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Linking Facebook and Twitter Effectively

by Fadra Nally on July 7, 2011

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?

Maybe.

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.

Facebook Profile

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.

The result?

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.

selective tweet status on Facebook

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.

The result?

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.

Facebook to TwitterSo 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.

Q&A

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…

  • http://www.phillyburbmoms.com Shannon

    Love this quote “Facebook people do not like Twitter behavior. Trust me.” So true! Great piece Fadra, as always.  Cant wait to read your LinkedIn article!

    • Anonymous

      Hi Shannon – I put up the LinkedIn post yesterday but have another one coming tomorrow. I had more to say than I thought!

  • http://twitter.com/BethZimmerman Beth Zimmerman

    I never could figure out how to link my FB Page & Twitter accounts. I think, following the link in your post, I just did it! :) And I got here from FB. So whatever you’re doing … it works!

    • Anonymous

      Yay, Beth! Glad it helped!

  • Anonymous

    I use Selective Tweets and love it!  What I don’t like seeing is people who sync every single post between FB and Twitter, because there are quite a few people I follow on both and the duplication, especially for those who post frequently, is annoying.  Also, I might not catch up on both at the same time, so I get the whole deja vu thing going on, and if I’m going by memory as to the last post I read, this behavoir throws me off.

    • Anonymous

      There is definitely a problem with people who get link-happy and don’t put much thought into how they set up their account linkages. If only we had more conscientious people in the world because the duplicate content drives me nuts too!

  • http://www.khaledscorner.com خالد

    after  I started using Twitter I kind of quit facebook

    • Anonymous

      I love Twitter and I like Facebook but I find there are very different audiences on each. I use them both to my advantage.

  • http://twitter.com/ability_m Ability Multimedia

    I think it’s worth mentioning that Facebook responses do not show up on Twitter. Even more annoying that the rapid and frequent posts and cryptic vocabulary is that someone who posts on Twitter and gets a response on Facebook often doesn’t read it.

    • Anonymous

      Great point! I often have conversations in both places so it’s not an issue for me but for others who gravitate towards one tool over another need to be aware so they can engage whenever possible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/BkChandan Chandan Kumar

    Any good way to send Facebook update to Twitter automatically without creating a Facebook page? Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Chandan – is there a GOOD way to do this? No, there is not. But there are a lot of people trying to find a workaround to make this possible. The only suggestions I could find involve creating an RSS feed of your Facebook status updates. This site can apparently do that for you: http://fbrss.com/. Then you’ll need to take the feed and go to http://twitterfeed.com/ which will allow you to link any RSS feed to a Twitter account. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    Selective tweets is awesome. Everyone on my FB does not need to see my constant twitter updates. I do have my fan page and that twitter stream linked completely, while its a full duplicate both are not busy. 

    • Anonymous

      I love that we are so in sync with this stuff.

  • http://moomettesmagnificents.com/blog Cindi @ Moomettes Magnificents

    Thanks for the explanations – I don’t know why, but the link from FB to Twitter for my fan pages isn’t working

    • Anonymous

      Glad to hear I indirectly helped ;)

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  • http://113tidbits.com tonyknuckles

    I liked the idea of the newly revamped twitter interface to allow posting to Facebook as a choice. I’ve always been one to keep the FB and twitter goings on from crashing into LinkedIn. I think the latter serves a whole different function all by itself.

  • http://www.the-intentional-me.com/ Joanne J-K

    I was hoping you would have an answer for me . . . I am a new blogger and new to twitter (and I have a personal FB profile and a FB page for my blog).  I would like my tweets to post on my FB page but I have only been successful getting them to post on my personal profile (I am currently using Ubersocial / iphone).  Also my new blog posts are automatically tweeted using twitterfeed but if I try to post to FB using twitterfeed it goes to my personal profile also.  I am stumped?  

  • http://twitter.com/djschny Ryan Schneider

    The best way to do handle this from my experience is to do it the opposite and push from Facebook to Twitter (https://www.facebook.com/twitter/). Whenever you make a post “public” on Facebook it will automatically push to Twitter, use URL shortners and everything.

  • Vip_cgrs

    Perhaps you
    may have the answer for the following:  I
    have no problem posting tweets in my personal FB account. However, none of my
    Selective Tweets are showing in the “News Feed” of FB. Therefore, my friends
    don’t see these posts unless the go to my profile. Any idea how I can fix this?
     

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