Unlink social media accounts for your fans’ sake

social-media-icons

After the last post on social media, I needed to go deeper with this “linking social media accounts” thing. This may interest you if you’re a blogger or business owner who uses social media (or plans to). If you don’t fall into either of these categories you should read this post about Yoruba names that make it hard to live abroad or this post about sickle cell disease.

When I talk about linking social media accounts I mean:

  • when you link your Twitter account to your Facebook profile or page, and your tweets or retweets automatically publish to Facebook
  • when you link your Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr (to name a few), your Instagram updates are automatically published on the platforms you’ve selected

Mo’ platforms, mo’problems?

I get the appeal of linking: you’re busy, there are so many platforms and only so much time! There’s pressure if you’re building a brand to be everywhere, so it’s convenient for you because you can give the impression of being everywhere when you might only “really” be in one or two places, but let’s think about someone else: your loyal fan. This person who’s most likely following you on all the platforms you’re on. What are they getting out of this? How are you rewarding their loyalty? Showing them the same thing at the same time on a few platforms is not a reward! If you post the same image, use the characteristics of each platform to share things differently—more details below.

F A C E B O O K

You can post anything you want on Facebook: short amounts of text, long amounts of text, text and images, links, images alone, groups of images, you get the picture. The jury’s out on how valuable hashtags are on Facebook but they’re definitely supported (i.e. they will become a clickable link if you include them in your post). When your text is accompanied by a picture it receives more engagement.

Best use: sharing an inspirational quotation on an eye-catching background, personal stories (preferably accompanied by at least one image), linking to blog posts (an excerpt of your blog post will automatically appear when you include a link with your Facebook update)

Take advantage of: the ability to associate several images with a single Facebook update

I N S T A G R A M

Instagram is all about visuals (in fact, every update must have an image), so this is where you should post your most gorgeous pictures or graphics. Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in your updates, so link-heavy text should be used elsewhere (i.e. Facebook). Unlike Twitter with its character limit, you can include lots of text with your Instagram update. A word of warning though: Instagram does not allow you to break your writing into paragraphs while you’re typing it, and long blocks of text are really hard to read. Get around this by using another app to type your update the way you want it to appear (I use Notes on my iPhone) before pasting it in Instagram. Instagram images also have to be square, so if necessary, crop your image to end up with the best image possible. You can also add filters to your pictures but I’ve never really gotten into that.

Best use: sharing gorgeous graphics or images, with personal stories attached to the image

Take advantage of: hashtags—it’s the one platform where strangers will come across your profile through hashtag searches

T W I T T E R

Unlike the other platforms I’ve mentioned, Twitter limits your sharing to 140 characters. Twitter’s the best place to go to find out what’s happening in the world, and if I’m not mistaken hashtag usage took off because of Twitter. Each day brings new hashtags that invite your participation—find one that speaks to you and join the conversation. You can post the same information several times in one day on Twitter because the timeline moves quickly so most of your followers don’t see all your tweets. The low character count makes it easy to rework the info in a tweet for subsequent tweets on the same topic. Links and images (you can post more than one image with a tweet, like with Facebook) work well on Twitter. Don’t forget my 6 ways to be awesome on Twitter!

Best use: one-on-one interaction with followers by either “mentioning” (putting an “@” before their username) the person you’re reaching out to or sending them a direct message (if you’re following each other); this has also been a good way to reach brands in order to get their contact info

Take advantage of: the Lists feature, which allows you to create private or public groupings of tweeters that you follow (or not)—once you have a list you can choose to view tweets sent by that particular group, but there are other great uses for Lists

These are the three platforms that I see most often linked, so I wanted to focus on them. Now I’d like to show you a practical example. Let’s say you’re a blogger who’s also a mom, and you’ve written a blog post about your week’s adventures with your kids, seeing as they’re out of school. Your blog post has all the details (including nine pictures!) and you want to entice your fans to come and read your blog post (because let’s not forget: whether you’re a blogger or a business owner, the whole point of social media is to drive people to your blog or website). Here’s what you can do:

Facebook

Here are two options (you can even do both, but space them out in the day

  • Share the link to the blog post—as I mentioned Facebook will share the title and an excerpt from your blog post (both of which can be edited!) and will also pull one of the images from the blog post into your update—you can flip through the images and select the best one.
  • Upload 2-4 pictures from the blog post to Facebook, write a quick summary of the blog post (two or three sentences), with teaser information to bring people to your blog.

