It’s funny how the universe throws things at you. Over the last few weeks, I’ve come across several different sources that all recommend updating your Twitter account and your Facebook status separately. That was news to me. I’ve been allowing Twitter to post my tweets to Facebook for a long time and thought it was just too convenient to pass up. Of course, I supplemented my facebook feed with additional, more personal information, but I couldn’t see the harm in letting Twitter updates show up there too.
Well, I thought about it some more, and now I’m a convert. Let’s explore in some detail how Twitter and Facebook differ and why you just might want to take the time to post to each site separately.
140 characters? Seriously? Yep, that’s all Twitter gives you to make your point. Personally, I think Twitter helps you become a better writer for this very reason. However, it also forces you to be concise. Maybe clipped. Woah, I’m doing it right now.
Facebook, on the other hand, is conversational in tone. You can type for a quite a while in that status box before it cuts you off. You can use this to your advantage by taking the long way around. Work up to something, or tell a more sophisticated joke, if that’s your thing.
Here’s an example from my very own stream:
Should you market your business on facebook?
Thinking about setting up a facebook page for your business? Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? Gauge your readiness here:
How do these posts differ? The tweet gets to the point a whole lot quicker, while the Facebook status provides more context and sells the link a little more. This is important because Twitter users are really just scanning while Facebook users tend to take more time to review the items in their streams.
Frequency of Updates
When I first stated using Twitter, I couldn’t stop. I bet this happens to a lot of people. It’s the crack of the social media world. Why is it so hard to get off? You click one link, then you click another link, then another, and by the time you’re done with that, you have 12 new tweets to read. I couldn’t comprehend how people could use Twitter and still get their work done.
Then I got this advice: you cannot consume Twitter. Twitter is a raging river, and from time to time, you stick your toe in to test the temperature.
Facebook is more like your backyard swimming pool. You know everybody in the pool. In fact, you know them so well you don’t mind letting them see you in your swimsuit. You can duck into the house for a margarita and, when you get back, you haven’t missed much. For this reason, you really need to curb your enthusiasm on Facebook.
On Twitter, it’s common to see a user pop on, tweet a couple times, reply to a couple people, re-tweet three or four links, then get off. If all of these posts (except the @ replies, obviously), show up in your Facebook feed, you have just consumed way too much of your friends’ day. It’s just not considered appropriate to post that many Facebook status updates within a few minutes’ time. It’s a sure way to alienate your friends in a hurry.
On Twitter, timing counts. If a topic is trending, you want to be in on that topic now. If a link is flying around and you decide to re-tweet it tomorrow, well that’s just so yesterday.
On Facebook, not so much. If you find a really interesting resource that you want to share with your fans, it’ll still be there tomorrow, and that’s just find with them. You don’t need to overload your fans by updating your status 20 times an hour, because that news is just as fresh the next day.
So what’s a girl to do? I keep a Word document with interesting links that I find on Twitter and pick one per day to share with my Facebook friends. In fact, I shoot for one external link and one Collective update per day. And if I don’t have a Collective update, I just drop it. One to two status updates a day are more than enough to stay in front of friends or fans without overwhelming them.
Hopefully that gives you more insight into why it isn’t a good idea to keep your Twitter and Facebook accounts linked! What are your experiences with marketing on Twitter and Facebook? Any faux pas to share? Tell me in the comments!