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Should you combine your Twitter and Facebook updates?

posted by Russ, March 1 in technology with tags , , ,

6 comments

I have been debating whether or not to combine my Twitter and Facebook updates by syncing both. I’ve seen plenty of people doing it, and I think it works for some of them. It can be a key factor in finding new readers and in driving traffic, especially since many sites get a large percentage of their traffic from social media these days.

But notice that I say it works for some, not all. For me personally, I have to say, I don’t think it’s a great idea. And here’s why. My Facebook account is about me, it’s personal and it’s been a way to keep up with old friends, some of whom are old high school and college friends and some of whom are current “real life” friends. For keeping contact with these friends, it serves its purpose. But just because I have 100 or so “friends” on here, it doesn’t make them my target audience for my website.

Twitter on the other hand, is more about my internet based connections and to an extent for networking. Sure, some tweets are personal, but most of it is geared to the internet based group and my website audience, not the “real world” Facebook group. Now remember, this is for my situation. If your Facebook and Twitter represent the same thing, whether it’s your company, your brand, or yourself, then by all means, sync updates to both and save yourself time. But if you do, do it right. Sync from Twitter to Facebook, since you don’t want those long-winded Facebook updates to get cut of by the 140 character Tweet limit.

But back to my rationalization for not syncing my updates. For me, it’s not a two way street. One is personal and has a real life lean to it, geared towards “real life” friends, and the other is me representing my website, albeit as a real person. Now I suppose that Facebook updates could go to my Twitter, since they are brief and are sometimes worth Tweeting. But going from Twitter to FB just seems like overkill, and here are 2 good reasons why:

  1. If your Facebook is more personal and Twitter is more about networking, be honest, do your FB friends care about a business promotion you might be tweeting about? Most likely not. Remember who your audience is for each site and don’t annoy them.
  2. Most people Tweet throughout the day. If you are sending out 10 Tweets a day, do you really want to clutter up your Facebook (and everyone elses?). Do your Facebook friends need hourly updates about your life? Likely not. There is a reason why FB implemented the news feed instead of the live feed. And my guess is this is exactly why.

Don’t get me wrong, if done properly it can work fine. But do you want to be “that guy” who is constantly bombarding your FB friends with information about your website or your business? If you want your Facebook to be about business, make it about business (or create a Fan page), but don’t try to promote to your old highschool and college buddies if they don’t care.

This is my take. Feel free to share yours.

Update: I have actually changed my stance a little bit, I now do sync my Twitter to Facebook. However, to do this I created a fan page which will have content similiar to that of my blog and Twitter, and I selectively sync my updates using Selective Twitter. This is the perfect solution for me since I can control my updates, simply by adding the #fb hash tag to the end of my tweets.

Related posts:

  1. New Facebook Page
  2. And that is the power of Twitter!
  3. Social media makes us approachable


Originally posted on Monday, March 1st, 2010 at 6:25 AM .

6 Responses to “Should you combine your Twitter and Facebook updates?”

  1. Grace says:

    I agree with you. Facebook is for mostly “real life” friends and family. I haven’t used it as much lately, but when I do use Twitter, it is mainly for contacts that are internet-based and/or networking.

    I can think of 2 friends in particular that are both twitter and facebook connections. They combine their Twitter and FB updates. Because I got tired of reading the same thing sort of updates twice, I now “hide” them both on Facebook.

  2. Russ says:

    Thanks for the reply Grace. It’s interesting that Facebook seems to be more personal than Twitter. I supposed with the amount of information sharing on there it’s probably been designed that way. There are obviously exceptions to my rule, but unless I specifically seek out a company or site to be a “fan” of on Facebook, I don’t really want a stream of updates or promos coming through. I’m more interested in what’s going on with my FB friends on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, as opposed to a Twitter type stream of updates from them. I’ve used the hide feature a lot on FB there too.

  3. Jeff Strong says:

    Russ,

    You are right about linking Facebook and Twitter…to a point. If you have a business, then have a Facebook business account and a Facebook Twitter account. Now it makes sense. You also want to “drip” pertinent, useful info to your followers. Don’t bombard them with “chit chat” and crap. Then you can now and then sprinkle them with business stuff…what you carry, specials, discounts, etc… Just don’t bombard them. Just keep up a cheerful, useful presence. Don’t be thought of as a nuisance.

    Jeff

  4. Becki Toa says:

    Really good post. Good info for anyone who’s into Twitter, old or new.

  5. Bozho says:

    Selective tweets is an example for a tool that can make the twitter+facebook combination very good. Others like http://hootsuite.com, http://welshare.com , http://tweetdeck.com can give you a more-or-less unified experience but still give you the options to differentiate what you share on each network.

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