Five reasons why you shouldn’t link your Facebook & Twitter accounts

Everyone knows that social media can be labor intensive and take a great deal of time, and we are all looking for short cuts that will make that management easier.  Indeed, a whole slew of management software, like Hootsuite and TweetDeck, operate based on the assumption that they can help to save time and make your social media more effective.  These programs are fantastic.

However, some people take a different tact: they link their Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Twitter and Facebook each allow you to do this directly from their services, meaning that you can hook up Facebook so it goes to Twitter, or Twitter so it goes to Facebook.

Should you do this?  No. Absolutely not.  Here’s why:

  • Different languages: Facebook and Twitter each have different languages.  You would never use an “RT” on Facebook, and if you wanted to mention someone on Twitter, you’d type in their user name, not their real name.  Using the language of one service on the other is the equivalent of going to Poland and speaking English all the time – sometimes you may get understood, but more often than not, you are gonna look out of place.
  • Less engagement: You will lose the ability to engage easily.  Twitter, after all, is a platform which encourages engagements directly in the tweets, as opposed to Facebook, in which most engagement occurs in comments.  If you engage via Twitter (for example: “@MikeSchlossberg, great blog entry”), and that tweet appears on Facebook, it looks weird.  You will eventually realize this and not make entries like this on Twitter…this, of course, defeats the purpose of Twitter, and results in less engagement.
  • Atrophy: If you link one platform to the other, you will subtly be discouraging yourself from checking in on the other platform.  This obviously means that your skills and familiarity with this platform will atrophy.
  • It looks lazy: If you are in the social media industry, you get it – checking multiple platforms can be difficult, and everyone wants to save time.  However, to the average social media user, it looks lazy and sloppy.  A tweet that cuts off because you put in more than 140 characters looks like you couldn’t take the time to abbreviate the tweet.  Looking lazy is never something that any elected official or business should ever do, as it is a poor reflection on your other skills.
  • Frequency matters: On Twitter, I’d say there is nothing wrong with tweeting dozens of times during the day (provided you have useful and relevant content, of course).  On Facebook, if you do this, you will get unfriended or unfollowed…fast.  Both networks have differences in acceptable frequency, and linking the two means that you will lose the ability to update at appropriate intervals.

If you are looking to save time, then check out Hootsuite, TweetDeck or any number of other social media management platforms.  This will allow you to centralize where you update from and, when appropriate, update to Facebook & Twitter at the same time.

Any thoughts to add?  Anyone out there disagree with me and have luck linking these accounts? Let me know in the comments!

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