Nathan Bransford, Author


Monday, August 13, 2012

No, You Shouldn't Send Your Tweets to Facebook


It's now pretty easy to send your tweets to Facebook. How do you do it? I'm not telling, because you shouldn't do it.

I understand the temptation. It's hard to think of witty things to say and cool things to share, why not kill two birds with one stone and share both at once?

Here's why:

1) It looks lazy. Most of us are not on every single social network, and sure, everyone is busy. But it literally takes less than a minute to post something on Facebook. It makes it look like you can't be bothered to even so much as copy and paste for your Facebook friends.


2) People know you're not actually on Facebook. Sure, this may not seem like the worst of problems. But when they know you're not there they also won't try and interact with you. And if they don't interact with you, they'll stop seeing your posts altogether.

Facebook has this thing called Edge Rank that determines what you see in your News Feed. You see the posts from the people and brands you interact with the most, you see less from the people you don't.

All those tweets going to Facebook are times someone probably isn't going to interact with you. And if you want people to see your posts in the future you need them to be liking and commenting on what you post.


3) You should render unto Facebook what is Facebook and Twitter what is Twitter. The social networks have different strengths and weaknesses. Twitter is great for memes, short witticisms, realtime discussion on everything current. Facebook is great for photos, conversation, interaction.

There are things that make sense for Facebook, things that make sense for Twitter, and yes, some things that make sense for both. But if you're trying to build a following or promote something it pays to actually keep in mind the types of posts that are best for the places you're posting and tailor the message accordingly.


What do you think? Does it bother you when people send tweets to Facebook? Do you notice?






57 comments:

Felicity said...

Sold.

J Scott Savage said...

Great point. It's gotten to where I've actually started unsubscribing from people who only or mostly post to Facebook from Twitter. It feels like someone having a conversation and then going, "Oh yeah, I probably should have included you too."

shoo rayner said...

I'm really pleased for you that you have so much spare time in your life :D

Terry Odell said...

I felt that way since the first FB post I saw full of hashtags. Thanks for posting this. Hope others take it to heart.

Shakier Anthem said...

Absolutely agree. Thank you for this public service announcement!

Creative said...

I agree absolutely though I do find it useful if I've read an interesting blog post.
BTW I also only like what I genuinely like and retweet only what I feel strongly about or think my followers will like - I don't do it just because my best mate said something.

Phyl said...

I definitely notice. And I never respond (other than, perhaps, to click "Like"), because I know the person isn't really there, so why bother? So you described my own reaction perfectly.

Christian Frey said...

I see the attraction, but when I'm on facebook, I find tweets annoying, even though I use twitter much more than facebook these days. I wondered if I'd notice the difference if the FB posts from twitter didn't announce that they were from twitter, and I think I would - the friends who post twitter-things on FB tend to have a lot more industry-related, less personal stuff in there, which is detrimental because I only use FB to keep up with what friends are doing. If I wanted to hear all of their work-related and public-consumption musings, I'd follow them on twitter.

debooker said...

Some interesting points, but what about your blog that posts to Twitter? Is that a breech of what you are saying?

I have my blog set to post to Twitter and Facebook. Is that wrong?

To be honest, I don't trust Facebook's privacy/ownership policy, which seems to shift and shift again, as well as being assigned e-mail addresses without even being asked. If I have anything to post, it usually goes to my blog first, with feeds to each. And yes, I think even my twitter feeds to my Facebook.

I don't see why I should post to my blog and then post the same thing to Facebook. I do much of my own photography or illustrations (cartoons) to illustrate my blog entries. It takes some time to load those and do so in the way I want on Facebook. And there is the privacy/ownership issue.

While my material may not rate much in terms of commercial value, it is material I have worked on, and therefore want to keep ownership of and not have to worry with Facebook.

While this point is not directly related to what you are posting about, I think it is a germane issue, and a point you didn't consider.

In short, I have my blog send a "message" to both Twitter and Facebook, and I think even my twitter is set to send to my Facebook. It may make me seem lazy, but my posts are almost all about writing.

Carmen Webster Buxton said...

When your Twitter hash tags end up in your FB posts, it totally gives it away.

I do very occasionally use Selective Tweet to also post to FB, but only for things where there are no (other) hash tags and I think my FB friends would be interested.

debooker said...

Some interesting points, but what about your blog that posts to Twitter? Is that a breech of what you are saying?

I have my blog set to post to Twitter and Facebook. Is that wrong?

