When You Should Disconnect Your Facebook Account from Twitter

When I jumped into Social Media in earnest a few years ago I went the easy route and connected both my Twitter & LinkedIn accounts to my Facebook account, ensuring that everything I put on Facebook fed to the other 2. There was something inherently wrong with doing this – and I was intuitive enough to know what it was:

Social Media is about being HUMAN, even when ‘doing business;’ I learned that early on from reading Trust Agents. This being real or human in marketing is exactly why I understood how powerful Social Media Marketing could be.

There was one reason I connected the 3 platforms despite knowing this: I was overwhelmed by how much I had to learn and I knew I couldn’t master all 3 platforms at once.

So I opted to learn the ins and outs of Facebook first, primarily because it was so visual, I already had a fairly large network of friends, and I felt a resonance with its marketing capabilities. My thought process for Twitter & LinkedIn were that at least I would be putting SOME content up there for now.

What happened is that Facebook became THE marketing tool for my business – so much so that it was the source for 60% of my workload. My LinkedIn connections grew as my network grew, and I kept tabs on my contacts’ careers on that platform. Twitter sort of languished; I followed my favorite marketers & business people: Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Jack Welch and Richard Branson but I didn’t really use it. With less than 100 followers I was a little overwhelmed each time I visited the site; there were just so many people talking AT one another.

Over time as I learned about the powers of Social Media as a collaborative, many headed tool I realized that it was time to dedicate myself in earnest to Twitter. In the beginning I simply listened and learned from the smart people I followed. Then I realized how fantastic Twitter was as a tool for learning and exploring, and I actually found and hired a WordPress freelancer by connecting on Twitter.

Like any platform, the more I used it, the more comfortable I became until suddenly I was having conversations with new and interesting people regularly, learning about new products/services I could sell to my clients, and building an actual following. I realized that the Facebook connect had to go because now that I was having real conversations with real Tweeps, the Facebook re-post was a lazy insult. Facebook and Twitter are inherently different; as I’ve dedicated myself to really getting the most out of Twitter I realize it’s time to cut that apron string and have an authentic Twitter voice. No, I don’t tweet 50 times a day, but I do use Hootsuite to make sure that I have a regular voice by pre-scheduling some of my tweets.

I’m not a hypocrite. If you’re new to the Social Media world I’d encourage you to do it the same way I did; until you can digest and understand one platform, it’s ok to connect them all. But once you get your sea legs make sure you cut the cord so that you can effectively build a following & communicate on each platform authentically.

Reach Outside of Your Network

I was once privileged to work for a very wise man named Royce Renfroe who constantly repeated “If we always do what we’ve always done we will always get what we always got.” Frankly, as a sales rep. low on the totem pole in his organization the phrase was annoying and probably overused to the point of losing effectiveness. As my business grew and I was promoted to Sales Management, I really understood just how profoundly this simple thought was to growing your sales.

Fast forward many years to last Sunday evening when I was miraculously close to caught up on my work and browsing through LinkedIn, checking out my connections’ networks – something I know I should do more often. When I take the time to do this I often find people I should already have in my network and it gives me a chance to connect. Sometimes I find that 2 of my connections know each other already and I smile at how small the world actually is. Too often I discover a fundamental mistake within a connection’s network: the obvious list of everyone within their company and industry and very few from outside of it.

Part of networking is of course staying in touch with the people you already know, and Social Media is the perfect platform for this. Continually adding to your network is the other part, and without it your business will become stagnate and whither. This is the deal: if you aren’t regularly reaching outside of your industry and outside of your network you are missing out on:

1. The ability to be introduced to new connections through those you already have.
2. The chance to “get to know” new connections on a different level before you try to work with them.
3. The possiblity of landing in a new industry if god forbid you join the millions who are out of work.
4. Loads and loads of work.

The entire point of networking and growing is to step outside of your comfort zone… to find new friends, new contacts, and new opportunities. This is why “networking groups” abound in the “real world.” When you first started your business you probably spent some time at mixers and Chamber events – you should be mimicking those behaviors online. GET INVOLVED in discussions, look out for those you’d like to be “introduced” to and ask for the connection from someone in your network, and keep bringing in new connections. If you use Social Media in this manner you will grow your network AND your business