Marketing Tips Blog

Please STOP Linking Your Social Media Sites

- Friday, May 23, 2014

I realize that in social media there are few set rules. Everyone has their own perceptions of what is right and what is wrong. So when it comes to linking your Facebook and Twitter accounts, or your Instagram and Facebook accounts, some people say “Yes!” while others scream “No!”. If the title didn’t give it away, I’m one of the latter category. While I don’t propose this post to be a rant, per se, here are my thoughts…[Source: JennsTrends.com]

Please, please, please STOP linking your accounts!

There are a multitude of reasons why I feel this way and I will attempt to explain them here in a way that I hope opens your eyes to my perspective. You may disagree with me – that’s fine. There’s a section for comments at the end and I welcome your perspective.

A little disclaimer before I start: If you are a less frequent user of a certain platform, then maybe linking your accounts works for you and helps generate additional traffic. If this is you, great! And you might not want to read any further. However, if you are a heavy user of various social media platforms, please read on.

Here goes!

Chances are that if I like you or your brand, I will follow you across more than one platform. So if I follow you on all these sites and you post the SAME information on each and every site, why should I continue to follow you on each site? In this case, I’ll just follow you on Facebook so that I can flip over your posts quickly in my feed. You need to give people a reason to follow you on more than one site! It’s all about that exclusivity thing – when I see something that you’ve only shared on Twitter, it makes me part of that elite group: better than all those Facebook followers, and more in the know than your Instagram followers. Everyone likes to feel like they have some special advantage and unique posts on each site let your fans feel a little more special.

If you’ve never seen a Facebook account that shows a user’s every Tweet or Instagram posts, you are a very lucky person. Or you just don’t follow a lot of socially active people. Either way, you are a rarity. If I shared every tweet to Facebook, I think my fans would riot! I tweet on average 30-40 times a day. Sure, I’m a pretty heavy Twitter user, but that’s not the point. Can you imagine if you followed my Facebook page and I spammed your news feed with all those posts from Twitter (assuming EdgeRank even let you see that many posts)? I have a feeling you wouldn’t like me very much.

What about the Instagrammers? Now, if you read my post earlier this week, you know about my new-found obsession with Instagram. But I specifically removed my auto share function so my photos are posted ONLY to Instagram unless I choose to share them to another site manually. Likewise, Instagram no longer feels the need to tell every single one of my Facebook friends which photos I’ve liked over there on Instagram. Yes, you will hear people tell you the best way to market your Instagram account is to share all your photos to Facebook. If you’re not a heavy user, this might be ok. But if you’re posting more than 3 photos a day, it’s too much.

But, Jenn, if I don’t post it to every site, how will I make sure everyone sees it? You DON’T!! Each social media platform is for a different type of audience. You should be posting unique posts to each site, not copying one generic post to every site!

A picture on Instagram should convey a message through a photo, and include a good description with proper use of hashtags. This same photo shared on Facebook looks trashy when the hashtags carry over (I don’t care if Facebook is introducing hashtags! They aren’t relevant yet and you look amateur for not creating unique content for Facebook).

Have you ever posted something to Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and shared it directly to Twitter? How did that work out for you? Chances are your text was too long so it ended up cutting off your message with an ellipsis and a link to the original post. Ugly, unprofessional, and if you can’t say it properly in 140 characters, then you shouldn’t have put it on Twitter. Or what about that awesome photo you posted on Instagram and then shared on Twitter? Guess what, the photo comes up as a link to Instagram not a TwtiPic. So again, you have to click on a link and go to Instagram to view the photo. Here’s the golden nugget: if you’re viewing these posts on a mobile device, links are a pain in the ass!!! They don’t often open in the proper app; they take you to an actual web page, and then you have to login to your account, and then…. yup, I’ve already given up! When I see these posts on my phone, I don’t even attempt to open them. I skip them altogether.

Now, these posts are OK on occasion but they are NOT good all the time! Yes, I occasionally share an Instagram photo to Twitter. Why? So that people will see I’m on Instagram and maybe they’ll follow me there. But these shared posts are few and far between. It’s one thing to do a little cross sharing for promotional purposes. It’s not OK to spam your sites with repeated content daily.

It’s also worth mentioning that people want to engage with someone human. When you share the same post to every site, it looks lazy and a little robotic. It looks like you didn’t have the time to customize your posts so you just created one generic one, slapped it onto each site, then walked away.

If your content is so amazing that it must be shared on each site, then customize it and make it amazing for EACH site!

LinkedIn is more professional and your cutesy cat photo isn’t really appreciated here (yes, you can put photo posts on LinkedIn now) – find a way to describe it or write about it in a professional blog post. Facebook is more casual and a great joke or caption on that same cat photo could get great engagement for that day. Twitter runs quickly and the cat photo without a great lead in will probably not even be seen. Instagram is all about the photo and your witty comment may get lost under the photo. See, so tailoring the message for each platform is very important!

OK, so maybe it was a rant! I try to keep these types of rants/posts to a minimum because I like to bring you relatively unbiased and professional tips to help you succeed with your social media strategies. But, sometimes, you just need to get something off your chest. I think I have achieved that today!

As I mentioned above, you may very well disagree with me. If you do, please, let’s discuss it further in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

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