Instagram

Select the image that, when cropped to a square, looks amazing, and share that and parts of your blog post (or a story about that specific image that may not have been captured in the blog post). As I mentioned Instagram doesn’t make the links within your post clickable; a common workaround for this is to change the one clickable link that you are allowed—the one in your profile—to the latest blog post link.

Twitter

Draft three to four tweets with slightly different content but the same link to the blog post and send them every four or so hours. For this specific example they could be something like:

Need fun summer ideas for the kids? Check out my latest blog post for inexpensive ideas: http://linktoblogpost.com

My kids’ favourite summertime activity this week was not what I expected! Read more at http://linktoblogpost.com

[Fresh post] Give your kids a memorable summer by planning some of these activities: http://linktoblogpost.com

You get the message! Some of these tweets can include one or more images from the blog post.

What I’ve described is more work than linking your accounts but you’re providing way more value and that’s what’s important. You don’t even have to create the content from scratch: it’s all in your blog post. Just be creative with how you use the content and I’m certain your social media following and traffic to your blog will improve. To save time, look into automation tools like Facebook’s built-in one for Facebook pages, and Hootsuite or Buffer for Twitter (there are many more paid options too).

If your social media accounts are linked, have I convinced you to unlink them? If they were not linked, do you have some new ideas for how you can share blog posts?

10 thoughts on “Unlink social media accounts for your fans’ sake

  1. Actually, when you link your other social media accounts to Instagram, it only shows on other platforms if you choose. If I post a photo on Instagram, it will only be posted on, say, Facebook, if I tap on Facebook. Otherwise, it just stays on Instagram. It does not go automatically.

    • When I said “…your Instagram updates are automatically published on the platforms you’ve selected”, I was referring to platforms selected at that final stage before posting. If you haven’t linked them then you’d be asked to enter your login info at that last stage; if they’re already linked then once you publish it’ll be posted automatically to the linked accounts you’ve selected.

      • But it’s not automatic if you have to tap on the platform. To me, automatic means that the poster does not need to do anything – once it’s on Instagram, then it’s on whatever platform. In other words, once it’s on Instagram, then it’s on XYZ – without the Instagrammer having to say that he/she wants it to also publish on XYZ.

        • I think we’re getting away from my point which is that with Instagram, once you select a picture, select the platforms that you want to post on and type up your message, it’ll be posted in all those places—no need to type out two or three updates for the various platforms and upload the image more than once. You don’t see that as automatic and that’s fine: we can definitely agree to disagree!

  2. LOL, I can’t remember how I linked my blog posts to Twitter and Facebook. I hardly come on Twitter so I don’t know how effective it is, but the Facebook one definitely works for me. I just don’t have the time to post things separately.

    • Do you share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter automatically? I didn’t cover that in this post; I was focused on sharing the same social media update on multiple platforms.

      Using Facebook and Twitter to share blog posts is convenient but there might be a way in your settings to switch up exactly what gets shared in your Facebook vs Twitter updates. I totally hear you on the ease for you but know me: I really want us to serve our readers to the best of our abilities. To be honest it’s the identical social media shares that gets to me more, because people do find it annoying when they see the exact same image and caption two or three times in a row on different platforms.

  3. i use IFTTT to (auto-)share my post from one platform to another based on the recipes (commands) i want. I think it is quite safe and efficient.

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting, Kings. Do you use different recipes for each social media platform, or do you share updates on various platforms using the same exact words? If you do the latter I encourage you to try tweaking your recipes! ;)

  4. I guess what is considered a pet peeve for one is a none issue for another person.

    I would imagine a large % a persons audience may not actually use ALL the various platforms. Some twitter no facebook occasional IG or vice/versa.

    • Absolutely, Highly Favored: as I mention in the blog post this is more for people who want to reward their loyal fans who follow them on multiple social media platforms. A blogger with a low profile on social media or who has completely different audiences on each social media platform won’t get much from this post. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *