Tip Tuesday: Facebook is NOT Twitter and vice versa

Perhaps one of the questions I am asked most frequently is whether or not to automate Twitter with Facebook updates or to send tweets to update your business’ Facebook status. It sure sounds like an easy way to update both networks at the same time, but is it a good idea?

No. In fact, automated syndication is a poor social media marketing strategy. Facebook and Twitter are different platforms with different capabilities and languages. What’s good for Twitter isn’t necessarily good for Facebook and vice versa.

On Twitter, you are limited to 140 characters. This means Twitter-to-Facebook posts will be extremely short and photos and links won’t show up like they do when you post directly to Facebook. It can also be confusing to some users to see shortened words, as well as @ and # symbols. On Facebook, you are limited to 420 characters in your updates. If you’re automating your Facebook-to-Twitter updates, followers will most likely get annoyed that they have to go to Facebook to read the rest of your message and to see photos. They don’t want to be told to go to Facebook for more information on every one of your posts.

Also, if you’re posting the exact same message on both networks, it gets rid of an incentive for someone to follow you on both Facebook and Twitter. Spice it up with different messages or Facebook-only or Twitter-only deals.