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.

Humanize Me

My love affair with Social Media began when I came to realize that its value is in bringing the humanity back to marketing; companies could communicate with their customers on a ‘real’ level without the layers and distraction of “advertising.” Friends could connect across continents and share pictures and life experiences. Debates could rage. New friends could be found. No longer would the rural dweller be limited to the people in their village, town, or county. The world was suddenly an open place where you could instantly connect with people you shared beliefs, passions, or simply curiosity with. I discovered that a new world had opened up where knowledge was dispensed with lightening quick speed and answers to all of my questions were OUT THERE.

It is easy to become “less human” when you spend your days selling online. It is too comfortable to fall back into the trappings of traditional media and use language that puts an insurmountable space between you and your audience. It takes practice and will not to ‘spam talk’ at the people who are listening to you. It is a fine line you must walk when you are communicating in a ‘human voice,’ because you must be ever vigilant against your own disenguousness.

But the power is there. The power to reach across time zones and distance and really communicate with another human being about something you feel passionately about.

It is easy to diminish or ridicule what Social Media has done by pointing out the millions of meaningless tweets or spamming Facebook users. It is not so easy to remain HUMAN, but if you do the power to connect the other HUMANS in your sphere is magical.

Yes, Social Media is slammed continuously now. In some oh-so-cool arenas it has already jumped the shark. But not for me. The humanity of it is too powerful. I am not too cool to understand how much the world has opened up for me.