A few days ago, I talked about “The Big Three” in social networking: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I also alluded as to how they all generally play nicely with each other. You can link one account to another and eliminate all the extra work of having to update three networks at the same time. Sounds like a good idea, right?
There are definite advantages in terms of effort and engagement to linking some of your social network accounts. Update one time and magically, all your networks know what you’re up to! However, I don’t subscribe to this philosophy and if this is how you’re doing things, you might want to rethink your strategy.
Don’t have one? Now is a good time to get one. Let me use myself as an example.
I have a personal Facebook profile. I made a choice long ago to keep it as locked down as possible. It’s personal. I talk about my pets, my husband, my son, where I live, and yes, I even use real names! I share photos only with friends and keep the rest hidden. Am I hiding something? No. I just like to maintain a small sense of privacy on the web.
At one point, I was only friends with people I knew personally in real life. Soon after, I realized that I was better friends with people online whom I had never met than people I attended high school with 20-something years ago. As a result, I’ve broadened my circle some but still keep it relatively small and private.
I update my status directly on Facebook. I don’t have my personal profile update my Twitter or LinkedIn profile and I don’t have either of them set up to update my personal Facebook profile. What I do have is an app installed on Facebook, called Selective Tweet Status.
With this app, I can tweet away and when I think I have something I’m tweeting about that’s worth sharing with my personal circle (who aren’t all on Twitter), I can simply add a #fb to the end of my tweet. My profile status gets updated ONE TIME with the tweet I selected.
Facebook Fan Page
My Facebook fan pages are very different. Anyone can like me (will you please?) and I share content related to the site. It may or may not be personal but there are specific goals. To get people to read, respond, or share. Or preferably do all three. I want to amplify the content as much as possible so it has a broad reach.
Facebook offers the ability to link your fan pages to specific Twitter accounts. When you do this, every single Facebook fan page update will be published to your linked Twitter account.
So is that a bad thing? For the way I use my fan pages, no, it’s not. I post a couple of times a day and it’s usually in a manner that is looking for engagement. I ask a question. I ask for comments. I post a funny picture. I want people to answer me. With this connection, I’ll often get my responses on Twitter AND Facebook. It’s especially helpful when you’re looking for timely responses.
The linkage also helps build fan page traffic as well. If you link your accounts and type a message that is 140 characters or less, the only way someone can tell that the source of the tweet is Facebook is from the indicator at the bottom of the tweet.
BUT… if you create a Facebook update that’s greater than 140 characters, you’ll see a Facebook status that looks like this:
And a tweet that looks like this:
Twitter can’t complete the message so it creates a link back to my Facebook page. Some people will simply respond on Twitter. Others will click through and read the full message. If they want to respond on Facebook, they have to like my page. It’s not a trick! I swear! It’s just another way to encourage engagement.
Now, I know you have questions. I’m pretty sure they go something like this:
Isn’t it easier to just have Twitter update my Facebook status all the time?
No. It’s annoying, especially if you tweet a lot. If this is how you have your accounts set up, please fix it. Facebook people do not like Twitter behavior. Trust me.
Can’t I set up my personal profile to sent my status updates to Twitter?
You sure can. Just remember that a status update longer than 140 characters will link to your personal profile. If you don’t want to invite the world in, you may want to avoid that strategy.
I use Hootsuite and/or Tweetdeck and can selectively update my Facebook from there. Isn’t that good enough?
If that’s the way you like doing it, you keep on truckin’. I’m more of an automated girl when it comes to stuff like this.
What about Linkedin? You mentioned that was one of The Big Three but didn’t talk about any linkage.
Right you are. I felt like LinkedIn is a bit of a black cloud shrouded in mystery for many people, especially bloggers. I think it deserves an entire post unto itself.
Stay tuned for more next week…