As many of you probably know, in addition to presenting at conferences as a social media speaker, that I also do a good amount of social media consulting with individuals and small businesses. As we begin discussing how to use Facebook for business, the ins and outs of Twitter, how YouTube can grow their business, and several other platforms, I almost always get asked the question of how can they automate this content so that they can write it once and have it syndicated to all platforms.
I understand the thought that by using a syndicator, it will spread your message across all the platforms quickly and make life easier for you. But, what you are missing is that this is probably one of the most ineffective ways to try and build your business online.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Each social network operates slightly different than all the others out there. For example, Twitter gives you 140 characters and you must include the @ symbol if you want to have it mention someone specifically. When this publishes over to Facebook for example, your friends see messages like this: “That was very funny @jb140 @210consulting.” which makes no sense to them if they are not using Twitter. Also, the frequency you tweet is more than likely going to be more often than you would update your Facebook status. In my case, I might tweet 25-30 times a day. I don’t want all 25-30 of those showing up in my Facebook stream.
Also, Twitter limits the length of your update to 140 characters, so you may be abbreviating words or using online jargon to make your update. Do I really want that going over to a platform like LinkedIn in which it’s main purpose is a social network for business professionals? Needless to say, updates on LinkedIn that say “Way to go, @JB140, that is a definite #fail. I prefer cheddar cheese #FTW” does not always portray the image we would want on certain networks.
Because I See It On 4 Places Doesn’t Mean I’ll Read
One of the reasons I am writing this post is because of a post I recently saw on Google+: The person wrote: Sync Google+ to Twitter, Itenti.ca, & Facebook. I started reading the comments below and asked why would you want to do this though? And needless to say I then saw them along with many of their other friends that I follow had already set this up. So, when I went to their Twitter account, Facebook Profile, or Google+ account I saw the exact same status update. For those of us who have connected with someone on multiple platforms, I see this becoming a problem. You can actually annoy people by putting the same stuff all over the place all the time.
Take the Time, Post Individually
If you want to say the same sort of message on all the various networks, that is perfectly fine, simply copy/paste the message across and customize it to fit the platform. For example, as I mentioned the other day for my Facebook Page, I try to ask questions more than making statements. I found this to be more beneficial. So, I take that same statement I might have just made on Twitter, paste it to my Facebook Page and alter the text to turn it into more of a question. If I want to post it to LinkedIn, I would do the same type of thing customizing it to the audience on that network.
To do this literally takes you an additional 18 seconds or so and will increase your interactions immensely. I tested syndicating my content across all networks for a three month period of time and had almost no business come from it. When I changed things to manually update I almost instantly saw an increase in all aspects of traffic, interactions, and engagement from my online community. For me, I’ll spend an additional 3-4 minutes doing this to see improved results. Also, not everything I share on one network is necessarily worth of being posted to 4 other platforms.
So, before you set up your account to share your content across multiple platforms consider whether it is a help or a hindrance to your business. If you don’t agree with me, I’d love to hear why in the comments below!