Why I Don’t Sync Twitter and Facebook: Or a Tale of Two Tweets (Well, a Tweet and a Facebook Post)

1213696_aaaoooI realized yesterday that I hadn’t written a post in ages about social media: and that used to be something I wrote about on a regular basis. After all, Twitter and Facebook especially are insanely important tools for a new or aspiring author, and even for established authors.

(If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook and Twitter, feel free to check out my top ten tips for Twitter and top tips for Facebook here.)

On that note, I figured I would discuss something that occurred when I first got on Twitter over a year ago. I left a Facebook post about that on my personal account.

“Just created a Twitter account. Need to figure out how to connect it to Facebook.”

One of my best friends from college who I still speak with all the time commented: “Please don’t.”

And then I got to thinking how much it annoyed me when people posted Twitter comments on Facebook. That really was a pain in the butt to me at the time, and still is. For a lot of reasons.

Sure, Twitter makes it easy to sync your accounts. And by using tools like Hootsuite, you can set posts to publish on multiple social media outlets simultaneously. Here’s why I don’t.

  • People don’t like it. As evidenced by my friend’s reaction. And they have cause: Twitter and Facebook aren’t the same. People use them differently and for different reasons, and each will work best for you if you use them in different ways.
  • Hashtags are horrible on Facebook. Hashtags are only brand new on Facebook and, I think, unlikely to catch hold there. Facebook waited too long. A message with hashtags on Facebook used to scream, “I don’t care enough to post this twice on two different sites,” because hashtags meant nothing at all on Facebook. Even now, I haven’t seen anyone making use of them.
  • Facebook users aren’t such fast “scanners” as those on Twitter. They’re more willing to stop a second and consider what you’ve posted as it relates to them and their needs. Combine this with the following, related fact:
  • Facebook gives you many more characters to draw people in. I’m not saying you need to write Facebook posts with thousands of characters. But when you CAN say a little more, to draw people in more and make more explicit the specific way you can help them with something they need, why wouldn’t you?

Consider the following promotional tweet I put out recently on Twitter for my fiction:

Life got you down? Escape to Herezoth! Civil war and sorcerer-dictators will put things in perspective #amreading (I put the link to my amazon purchase page here)

The next day, I put this on various Facebook pages/groups that allow ebook promotion:

Need a vacation? Book passage to Herezoth: nothing like a beautiful, warn-torn land with its sorcerer-dictator and resistance movement to put things in perspective!

4.3 stars over 30 reviews. “The Crimson League” is book I in the Herezoth trilogy, now released in its entirety!

(I put a link here)

Look at how much MORE information I was able to add to the Facebook post:

  • an expanded “quip” to draw people in that flowed better, given the lack of a character limit
  • star rating, to show I have good reviews and people have enjoyed the book, proving I’m “legit”
  • The fact that the book is part of a trilogy and people can now get the whole set and read the whole saga. That’s huge. People don’t like reading first installments of a series if they have to wait to finish the overall arc. They’ll often wait until the last book is published.

So, those are my thoughts on syncing accounts. Have you synced Facebook and Twitter? Do you set up Hootsuite to post the exact same thing on both forums? Has your experience proven me wrong in some respect? Do you agree with me?

Please let me know! If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to check out my category “On Marketing” and to sign up to follow my blog by email at the top right of the page.


36 responses to “Why I Don’t Sync Twitter and Facebook: Or a Tale of Two Tweets (Well, a Tweet and a Facebook Post)

  1. Interesting post! I have yet to join the Twittering jungle but I must say I agree wholeheartedly and passionately with something you mention here…hash tags do not belong on Facebook! Maybe they do achieve something on there now, I don’t know. But I have to admit I deleted more than one Facebook friend for #captions #that #you #could #barely #read #because #of #all #the #hash tags.

    • It was SOOOO annoying! You just knew those posts were synced with Twitter and coming from there and it made no sense.

      I’m really glad to know I’m not alone! 🙂 I don’t think hashtags and what they do are fit for the Facebook MO and the atmosphere there.

  2. Great post, I absolutely agree with you!! Hashtags on facebook do look quite annoying!

  3. I have synced them, but only one way. Anything I put on FB auto posts to Twitter, but I generally don’t hashtag my FB posts. I haven’t synced the other way, because holy crud! my FB feed would look terrible.

  4. I’ve had Twitter and Facebook synced since I started with Twitter. I was getting some reactions at the beginning. I’m thinking of un-syncing them though. Not because of the lack of reactions. Facebook is a strange place for me where the friends I know only through the computer will respond while my real life friends ignore me. My constant advertising for my book seems to have pushed most of my friends away in the virtual world.

    • yeah, that makes sense. I had a facebook account for YEARS, friends with hundreds of people I actually know. It kills me I have to do so much marketing on that forum…. I guess they can hide me from their feed. I’ve made announcements that I won’t be offended if people do that.

      • Didn’t kill me that much. My friends rarely paid attention to me because I never posted memes, videos, or pictures of what I was eating. They only responded if I wrote I was sick or angry, so I’ve told a few of them that my constant advertising is the result. I’m assuming many of them hid me.

  5. I wish there was a special Twitter hashtag that would automatically post a tweet to Facebook; sometimes I’d like to share between the platforms, but I don’t want to link everything.

    • THAT would be amazing!!! every now and then there is a tweet that it would be convenient to put right to Facebook. But like you said, the only option (to date) is to sync everything. And that’s a disaster, I feel.

