Set Your Profiles Free: Unlink Your Twitter Account

I’ll admit… the recent announcement of the breakup between Twitter and LinkedIn warmed my heart. No longer will people be able to just mindlessly blast their Twitter updates into LinkedIn without having to actually log in and engage.

While I know others share my glee, what are the pros and cons of cross-linking your Twitter account to other networks? Since Facebook still allows this practice, it’s still happening. While it drives me nuts, I’ll admit there are some advantages if used politely – but almost on one ever does.

So what are the pros?

Pros

It’s efficient. There’s no denying that we’re all getting busier and have limited time to keep up with multiple social networks. By auto-posting from one to another, you are certainly saving time. Pretty cut and dry.

Additionally, if you are marketing on social media, it does expand your reach. However…

Cons

One of the downsides of linking these accounts together is the “weird syntax” factor. Twitter conversations include symbols specific to this network, like “@” symbols and hashtags (see: what is a hashtag?). If Facebook users see these characters in their news feeds, you run the risk of alienating them because your posts look confusing and odd. This decreases engagement.

Additionally, effective social media usage usually involves listening, and if you are cross-linking updates then you have no reason to log in and talk to anyone. You’re stuck in broadcast mode.

It’s bad when going in the other direction, too. I see people that push their Facebook updates to Twitter, as well, which results in truncated updates (like this) or even worse, orphan links with no explanation (like this).

Finally – it’s just plain annoying, right? Aren’t we tired of seeing lazy status updates full of out-of-context symbols and truncated tweets?

Set Your Profiles Free

I would recommend taking this opportunity to preemptively unlink your Facebook and Twitter accounts and start actually participating on each network with intention. I predict you’ll see higher levels of engagement and you’ll be using them the way they were intended: as social networks.

Your thoughts?

5 Comments

  1. 1

    I’m afraid there’s no way I’m going to unlink them. We’re pushing a ton of content and the purpose isn’t always to spur a conversation – many times it’s simply to provide information to our audience. In that sense, it’s a successful strategy. While I’d love to hand curate every message and stay on social media all day… I’m not afforded that opportunity.

    • 2

      I assumed you would say that, Doug 🙂 We all use social networks differently and if your goal is strictly to broadcast then your logic makes sense. I certainly have a preference (obviously) but that doesn’t mean there’s a definitive “right” or “wrong”.

  2. 3

    I think unlinking them is a great idea. I have to admit I used to link them but then realized if you don’t have fresh content on each platform as part of online marketing then people have no reason to follow each account.

  3. 4

    Automated social media saves time, but it can take out that social element if you aren’t careful. It may be easy to publish the same message across networks using social media tools but you need to remember to check each account and respond when there are inquiries. You can’t “set it and forget it”.

  4. 5

    I agree completely. It saves time in the short term, but has a negative effect in the long term. Not only does it look messy, but it goes against the whole foundation of what social media is.

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