To be honest, I don't trust Facebook's privacy/ownership policy, which seems to shift and shift again, as well as being assigned e-mail addresses without even being asked. If I have anything to post, it usually goes to my blog first, with feeds to each. And yes, I think even my twitter feeds to my Facebook.

I don't see why I should post to my blog and then post the same thing to Facebook. I do much of my own photography or illustrations (cartoons) to illustrate my blog entries. It takes some time to load those and do so in the way I want on Facebook. And there is the privacy/ownership issue.

While my material may not rate much in terms of commercial value, it is material I have worked on, and therefore want to keep ownership of and not have to worry with Facebook.

While this point is not directly related to what you are posting about, I think it is a germane issue, and a point you didn't consider.

In short, I have my blog send a "message" to both Twitter and Facebook, and I think even my twitter is set to send to my Facebook. It may make me seem lazy, but my posts are almost all about writing.

Ginger Calem said...

I completely agree! Sometimes I have something I want to share on both FB and Twitter. I just copy and paste or often retype into FB since I have more characters and can amp up the witticism. ; -)

historywriter said...

I just thought it would make things more complicated, so haven't done it. Now good reason why not to post from Twitter to Facebook. Didn't know about the rating.

steve bargdill said...

I've heard this argument before, and for the most part it makes great, great sense. However, the majority of my facebook friends do not have a twitter account. Most of them probably wouldn't even know what to do with a twitter account, and what I post on twitter, I'd like them to see as well. Facebook, for me, is fun, haphazard, and less well thought out. Twitter, for me, is more directed, more zeroed in on the point--way more thought out and considerate.

Miriam Forster said...

Guilty as charged. My Twitter and Facebook updates are pretty much the same. I've considered changing it a few times, but the friends I mostly interact with on Facebook don't have Twitter, and seem to enjoy my comments.

I used to do the connected-feed thing, but Tweetdeck for Chrome lets me send the same update to both so I do that instead. That gives me greater control over what shows up on my Facebook page. I also confess to being an inveterate hashtag user, mostly because they're good for making jokes with, but I do try to keep it under control.

Honestly, I don't have the time to come up with two different updates every time I want to share something with my friends. I've tried it and it doesn't work well. It's the exact reason I haven't been able to get into Google+.

My two cents. I have seen annoying and super hard to read tweets come over people's facebook feeds, so I know it can be abused. I just haven't found another way that works to connect with my friends on both sites.

Dale Estey said...

It's a time saver. A judicious usage is fine.

Josh Vogt said...

I have to say, I disagree. Seeing tweets on Facebook has never turned me off to their content, nor does it make me feel I'm somehow not as "important" to that person because they dared to not post directly on Facebook. When I tweet and it posts to Facebook, it saves me time, and I've had just as solid interactions through such posts as copy-pasted ones.

To each their own.

debooker said...

I apologize for the double posting. It was not my intention to do so.

And as for hash tags, I don't use them. I generally find them annoying in tweets. Yeah, call me an old fogy.

Our Penguin In Havana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Our Penguin In Havana said...

I don't mind that people couple their facebook and twitter together. I actually think it's nice and honest, you just show where the content is from.

What do I mind is the actual content. I think your most important point is that different platforms require different strategies. For me the sheer quantity of twitter updates often makes them uninteresting for me and if this same quantity is hauled over to facebook, then facebook becomes uninteresting too.

Thank you for this post, for it reminds me once again that I should start to actually use my own facebook and twitter accounts and even more important, think about how to use them.

Richard Mabry said...

My relationship with social media isn't love-hate, it's tolerate/dislike. I send my tweets to FB, but also use FB for things that seem appropriate for that medium. Mostly I use Twitter.
Thanks for kicking off the discussion, even if I respectfully disagree with you to some degree.

pmwanken said...

THANK you. I have been thinking and saying this for a long time. I've considered blocking all posts by Twitter (and NetworkedBlogs) because of this.

Anonymous said...

You said it right. Tweets are for twitter and facebook will always be posting photos and see who will give and send comments. I had my Twitter account before but deleted it because sometimes its very annoying and I had it connected to Oprah and omg couldn't believe who are in her list of friends. I just couldn't believe. So unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

I'm probably in the minority, but I use Twitter for public messages and Facebook strictly for family and friends. All of my Facebook friends are actual people I have relationships with in real life (radical, I know). Plus, all my tweets have #hashtags and @links. That would look strange in a Facebook post. Conversely, I would never tweet anything too personal, like I do on Facebook.

Laura Hile said...

Thanks for confirming what I'd suspected. People DO notice--and it does look lazy.

