21 Nov 2009
I’ve noticed a lot of people automatically cross-posting from one social media site to another lately. They have all their Twitter updates feed to Facebook, all their LinkedIn updates feed to Twitter, or all their Delicious tags updating Facebook. I’ll say right off the bat, that I find this frustrating (especially when it comes from savvy marketing people). Why? Because each of these audiences is different, and each tool is used differently. You wouldn’t take a Coke ad that was specifically written for a Golf magazine and put it in Vogue, would you? No, because the audiences of each magazine are different and the brand’s message may be slightly different for each audience.
Similarly, each social media tool has a different audience, is used differently and has a different culture. For example, for me, I view each of these sites as follows:
- Facebook – connecting with friends; not very businessy (when talking about personal profiles), updates are a few times at most a day
- Twitter – connecting with people with similar interests (for me, mostly marketing and social media), somewhat businessy, updates are frequent (sometimes up to 20-30 times/day)
- LinkedIn – connecting with people in order to network, very businessy, updates are infrequently used (starting to catch on though)
Given the above, if I cross-posted all my Twitter updates to Facebook, I would be doing a few things — I’m pushing my business stuff on my friends who probably have no interest in it, and I’m doing it at an overwhelming pace given the culture on Facebook. In addition, I’m using lingo that my Facebook friends don’t know, such as RT, @, #, etc. Why would I want to do that?? It’s blatently ignoring how people operate on Facebook, why they’re there, and overwhelming their stream with posts that they probably have no interest in. They have signed up to be my friend, not necessarily to hear about all of my business interests.
So, do I think there are some posts that work as cross-posts? Absolutely! And, that’s why there are a few applications that allow you to choose when it’s appropriate to cross-post. For example, applications like Selective Twitter Status (use the hashtag #fb in a tweet to send it to Facebook), or using the hashtag #in in a tweet to send it to LinkedIn, choosing “Facebook” on TweetDeck or Seesmic when you want to update Facebook, or clicking the checkbox on LinkedIn to send you update to Twitter.
So, what about posting your business updates to your Facebook profile? While it’s a little off the topic of cross-posting, the concept is the same to me. Have your friends signed up to hear about your business by being your friend? No. So, if you find yourself with over a quarter of your Facebook updates (a good benchmark to me) to be about your business, maybe it’s time to consider a business Fan Page so your friends can opt-in to receive your business updates.
The risk you run with not keeping these audience/culture factors in mind, is people will hide or unfollow you, and then they’re not seeing ANY of your updates. For example, I hide many people on Facebook because they overwhelm my stream, and unfortunately that means I don’t see any of their updates anymore. Update 4/30/10: LinkedIn has now added a “hide” option, so even more reason not to cross-post, or you’ll be hidden and never be seen again!
So, my final message is this… think about your audience and the culture before cross-posting!
What do you think? Is it OK for people to automatically cross-post? Why or why not?
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