A common question I am asked, particularly during Twitter training sessions, is whether or not you should link your Facebook business page posts to your Twitter account. This means that you don’t need to log into Twitter in order to be posting content as long as you are posting to Facebook.
I can see why this is an attractive option, especially for time-poor business owners. Instead of having to log in to multiple social media channels, being able to post to Twitter and Facebook at the same time is a big time saver.
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However, my answer to this question is always that I do not recommend it, and there are three main reasons why.
1. It assumes that your Facebook and Twitter audiences are the same
I doubt that there are any brands in existence whose Facebook and Twitter audiences are exactly the same, and where the content for one is always appropriate for the other.
For example, in my past role as the social media manager for the University of Melbourne, typically our Facebook fans were younger, undergraduate students and our Twitter followers were more likely to be mature age or postgraduate students. It meant that very different content was engaging on our Facebook page to what worked on our Twitter account.
2. Posts that are too lengthy for Twitter will direct traffic back to Facebook.
On Twitter you only have 140 characters to play with, but on Facebook your have much more. If you post an update which is greater than 140 characters, Twitter will truncate this update and followers will have to click on a Facebook link to read the rest of the post.
This is not ideal for two main reasons. Firstly, not everyone has a Facebook account! In fact there is a large contingent of Twitter users who use the platform because they are not interested in being on Facebook. These users would not be able to read your post in its entirety without a Facebook account.
Secondly, the most important part of your message may not be able to be visible within Twitter, and a lot of Twitter users just skim their feeds and are unlikely to click on links to read the rest. And finally, as the shortlink displayed is a Facebook link, it’s really obvious to Twitter users that you’re linking the two, which they interpret as meaning you don’t take Twitter seriously.
3. You are unlikely to engage with and build your Twitter community
If you’re not logging into Twitter to post tweets and instead are relying on linking your Facebook page posts, then it is unlikely that you are going to start forming a bond with your followers.
What if someone replies to your tweet? Are you going to let it go unanswered?
Logging into Twitter on a regular basis to post tweets is a good practice to have as it allows you to easily respond, and also to focus on building two-way engagement, not a broadcasting channel.
Treat your Twitter followers with the same respect you’re giving to your Facebook fans, get to know them and start to post content that is relevant and interesting to them.