To Link or Not To Link

I like to talk with people. I love the exchange of ideas. I’m also keen on sharing knowledge. Last night I had the opportunity to speak to a group of local business owners about social media. The joy of talking with other small business owners is palpable for me.

At one point in our discussion last night one of the participants said ‘and don’t link your Facebook to your twitter or you’ll piss Gayle off’. I can’t deny that this is true; you will irritate me beyond belief. Nonetheless, I do not believe I am the ONLY one!

People link accounts because it is convenient. It is easy to think, I can post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, etc and all I have to do it type it once. After all convenience is the American Way. The part that is not being considered in this scenario is the convenience of the reader (your audience). Each of the social media platforms has their own special way of interacting. What works well on one doesn’t necessarily work well on another.

When you insist on posting for your convenience and not the convenience of your reader (target audience) you run the risk of alienating the people who enjoy one platform over another. For example here in town there is a company that was VERY engaging on Twitter when they first opened their business. They posted the daily special, and were incredibly engaging with customers. At some point in time they discovered the ability to link Facebook to their Twitter account.

Now every tweet looks like this:Even worse, they no longer notice when someone tweets to them and they lose any chance of interaction.

The inverse is also true. I have a friend who constantly sends twitter retweets through to her Facebook. Unfortunately, even a wonderful message like this one:seems strange in a world where RT (retweet) and # (hashtags) aren’t common.

And in case you don’t yet know it, Social Media is about being SOCIAL! So think twice before linking your social networks for YOUR convenience. If you learn the common practices of each network and tailor your message to fit that format you will find your message better received. Believe me your customer will notice.

February 3rd, 2012

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