Social media accounts: to sync or not to sync, that is the question

twitter linkedin syncOne Sunday earlier this year I made the mistake of deciding that a shopping spree on Oxford Street would be a good idea. My first Larry David moment occurred within about two minutes of entering the first shop.

After an unproductive and highly frustrating couple of hours I bailed out and let rip on Twitter. One tweet included the dreaded f-word.

About 20 minutes after that I received a message via LinkedIn, from somebody who – rightly – pointed out the language I’d chosen to use was inappropriate…

Please remember that the tweets you post get re-posted in many other places including LinkedIn where you have connections that can see your Tweet posts. Consider reputation management for yourself and Econsultancy and if you want your professional connections to see you using such profanities.”

A fair point. I swiftly de-synced my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, so that tweets would not automatically appear on the latter.

Today, on Twitter, Ste Davies posted this message:

Twitter sync post

This started a little bit of a discussion, and now – an hour or so later – there seems to be a firm consensus that joining up your social media accounts in this way is a bad idea. Here are a bunch of very good reasons for not auto-syncing your social media profiles:

AUDIENCE & RELEVANCY ISSUES

@stedavies When I login to LinkedIn I want to see a stream of relevant business related questions, links to research, surveys etc. Not tweets.

@paulrouke If synced up my Twitter with my Facebook by friends on Facebook would be like WTF is he on about half the time!

@CarliR6 I don’t like to – not everything is relevant to everyone, especially not on Facebook.

@gra_london I tried syncing them all but found that I was pushing the same content to different audiences – Hootsuite helps to be more targeted.

@henweb I share *some* of my Tweets to Facebook. Stopped doing the LinkedIn thing. It’s all about audience…

FREQUENCY ISSUES

@daveeeeeed T&L shd be kept *very* separate IMO – both for totally different purposes. I don’t link T&F either due to a different frequency of updates (T higher).

FUNCTIONALITY ISSUES

@dannypenrose One of the biggest cons for me when posting to multiple profiles is #hashtags, seen as they only work on twitter.

DUPLICATION ISSUES

@henryoz I’m totally against it – different mediums for different purposes. I don’t want to see someone’s updates twice every time.

AUTOMATED ISSUES

@rskin11 Syncing anywhere from twitter just spams my networks. Did it once. Nevermore. I add “in” and “fb” suffixes on Tweetdeck when I want.

@wadds Different audiences. Use #fb or #in functions to be selective.

I think the last point, by @wadds and @rskin11 makes plenty of sense. When you want to share a tweet on another platform use the #in or #fb funtion. Rather than taking a one size-fits all approach to content distribution, you can be selective about which tweets you want to share. Manual curation beats automation.

However, @NeilMajor has been playing devil’s advocate in the debate, and just as we’re suggesting that auto-syncing is a bad idea, Neil makes the point that the question of whether or not to share content automatically very much depends on how you use social media.

I’m not remotely disciplined and still view Twitter as my own personal space. If you follow me you’ll mainly see internet-related content during the day, but anything goes after hours, and as we’ve seen I don’t exactly keep the language on the street. Until Twitter launches ‘leisure time’ and ‘work time’ filters my work-related followers are going to have to put up with a bunch of nonsense (or unfollow me, as some undoubtedely do).

But Neil is right… if I only tweeted two or three times a day, and if all my tweets were professional, then it might make sense to auto-sync (to LinkedIn). This kind of thinking might also apply to brand-related social media accounts, though Econsultancy manually updates its Facebook page rather than feeding in all of our tweets by default. Different audiences call for different content, and different tactics.

There are always exceptions to the rule, though for ill-disciplined Twitter users who mix up their work and leisure interests (like me) it is probably a bad idea to share content across platforms by default.

It’s worth pointing out that one of the reasons why I like Twitter is precisely because I follow lots of people who I respect for their professional brains, but who also entertain me, and who aren’t afraid to share a bit of their personality along the way. But Twitter and LinkedIn are two very different beasts.

TAKEAWAYS

I guess the key takeaway is ‘don’t do something just because you can’. I hooked up Twitter and LinkedIn pretty much because LinkedIn had released the functionality that allowed me to do so. In all honesty I didn’t really think it through. Ask yourself if it’s worthwhile. As @vikkichowney says: “I’ve never had anyone complain directly, but I see little value in it either.”

Why double the workload? I didn’t much like replying to comments posted on LinkedIn to my tweets. It seemed silly. Twitter is my channel for having a real time conversation on the web. I’d accidentally made a rod for my back.

Beware of what your Mum might see. Mighty Malcolm Coles has a good example of this.

“Do Not Let Your Worlds Collide,” says Ky Ekinci, who explains this ‘golden rule’ in detail – with the help of George Costanza – in this post.

Article from: econsultancy.com

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