    • There is! There is a Facebook app called “Selective Tweets”. Once you enable it, tweet with #fb and it will cross-post it to Facebook. It’s my main way of posting statuses to Facebook.

      • THANKS so much! I didn’t know about that before writing this post. That’s fantastic to know and will help make lots of our lives easier! 😛 😛 😛

        • I just resurrected my Twitter account and have been looking for this feature. Why? Because TweetDeck used to have buttons below the status window that could easily toggle whether to send to Twitter, Facebook, or both. Plume for Android has these buttons, but I just tested it and everything goes to both if Twitter is connected to Facebook account. I heard about Selective Tweets and that sounds like exactly what I need too, but their FB page appears to be broken.

          I’m reading lots of sites that claim how annoying the cross post is. I guess that would be true if you were never on FB. My friends see me in both places, so they know I will comment in both. I think having the ability to comment in both places is important, because each thread develops a personality distinct from the other while engaging friends in both platforms.

        • I agree… they are both essential platforms…. they just need to be used differently. I have to admit I haven’t been on twitter in forever. Life stuff…. But maybe I can get back soon!

  6. This is a great post! Thank you so much. I’m still very new to Twitter and posts like this are very helpful! Thanks, Victoria.

  7. Really excellent point Victoria! Bravo!
    Also, I nominated you for the liebster award: http://whenibecameanauthor.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/liebster-award/

  8. This post had great timing. I just established a page on facebook for my writing, and kept seeing that link to connect to Twitter. I was hesitant, and now that I’ve read this post, I think I was right in my decision to leave them separate.

    • I’m glad the post was supportive! 🙂 Best of luck with the Facebook page. It’s been a really hassle for me trying to grow mine organically. If the going goes a bit slow, you’re definitely not alone!

  9. I have my Twitter account connected to my FB user account and FB author page. However, I leave the boxes unchecked in my profile, so that the only time any of my Twitter posts will be auto-posted to FB is if I go in and check the boxes. I can check one or both boxes so that the Twitter post goes to the appropriate FB page(s). If you have the Twitter profile page open in one tab of your browser, it’s easy to flip between the tabs while you’re posting to Twitter in one tab and checking/unchecking boxes in the other tab. If you have some tweets that are appropriate for FB, you can easily copy and paste them there, but sometimes I find it more convenient to check the box and then uncheck it when I’m finished, especially if I want a tweet to go to both my normal FB user page and my FB author page.

    Also, I don’t remember which app it is out there, but one of them will look for a certain hashtag, I think it is #fb, and auto-post any tweet containing that hashtag to Facebook. I don’t do it that way because I don’t like hashtags in my FB posts, not even one that indicates the post is for FB.

    What would be really nice is if Twitter placed those checkboxes right below the text area where you enter your tweet, allowing you to check the boxes or not without going to your Twitter profile page.

    • Wow, thanks for all the information, Michael! I had NEVER thought about checking/unchecking the sync box. Brilliant! I also didn’t know about #fb tag. That’s great to be aware of!

  10. Thank you for this post. I am only two months into Twitter and did not understand this nuance. I was able to finally remove the auto post to FB.

    • yea!!! Twitter takes some time to adjust to and to figure out. It took me a long time myself. And I know I still don’t use it to its potential, but I try to do better each day.

  11. Mine is synced and some of my friends were confused at first. One commented, what page am I on? I thought I was on Facebook. Now they are used to it. I post a lot more on Facebook too because of the flexibility that you mentioned. Thanks for such a great post! 🙂

  12. Excellent point, as always. I don’t have facebook synced with twitter for those reasons, but I do have goodreads synced to it. I’ve considered changing that as well though!

    • I’ve synced Goodreads and it’s annoying to me too! haha: great minds think alike, I guess. That’s a great point. I’d forgotten all about Goodreads in this equation. Ay….

  13. I don’t sync them for just this reason. I like being able to put a little more on facebook, and put up a picture prominently. I do have both signed in to hootsuite, but I post separately. (Though I will copy and post my tweet and then modify it or vice versa.)

  14. I sync in one direction: WordPress–>Facebook–>Twitter, and that’s just to get my blog posts out there. I have Facebook synced with Twitter for when I find something interesting that I want to share (NY Times article, for example), but I don’t sync from Twitter to Facebook. It would make no sense. Your examples of how to use both are spot-on.

    I still find FB rather clumsy to use (it’s always flipping me back to my personal account when I’d rather be using my FB page … grrrr) but I’ve gain some followers through it. I haven’t seen or used hashtags on FB. I can’t even imagine how that would work!

    • I know, right???? Facebook should never have even tried to make hashtags a thing there. They’re far too late to that game. Makes no sense.

      I like what you say here about facebook not letting you do things as your page. That’s a HUGE problem with Facebook! UGH!!! Thanks for bringing that into the discussion. Also, I too have FB and Twitter both linked to my WordPress account, but that’s the only way I connect the two.

      • Another annoying thing (among many) about Facebook is they keep changing the interface. When I started a few years ago, it was easier to navigate. Now it’s one long “feed” like Twitter. But it’s not Twitter, and too often I’ve missed a friend’s status update because it got lost in the “news feed.” Very frustrating, and yet I keep plugging away at it 😉

        • I hear you! I remember the old interface. It was SOOOOO much nicer!!! The new one is insane. Completely insane. Grrr.

          And yet I keep spending more and more time on facebook….

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