We get it. We’re small business owners too. There is a never ending list of tasks you face every day. You are always on the constant lookout for ways to save time. Social media is time consuming so when someone suggests linking your company’s accounts to save time, it seems like a no-brainer. You know, when you post on Facebook, it automatically shows up as a tweet from your Twitter account, too. Post on Instagram, it automatically shows up as a post on Facebook. Sounds brilliant, right?
While “cross-posting” as some call it may sound like a great solution, social media outlets are completely different 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. The etiquette and norms on the networks are very distinct. So, please, disconnect your social media networks.
Besides those already listed, here’s seven reasons why:
IT LEAVES YOU MORE PRONE TO IDENTITY THEFT
Even if you don’t use the same, or similar, user names and passwords across your social networks (something a lot of people do), sharing information across different networks invites phishing, which could lead to a wide variety of problems.
If someone hacks one of your accounts, they would be able to hack all of them and be able to get all sorts of sensitive information about you that could be used to steal your identity. The more profiles you have, the more prone you are to having your identity stolen. Syncing your accounts together makes it that much easier.
Lindsay Casey said it best: In a world of artificial communications, people are searching for an authentic conversation; or 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.
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? Colleagues have personally tested this theory by responding to numerous tweets by businesses that that link their Facebook accounts to Twitter. Nine times out of ten, they never hear back because they’re not actually logging into Twitter. It’s a social media tragedy.
Not engaging with others 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?
IT ALIENATES YOUR AUDIENCE
The culture of both networks is different, so if you combine them you risk alienating your audience. By posting your tweets to your Facebook profile, you’ll inundate your Facebook friends with status update after status update, taking over their newsfeed and appearing spammy. Those 10 tweets will fit perfectly within Twitter’s real-time home timeline, but they’ll clutter up your Facebook wall and may even result in a block or an unlike (or unfriend if personal.)
IT LOOKS SLOPPY
It shouldn’t need to be said, but Facebook posts allow up to 5,000 characters; Twitter only 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.
Furthermore, really sloppy accounts are the ones that have so many accounts linked that they double-post.
The general perception from people who might catch you cross-posting is “that’s just plain lazy” – and they have a point. We’re all busy, we all have so much to do, and perhaps on top of publishing on social media you’re also in charge of the inventory, accounting, getting the oil changed, managing the company Christmas party, and so much more. Linking the programs may appear as a convenient, quick and easy way to save time posting, but if you care about your fans and followers, you should take those extra 5 seconds to tailor your message to not only the platform you’re posting to but your audience too.
LET’S JUST SAY IT – IT’S LAZY
“I don’t want to edit to just 140 characters.” “I don’t want to rewrite the post two or three times.” “I don’t want to log in and out of so many accounts.” Your audience is going to say, “I don’t want to engage in unauthentic, anti-social, unappealing, sloppy, lazy accounts.”
Our suggestion? Identify the one social media outlet the majority of your customers utilize and “own it.” Focus on your posts (or tweets) like a ninja. Put all your creativity (and probably a little bit of cash) into those posts, and again, “own” that outlet. Then, and only then when you’re maximizing that outlet to the fullest, start on another outlet. But please, for now, disconnect your social media accounts!
Need help? We manage social media accounts for small businesses and destinations. Email Stephen for a free consultation of how we can help your social media marketing.
Resources: Adweek. SocialMediaToday. Careerealism. LinkHumans. Lindsay Casey.