Are you one of those people who has migrated to twitter after being active on Facebook? If you are then there is a strong possibility that you have automated your Twitter account to update your Facebook profile.
Before the recent Facebook changes this was a powerful strategy to use, It gave you an active presence on two social media platforms. In the old Facebook design the newsfeed was filtered and your status updates were kept in a separate tabs and were visible to those who were looking for them
A Change In Strategy Is Needed
The new site design means that the rules have fundamentally changed. I want to highlight the dangers for those twitter users who are either high volume tweeters or who are using RSS feeds or automated services to populate their twitter stream and syndicate it to Facebook
I have many friends who now spend all their time on Twitter and send their twitter feed direct to their Facebook Profile. In the old Facebook design the newsfeed was filtered and your status updates were kept in a separate tab. Now everything is merged and shared in real time to everyone in your network
Has Facebook Given You Total Control?
By using friend lists to filter your feed you can tailor your news quite precisely. The newsfeed is both personal and public. Your status updates and Facebook activties are broadcast to your whole network
The danger comes when you overexpose yourself. By this I mean publishing too many updates so you dominate the real estate on your friends profiles.
Overwhelmed By Links
A few days ago I was observing this phenomenon from several people in my network. My page was overwhelmed by the sheer number of links they were posting. I realized that they probably didn’t even know this was occurring; It looked like they had set their accounts to run on autopilot.
Are You Shooting Yourself In The Foot?
This is almost certainly damaging to their reputation. Personally I would hate to be thought of as a spammer, it’s frightening to think that such a simple change in design can have such huge immplications
What is even more relevant is that Facebook now gives every user the option to hide someone who become annoying. They make it very easy. One click and you are gone, banished to the little box at the bottom of the newsfeed
The people I observed are all social media marketers. Their business depends on people listening to their messages. If the message is not getting through because they have alienated their audience then they are effectively shooting themselves in the foot. They are burning out their friends much the same way email marketers can burn out their lists by constant messaging.
I would like to offer a few suggestions to this situation and urge you to rethink your strategy if you find that you are seeing yourself in the mirror.
Ask yourself how your status updates will look from your friends perspectives, do you really want to look like an automated robot?
Take a few minutes to examine your own Facebook newsfeed; Can you see other friends making this same mistake?
If you overexpose yourself people will hide you from their newsfeed and you will never even know
How can you strike a delicate balance between keeping visible and annoying people?
If you are syndicating your status updates from Twitter to Facebook consider using Twirl and PingFM, you can carefully select which tweets to send to your Facebook Status and then turn syndication on and off as needed.
A River Or A Flood
With great power comes great responsibility. Facebook and Twitter are not the same and while on Twitter your tweets might be flowing into a great river of mass communication , over on Facebook you a sending them down lots of narrow pipes and some people don’t like to get their houses flooded.
There are obviosusly some people who this doesn’t apply to, some high volume tweeters send a constant stream of gold. Even If they get to be too imposing on your newsfeed you can always bunch a few together in their own special list.
Feedback and Discussion
I would love to hear your feedback on this issue. I have Facebook Connect installed so if you are reading this on my blog you can sign in and leave a comment, it will automatically post a link to your profile so your friends can read this article too.
If you are reading this on Facebook let me know what your experience has been. A change in design will always take some adjusting to and only through discussion can we define possible solutions and best practices.
Ian David Chapman