Last August Facebook gave Pages administrators the ability to publish their Facebook updates to their Twitter accounts automatically. Administrators can decide whether to share updates with their Twitter followers at all, and if so, which type of information to share, such as status updates, links, photos, notes, and events.
This, my friends, is what my friend Chris Brogan has coined “robot activity.” I agree and would go further and say you shouldn’t do it.
This post is not focused on personal profile status updates and their link to Twitter. Though my opinion about that application doesn’t vary all that much, the focus on this post is for Fan Pages for organizations/colleges/celebrities (wouldn’t that be neat if celebs were reading my blog?).
This shows up as a tweet on Twitter. Makes perfect sense to the Twitter audience, no? (Please note the sarcasm.)
The folks at Facebook seem to think they’ve built a tool that will “make life easier.” I’ve spoken with several small business professionals and higher education colleagues in recent months about this topic, and most don’t see anything wrong with it given how overwhelmed many are in the social media space. Using this feature would indeed make their lives a bit easier.
Think about your audience. How would someone you’re trying to reach feel if they read that tweet above on Twitter, especially if they’re not connected to you on Facebook? Different people, different tools (usually). I think this makes the company/organization/college look amateurish. Let’s think about the reverse. Your Facebook Fans see your status on Facebook now as: [RT @username something rather random and unrelated to what’s going on on your Facebook Page]. People on Facebook don’t necessarily understand what Twitter is, let alone the “RT” and “@” monikers.
Need more convincing? How about volume.
- The average Twitter user is used to seeing a higher quantity of tweets in a given day.
- Effective Facebook statuses usually aren’t updated more than once a day, sometimes not even more than a couple times a week, therefore not expecting the higher volume typically seen on Twitter. (Your mileage may vary.)
By linking the two together, you overwhelm, and can come across as spamming, your Facebook fans.
Looking to make your life simpler? You can SMS (text) your status updates to your Facebook Page (as well as Twitter) and you can also use a desktop tool such as TweetDeck to update your Facebook Page status separately from your Twitter status, but in the same program without having to open multiple windows. There’s also a Facebook application called Selective Twitter Status, which will enable you to link only those tweets that end with the hashtag “#fb.”
Still need more convincing? How about duplication.
- How many of your Facebook fans are also following you on Twitter? Gets a bit overwhelming for them to see the same updates in multiple locations, potentially making them less interested in what you’re saying. They may end up auto-filtering you out.
And the icing on the cake?
Let’s say you update your Facebook Fan Page status, which then gets pushed to your Twitter account. People reply to you on Twitter — but you’re not necessarily there. Or, vice versa.
If I’ve managed to convince you to remove the link between your Facebook Fan Page status and your Twitter status and you’re dying to know where to go to make that change, then head on over to http://facebook.com/twitter. They hide it well once you’ve linked them together.
Sound off in the comments. Am I missing some key points? Do you have a compelling argument for linking your Facebook Fan Page status with your Twitter status? I’m very open to being convinced otherwise, as long as you’re not a robot.