Five Reasons Why Auto-feeding Twitter Posts to Facebook is a Bad Idea

By on Tuesday, January 22, 2013
It is almost always a bad idea to auto-feed your Twitter posts to your organization’s Facebook page. Here’s five things to consider when thinking about it:
Realize that the expectations are very different for an organization vs. a person. Even if you are the most succinct and funny Twitter writer ever, and your organization allows you to manifest that personality in its Twitter account (and that is always in line with the organization’s personality), the continual updates can grate on Facebook users who don’t want to see Twitter handles and hashtags they may not understand.
Twitter and Facebook are different communication venues with different cultures and norms – you have to tailor what you post to each audience. The nature of Twitter posts – at only 140 characters – is radically different from Facebook. You have to abbreviate and use hashtags to talk with others on similar topics. Twitter uses shorthand and Tweeps converse with each other in this more fluid environment. Facebook allows for more verbiage and better featuring of photos and videos.
Meet the expectations of your audiences. Facebook followers are often looking for a closer relationship with an organization. People expect one or two Facebook status updates per day, not 5, 10, 20 or 30 from an active Twitter account. Twitter followers also like engagement – they like to support organizations they care about. Posting a #FF (follow Friday) hashtag thanking those who referenced your organization wins love on Twitter, but can be annoying to your Facebook followers who don’t understand what #FF means.

You don’t want to degrade community-building on Facebook for your nonprofit. While auto-feeding from Twitter to Facebook is relatively easy to set up, many people interpret the constant updating as spam and some find it annoying – this can lead them to unsubscribe from your feed. With nonprofits working overtime to try to build their followers on Facebook – the last thing they need is to drive precious followers away.
Going in reverse – posting from Facebook to Twitter is not so bad but still problematic. Twitter followers seem far more forgiving when auto-feeding goes the other way – and a facebook post is channeled to an organization’s twitter stream. Even if the post is cut short (which it almost always is), Twitter followers can go to the organization’s Facebook page to read the rest. But if you set this up, realize that you are stuck with the auto-feed and may not like how it mangles your Facebook post. You may regret not writing a Tweet for that Facebook post manually.
Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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