When discussing social media with businesses, one of the biggest concerns is the time investment required to maintain accounts on an ongoing basis. While some light discussion ensues about time management, there is usually one individual who says: "My son/daughter/friend/colleague said you can set up Facebook to create a tweet for each Facebook post you create. You can update Facebook and Twitter at the same time."
This is not a social media strategy that any business should pursue.
While users on Facebook may not be aware that your organization has implemented this strategy, it is your Twitter followers (if you have any) who you will alienate.
Let me explain.
1. Everything to Everyone
Someone somewhere instilled an overwhelming sense of guilt in businesses worldwide with the statement: "If you're not everywhere and using every social media platform, your business will fail." There are many businesses that have listened to this poor piece of advice and spent valuable time searching, setting-up, and trying to manage several social media accounts for their business. As a result they have fallen prey to this trap.
Just like there are endless marketing and sponsorship opportunities, not everyone is suited for every business - be it target audience, location, timing, partnerships, or budget. The same principles hold true for social media as well.
· Facebook has over 1.1 billion users, spanning all ages from 13-65+.
· Twitter has 274 million users, but is used most by individuals who are under 49 years of age.
· Instagram has 150 million, with the majority of users under 29 years of age.
· Pinterest has 70 million users, but the females gravitate to this platform over men.
Which platform is suited to your existing or desired target audience? Businesses may find that they need to engage on all of the above, or just one. Whatever the plan is, develop a strategy, and execute.
2. Poor Communication Strategy
There are three main communication challenges with Facebook to Twitter automated posting.
a) Sharing a post on a Facebook Page creates a tweet like this:
b) Creating a Facebook post that's over 140 character creates a tweet like this:
c) Posting a photo to Facebook creates a tweet like this:
Because these posts originate in Facebook, they are geared towards Facebook users. As a result, to see what the tweet is talking about, users have to click on the links to view the shared post or to read the rest of the post.
Twitter users use Twitter because they like Twitter. If they liked Facebook, they would choose to follow you on Facebook. While there is crossover from time-to-time, typically social media users will gravitate to one medium over another based on preferences. Many individuals "never click on that (fb.me) link because it looks like spam." So then what's the point? You want a presence on Twitter, but took the 'easy' route, thus alienating your potential audience. In this case, wouldn't it be better NOT to be on Twitter?
3. Different Mediums = Different Tactics
Touched on above, each medium requires its own strategies to maximize effectiveness.
a) Frequency: The frequency of posts on Facebook is less than tweets on Twitter. For example a company can safely post 1-2 updates per day to Facebook. While the business can do the same on Twitter, it is recommended to tweet more frequently, while engaging with accounts to maximize effectiveness.
b) Tagging vs. Mentioning: On Facebook Page admins can 'tag' other Pages. Within Facebook this acts as a link to another page. This action does not translate on Twitter. If a user wanted to tag another user on Twitter, this action would be called 'mentioning.'
c) Hashtags: While hashtags have been implemented on Facebook, users have faced a large learning curve. While some viewed hashtags as the new exclamation point (truth!) others are still questioning its functionality and purpose. On Twitter, however, hashtags have been embraced by users as a means to curate and organize content.
If your business chooses to implement both Facebook and Twitter, do not fall into this easy trap. Instead, create and implement a strategy for each social media platform.