Why You Shouldn’t Just Post the Same Content to Facebook and Twitter

I’m not sure who said this but Twitter is like a cocktail party and Facebook is like your dorm. On Twitter people float about listening to different conversations and picking the ones they find interesting. But then they might move on and find another conversation. Maybe they’ll return to that same conversation later; maybe not. Facebook is like a dorm because you see each other more and may be more likely to build relationships. For brands, this means you need to treat Facebook and Twitter as separate channels and post different content on each site. Here is why:

Content is Presented Differently

Twitter displays content like a news headline. You need to grab someone’s attention with the tweet, supply a link for users to click on (if appropriate) and keep things under 140 characters. On Facebook, content is displayed differently. You can post a status message (up to 420 characters), a question, a link, a picture of a video. After you post something, Facebook displays more of the content in a person’s News Feed. For example, if you share a link to a blog post, Facebook displays:

  • the title
  • a blurb from the content of the link that you can customize
  • a thumbnail taken from an image at the URL of the post
  • space for you to leave a comment about the link

Facebook content should be a mix of links to blog posts, thoughts/questions/notes, pictures and video. Certain types of content (such as pictures and videos) can be seen and played directly in someone’s News Feed. This means that there is no need for the user to click through and visit a link outside of Facebook. For example, if you post a video on your Facebook wall, the videos can be seen and played directly in a fan’s Facebook News Feed. On Twitter, users have to click on links for more content.

Besides the manner that Facebook displays content on the News Feed, you have a lot more flexibility with what you can do with your company’s Facebook page (using customizable tabs) than you do with your company’s Twitter profile. This opens up a lot of additional engagement and content opportunities.

Information is Digested Differently:

Twitter is a stream of information that is like a river of news or a news ticker. Not everyone is going to catch every tweet. If you are only tweeting once or twice a day you are not reaching most of your audience. It’s okay to repeat tweets (but try to tweak the copy each time). For example, if your company has a new blog post you may want to send three or four tweets out about it. Spread the tweets throughout the day (depending on when people are most likely to click your links..hopefully you’ve identified this) and tweak each tweet so they all don’t look exactly the same.

On Facebook, the News Feed is similar to the main Twitter stream with one exception: it’s usually a much slower-moving stream. If you post too much on users will likely “Unlike” or hide your page. Generally, you should be posting about once or twice a day depending on your brand and what your company does. As with anything, you should experiment to see what works best.

People May Follow You On Facebook AND Twitter

Depending on your company, you may have people who follow you on Twitter and like you on Facebook. This may actually be one of your goals, since it will bring people even closer to your brand. If you’re posting the same thing on both channels, people are going to get annoyed and unlike/unfollow you on one or both sites. Assuming being on both sites fits with your strategy, it’s important to give people something of value on both sites in unique ways.

Takeaway

The bottom line is that brands need to think about and analyze their Facebook and Twitter audiences. If your company is on Twitter and Facebook, you should be offering people unique content and engagement opportunities on each site. You’ll definitely have to experiment with content and timing. But doing the same thing on Facebook and Twitter doesn’t usually work.

If you’d like to chat about how we can help you use social media to achieve your business goals and create a plan that focuses on monitoring, engagement, social activation and measurement, contact us today or call 203-254-0404.