So when I take the time to adjust what I post, it isn't a waste. Thanks.

Stephsco said...

I used to link my twitter to facebook, but that was about 4 years ago when I didn't have a smart phone and hardly ever used twitter. I never really interacted on it. Once I really started going with twitter I didn't want my twitter-specific conversations showing up on FB. It wouldn't even make sense!

Carra Copelin said...

I agree with you. Posted my tweet for awhile, but removed that feature. So glad I did! Thank you for your post.

PatriciaW said...

I don't see the big deal. If I post something to Twitter, because that's where I am, and folks on FB don't engage, that's okay. If I post to FB, which is where most of my posts are, folks on Twitter don't get those and that's okay too.

I think it's silly to ask someone to do the same thing more than once if it can be done automatically. So what if a post has hashtags? Instead of seeing it as some sort of deceit that was blown, see it as a clue as to where you can find me.

I've had people respond to Twitter posts on FB. If they're interested, they respond. Since I get alerts from both on my smartphone, I technically am on both simultaneously and can respond in either place. This is not an etiquette issue as much as it's a "my way" issue. What works for some may not work for others. In social media, I think folks should choose what works best for them, but in doing so, not try to dictate how others use the tools.

Beverly Diehl said...

I do it the other way around - I am more active on FB, so I have those posts set to feed to Twitter, which prevents me from going MIA too many days. I try to avoid being excessively annoying on either medium. Also am following the rule of Social Media - don't simply promote your own stuff nonstop, but share OTHER people's material.

I have visited FB fan pages and on landing, see 30+ posts clearly fed from Twitter, and I won't Fan them.

Melanie Fowler said...

I do notice on facebook if it's been sent from twitter. If I get on twitter later, I don't bother looking at what half of the people say because I've already seen it.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I have more in depth, interesting conversations in your forum than I do on facebook or twitter, so why use either one at all?

Anonymous said...

Witticisms can go to both but the worst is when you have @so-and-so in your tweet and then it gets transmitted to FB where it has no meaning.

Kate said...

I totally agree!

D.G. Hudson said...

Social media etiquette discussions are a good thing.

The systems prefer you interconnect, but the humans don't like total interconnection.

I hope that means, 'Resistance is not futile. We have not yet been assimilated."

Christine M. Monson said...

Great point and I do notice. Matter-of-fact, I have stopped following authors on Facebook because I read their Twitter feed and they post nothing different on their Facebook Author page.

abc said...

Yep, it bothers me. Lazy. And I know lazy.

Maria Zannini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Zannini said...

Ref: I'm not telling, because you shouldn't do it.

Umm...no.

I hate Twitter. Half the time it's nothing but noise and I usually miss the people whose tweets are interesting.

I'm grateful they funnel their tweets through Facebook, otherwise I wouldn't catch them at all.

Your advice isn't seeing the whole picture.

Nothing But Bonfires said...

Yes! Thank you! I couldn't agree with you more. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Anonymous said...

"It makes it look like you can't be bothered to even so much as copy and paste for your Facebook friends."

This is an interesting topic. Frankly, I don't think most people can be bothered and I don't think most care.

In fact, with the recent events regarding facebook and its worth, I'm starting to think social media might be just a string of passing trends altogether. Or maybe just facebook? Again, I'm not sure.

If anything I'm seeing a new trend that too much social media and promotion hurts authors more than it helps them. There was a great post about "douchebaggery" on social media last week and I can't remember who did it.

What a lot of people don't take into consideration with facebook is that all those billions they claim are facebook users have multiple accoutns that cancel each other out and make the numbers invalid. And as for twitter, I just read a fascinating piece about how authors are now buying twitter followers instead of attracting them.

Good post; but too soon to tell if it matters one way or the other.

Tim Richards said...

It's also annoying the other way round - when people auto- repost from Facebook to Twitter you end up with dull nonsensical tweets that break off mid-sentence, giving you no reason to bother clicking on the link for the rest. Just don't do it, people - if you can't be bothered taking a few seconds to tailor & paste a repost, then it's probably not that interesting or essential anyway and won't be read. Remember the prime rule of succesful tweeting: "Don't be boring".

Kristin Laughtin said...

I almost always skip over Tweets on a Facebook page. Plus, I think if you post many tweets, they all tend to collapse on Facebook, requiring the reader to click to see them all--and they're probably not going to do that. They just won't. It looks nicer and less half-assed to just copy and paste the tweet and remove any hashtags (unless you're trying to look cool with them).

