Why You Shouldn’t Send Your Facebook Updates to Twitter

Posting the same exact thing across social networks is never a good idea, but in the interest of saving time, it’s easy to see why many businesses choose to do this. While most followers of your brand will favor one platform to another and may not always see both updates, it’s important to know that an update posted to Facebook doesn’t always translate well when automatically sent to Twitter. In addition to the tonal differences that each platform may benefit from, your message on Facebook will not come across as you intended on Twitter due to the character limitation.

An example: First, I setup my Facebook account to automatically tweet my update as it’s posted. Second, I posted this nice, long, status update with a link to our blog on Facebook.

Here is my post on Facebook:

Full length Facebook status update

Full length update posted on Facebook

Within seconds my Facebook status update was posted to Twitter; Neato, right?

Not really.

Here is what Twitter shows for the same Facebook status update:

Twitter shortened Facebook Update

Twitter’s shortened version of my Facebook update

Now, I cheated a little bit… Knowing Twitter only uses the first 100 or so characters of the Facebook post, I tried to get in a full sentence before it cut off. But, therein lies one of the biggest problems with posting from Facebook to Twitter automatically:

Your message will be cut off and a link to Facebook will be inserted at the end.

This leaves a bunch of fragmented, half-tweets on Twitter and leaves your Twitter followers feeling gypped when they have to go to Facebook to read the rest of the update. And the truth is, many won’t bother to follow the link.

And…In the above example, there is actually a problem inside a problem (aye, aye, aye!). I’ve inserted a link to my website in my Facebook post.When you insert a link in your Facebook post, Twitter posts the update with a link that looks like it’s to Facebook (note the fb.me URL), but instead the link takes you to the website address you posted on Facebook.

So, using my example, you can see that I did, in fact, post more on Facebook, that a Twitter follower wouldn’t see. However, because the link from Twitter actually takes them to my blog, my follower would not be able to see the rest of my intended post. Normally, I wouldn’t complain about getting clicks to my blog, however this would place people on the website out of context and chances are, they will just leave and not look back.

Saving time by posting from Facebook to Twitter could actually cost your brand more in the long run by way of lost opportunity. 

Updates on social media should be deliberate and when a link is included, it should take followers to an expected destination. Deviating from the expected, leaves followers feeling confused and gives the impression that you or your community manager is lazy or clueless – either of which you don’t want associated with your brand. And it truly is those little things that matter.

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  • Seems obvious to me, but having it demonstrated as you did will help me convice some of my lazy customers, thx!

  • Tweetledum

    Julian Boone
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  • Hello, just a quick note from a community manager.  I don’t necessarily disagree with your point of view. However, I’ve seen some brands that syndicate all of their Facebook content to twitter with some great benefits. The reason why this can be beneficial is because twitter users will engage with the brand in Facebook and this will help the relevancy of the page and therefore a higher edgerank score.  One last thing, I personally believe that a mix of FB syndicated content and twitter only content will give the best results 🙂

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