Are You Damaging Your Social Media Marketing Efforts?

I’m rewriting this to make it more “travel oriented.” The original post came across as more of a rant than an advise piece.

If your idea of “doing Social Media” is linking your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles together, so that whatever you post on one is echoed on the rest, you’re doing yourself more damage than good.

Screen capture of Facebook auto-posts to Twitter.

Just a sample of this user’s Twitter feed.

Here is a recent screen capture of the Twitter feed of a Regional Sales Manager for a well known supplier to travel agencies. Auto-posts like these make up about 99.5% of the person’s Twitter postings for at least the past 3 months.

Why is this an issue?

After all, linking accounts will help you save time and still have a successful social media presence, right?

Yes, it will help you save time. However, it does not contribute to a “successful social media presence.”

Your Facebook Page followers are not the same as your Twitter followers, for the most part. There is some overlap, but not enough to carry you. Your Fans/Followers on Facebook are looking for different content than your Twitter followers, because that is the nature of the network. When you share, you need to keep your audience in mind! What works on Facebook might not work on Twitter. Don’t risk alienating your users because you took shortcuts in your social marketing.

“When you take the time to craft a tweet (hashtags and all) you look like someone who cares about their online presence (and in turn their followers and fans) and that speaks volumes. Don’t you want to be seen as passionate and thoughtful?” Lauren Read, ThinkHandy.com, Apr 3, 2013

Also, when you link up your Facebook and Twitter accounts, your posts end up with really weird, Twitter-specific formats for your Facebook posts (and vice versa). It’s very obvious that you just synced up your accounts.

Twitter to Facebook

If you’re linking your Twitter stream to your Facebook Page, and posting great content on Twitter, it’s not going to transfer over to your Page, and followers, well at all.

Screen shot of Twitter post on Facebook

A generic Twitter post cross-posted to Facebook.

Why? Because they look like they’re tweets, not Facebook posts. They don’t display links and pictures the same way because they’re pulled from Twitter. These are considered Text Updates by Facebook. And in an effort to promote more share-able content (Photos, images, link-shares, etc), Facebook treats these as Text Updates, and devalues them.

“…Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.” Facebook Newsroom Blog, Jan 21, 2014

Facebook actively reduces the Page Reach of text posts, as opposed to graphics, link-shares, and other organic content.

Facebook to Twitter

When you cross post from Facebook to Twitter, you end up with generic posts, with links back to your Facebook page/account. Most importantly, people will scroll past these auto-posted tweets and status updates. Engaging with the public is what social media marketing is all about. If your Twitter followers wanted to see your Facebook posts, they’d be following you on Facebook.

In addition to causing “follower disengagement,” in the wrong hands they can be a computer security risk.  You run the risk of flushing your digital security down the drain if you click the link. Why? Tim Burrows (@t_burrows), an expert on Social Media in Law Enforcement, addresses issues like this all the time:

“With the phishing and spam attacks that are out there, it’s way too easy for someone with negative interests to swap out the good Facebook link with a bad one, so I choose to just ignore it.” IACP Blog, April 18, 2014

If you want to share your pictures from Facebook/Flickr/Picasa/Whatever with your Twitter friends, upload the pictures into an album (very simple to do), and then post a link to the album. Or take the time to post them to Twitter, itself.

What about LinkedIn?

If Facebook is the Bermuda Shorts/Hawaiian Shirt of Social Media, LinkedIn is the 3-Piece Suit of Social Media. Here’s a quick overview, from LinkedIn:

  • LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
  • Sixty-seven percent of LinkedIn members are located outside of the United States.
  • There are over 39 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. They are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic.
  • LinkedIn counts executives from all 2013 Fortune 500 companies as members; its corporate talent solutions are used by 89 of the Fortune 100 companies.
  • LinkedIn members did over 5.7 billion professionally oriented searches on the platform in 2012.
  • More than 3 million companies have LinkedIn Company Pages.

Believe it or not, you can link your Facebook Page and LinkedIn account together. Again, it’s not recommended.  LinkedIn is not where you go to talk up the beach party on your last vacation to Cabo, etc.

There is a fairly good chance that your customers have a LinkedIn account, and have probably checked up on your business on there. What Professional image does your profile, with auto-posted content from Twitter/Facebook (including Hashtags, urls, etc) display?

High School and College graduates are being advised to scrub their social media profiles before entering the work force. This applies to businesses as well.  Travel is a competitive business, and you want to show the best face that you can. Social Media is a major player, and you would be wise not to ignore it.

Oh Dear, What do I do?

If you want to grow your audience, you need to post content that they care about, when they care about it. If you want to build personal, or brand, legitimacy…be aware of what you post, and where it’s appropriate to post it!

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