A few people have asked about posting blog URLs to either Facebook or Twitter. I like when people do this, and I imagine it's useful for readers who don't follow through a feed, etc. But this also looks better if you can provide some context for the post, i.e. a short blurb about the topic, etc. It's worthwhile even if you have to do it manually.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if people who automatically export their tweets realize this, but most Twitter strings look like gobbledygook when taken out of the context of Twitter. We're seeing partial conversations, inside jokes that we're not inside, etc. I read tweets on Twitter, but when they show up on other media, I scroll right by them. I don't have time to figure out what this disembodied string of tweets is supposed to mean.

MEWriter said...

For me, it depends entirely on what the person says.. if it interests me, it interests me. It reminds me a little of one of those arguments about whether you put the jam or the cream on first on top of a scone. ;-)

Patricia said...

I agree, Nathan.
I do not like any automatic Tweets and/or FB postings. I agree with your three reasons for not sending Tweets direct to FB. Seeing the same Tweet multiple times throughout the day can get tiresome.
And, yes, it is noticible!

Patricia

June G said...

Facebook is so big and all-encompassing, it's scary to me, so I rarely post anything on it--Twitter or otherwise. So far, I've avoided putting any photos on it with the exception of my avatar. #FacebookHasPrivacyIssues

Katherine Traylor said...

I totally agree. I never comment on or like Facebook "reTweets," because I assume the person posting them is too busy on Twitter to see my likes and comments, anyway. :P

CageFightingBlogger said...

What only a few people fail to grasp is that Twitter and Facebook were creatied for different purposes. Facebook is for staying in touch with your friends, the people you see in real life. Twitter is for sharing information on a particular subject- a job area or hobby or interest. Posting tweets to Facebook is a little pointless if you're using Twitter properly. But many people fail to see the difference. They are the ones posting tweets to Facebook

Lillian Archer said...

Yes ! It bothers me a lot. Nice post, and well done.

andthenyourmomsaid said...

I don't have anything post to anything! I get irritated when I see hashtags on Facebook. I agree that it is lazy. I use them for totally different reasons. I don't have my blog post to anything either. If I'm going to link my blog to a Facebook or Twitter post, I like to give a smidgen of info about the post and personalize it to who is going to see it.

Tom Braun said...

FYI actually posting 'status updates' via Twitter that then get posted to Facebook has a certain utility: Facebook's news feed prioritizes posts with links over posts without. Since a Twitter post is by definition a post with a link, a Twitter status update is more likely to go to the top of your friends' news feed than a simple status update.

I really don't think linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts is the cardinal sin you make it out to be. Even if it annoys some people, they should be able to simply block Twitter posts (hover beside one until you see a drop-down arrow and you'll get some options).

Pedigreed Housewife said...

I think when Twitter posts go to Facebook it's bizarre because of the hashtags and @s that not everyone understands, but I don't mind it going the other way (maybe just because I send my FB posts to Twitter, I'll admit :) ). I just think it's important not to only do pushes and to respond to comments on both when you do it. If you're having the conversation in both places no one will care how you started it.

G. B. Miller said...

I actually don't mind Tweets in my News Feed. I'm not on Facebook a lot to begin with (on average, about twenty to twenty five minutes per day), so when someone Tweets, its usually they're out somewhere either enjoying life and not having access to a computer or they're at work, with no access to a compuoter.

Tom Hoefner said...

Anyone who gets annoyed from seeing Tweets in their Newsfeed needs more things in their life to be annoyed about. #WhoCares

- Sent from Tweetdeck

Judith Briles said...

I now realized that and I agree. Thanks for sharing this.

Lisa said...

I think having all your tweets auto-post to your FB page looks lazy and like the poster isn't "there." Facebook and Twitter have different purposes, audiences, and vibes. And if you are active on Twitter, many tweets just don't make sense outside the context of the original conversation/format. I do think it's okay to *selectively* cross-post when you're sharing particular announcements, events, or links, but it's still best to create each post in its native outlet, customizing if possible.

Terri Nixon said...

I never cross-post, but I sometimes use hashtags in my Facebook posts just because it's entertaining - just as people use hashtags that don't exist, on Twitter.

So if my friends see a hashtag in my FB post it doesn't mean I've said the same thing on Twitter.

Yesterday I put something really shallow about some fit bloke on FB and ended it with #shallowisthenewdeep ... never went near Twitter with it though!

I think cross-posting just takes all the spontaneity (real or imagined/fake) away from whatever you're saying.

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