Given the laundry list of tasks you face every day as a business owner, you're probably on the constant lookout for ways to save time. One of the ways to save time on social media seems like a no brainer: linking your company's Facebook account to Twitter. In other words, when you post on Facebook, it automatically shows up as a tweet from your Twitter account, too. Sounds brilliant, right?
While this may sound like a great solution, Facebook and Twitter are completely different animals and require entirely different management. User behavior, consumption of information, structure of posts/tweets, and the ways fans and followers engage vary dramatically across the two platforms.
Twitter can be a powerful tool for connecting with your customers and future customers. It's an excellent platform for making real connections, gathering and responding to feedback about your business, resolving issues or complaints, growing your customer base, and more. However, it needs to be managed properly to reap these benefits.
Although the benefits are clear, I often see Twitter treated like an afterthought as shown by companies that blindly push all of their Facebook posts to Twitter. Too many business owners are falling into this trap and I'm on a mission to educate them about the pitfalls.
Let's look at four reasons why you should not link your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
If your business takes the shortcut of having your Facebook posts show up on Twitter, what are the chances you actually log into Twitter to follow up, reply to mentions, interact with others, grow your following, and so on? I've personally tested my theory by responding to numerous tweets by businesses that that link their Facebook accounts to Twitter. Nine times out of ten, I never hear back because they're not actually logging into Twitter. It's a social media tragedy.
Not engaging with others is on Twitter is antisocial and defeats the purpose of using it as a marketing tool for your business. It can irritate potential customers that reach out to you, resulting in lost sales opportunities. Even worse, if you are not responding to customer concerns or complaints, it can tarnish your reputation beyond repair. It sends the message that you don't care enough to connect with others, which defeats the purpose of social media in the first place, doesn't it?
People on social media are looking for genuine communication. When you don't manage Twitter as a stand-alone medium, you're using it in an unauthentic way.
If people are connected to you on both Facebook and Twitter, what's the motivation for them to continue to follow you on both networks if you're blasting out the same content at the same time? It comes off as unauthentic and robotic, which can be a real put-off for folks.
In the end, linking your accounts to save a little time can actually work against you in the arena of public perception. It shows that you have little understanding of how to properly use these social networks for business purposes.
It looks sloppy
Formatting on Facebook and Twitter are entirely different. Facebook posts allow up to 5,000 characters; Twitter allows a mere 140 characters. Accordingly, Facebook posts that are over 140 characters don't show up very nicely on Twitter.
Messages that are cut off because of Twitter's character limit not only look sloppy, they make your business look bad and may prevent people from wanting to follow you. In addition, some Facebook posts show up only as links on Twitter with no descriptive text whatsoever. Also, images without descriptions that are posted on Facebook show up as tweets reading, "I posted a new photo to Facebook," which is incredibly annoying.
It hinders your progress
At the end of the day, the effects of the reasons to not link your Facebook and Twitter can hinder your social media efforts. In a majority of cases I've observed, businesses that link their accounts have far fewer followers, receive less engagement with tweets, and are missing out on the powerful potential of Twitter.
Now that you understand why your Facebook and Twitter accounts are different creatures and should not be linked, make sure you take the time and effort to manage them individually. If you're already doing this, I congratulate you for a job well done.
(Don't link Facebook and Twitter / shutterstock)