from Twitter and all other accounts on pain of death. I do not recommend connecting ANYTHING with your true Fakebook account.

    And remember, your Tweets on Twitter are nothing but SPAM unless the reader is another Twitter user who is following your tweets. It blows my mind how many people don’t understand this concept.

  20. Roberto, I would completely agree with you if you are a prolific user of the two platforms, but I think there can be exceptions.
    The issue I have is that I somewhat refuse to use Facebook, I don’t really see the point in it. I am connected to some friends through it, and I enjoy seeing what is going on for them (especially the ones that are interstate who we don’t get to talk to very often).
    I’m also not a massive Tweeter, really only use it to publicise blog posts and other things around my Year of TED project.
    My friends on Facebook are not on Twitter so I decided to link my tweets through for two reasons: 1) they get links through to posts and get to see what’s going on, and 2) it shuts them up about never posting on Facebook.
    I also feed my tweets through to the sidebar on my blog, which I am seriously considering taking off because I don’t think there is much point in it.
    When I do reply to a tweet, a very rare event, I sometimes think “that’s going to make no sense on Facebook” but I figure the dozen people who can see my wall will forgive these indiscretions :-)
    A very interesting post and something I will keep in mind if I change my usage of either system, thanks Roberto.

    • I see much bigger problems with your social media Kylie. Totally self serving in every way. Rarely reply to a tweet? Are you serious? Only to publicize your blog posts? I think there are several things related to your social media that needs adjustment, not just your connection of accounts.

      In my humble opinion…

      • Maybe it just has to do with the people that I follow on Twitter, and the sort of information that they are sharing through their tweets. I’ve never said that I don’t retweet or favourite tweets, I’m not entirely “self-serving” and probably should have mentioned this.
        I’m aware that I don’t use social media as well as I should, and that is something I am trying to improve on, but there are only so many hours in the day.

      • I hear you Kylie. Better off focusing on providing value to your target audience. Connecting accounts and pushing your own content only are just a few examples of what I am talking about all through out my blog. Let me know if I can help in anyway. Happy to! :-)

  21. Pingback: Don’t Auto-Connect Your Twitter and Facebook Social Media Accounts | Online Social Media Tools | Scoop.it

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