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Common Mistakes With Facebook and Twitter


Lucas Shaffer - June 11, 2010 - 0 comments

I like to think I have a solid grasp on the differences between Facebook and Twitter but I still make small mistakes.  A lot of small things can happen to disengage the user and deter them from interacting with you.  On Facebook, you can engage the user in a rich manner with actions, links, photos, direct comments and a few other opportunities to connect.  On twitter, the story changes just a bit.  Twitter can be what you want it to be but you only have a few choices when you want to connect.  Misconceptions and user expectations can also make your twitter experience uneventful and boring.

Here are a few things that could lose your user base if not attended to immediately.

Facebook
The first mistake you might make is to treat Facebook wall posts like tweets.  Linking your tweets to your Facebook is considered flagrant if you tweet a lot or auto-tweet.  The consensus seems to be that if you want my tweets, you will follow my twitter account.  Create a link to the twitter account on the Facebook fan page or include a RSS feed for ‘tweets only’ on a tab and go from there.  If you want to encourage full immersion with your fan page then you must participate in the actions that make the Facebook wall unique.  Interact with their comments, photo uploads and links and never leave a post hanging.  Leave your informative and engaging tweets to Twitter.  You may find it takes more time to engage the user on Facebook but it is well worth it.

Another mistake is to overload your Facebook fan page with posts.  If you have your twitter page linked, you may see this happening now.  Since the addition of the ‘Hide’ action, you are now one click away from either being pushed to the side for more FarmVille updates or you could be ‘Unliked’.  Both of these outcomes are bad.  Take the time to learn your audience and their tendencies.  If they ‘like’ and comment on your posts in the morning, right before lunch and again after the day is over then focus on these times.  Broadcasting your message at the right time and at the right pace is key.  I sometimes wonder if content even matters on Facebook.  A simple note about ‘lunch time’ decisions can invoke a 30 comment post while a product update could fall flat…  Sometimes, the most engaging posts can be the shortest and unplanned.  Test a few posts and monitor results.  You may be surprised…

Not fully understanding the Facebook wall is a big issue with fan page management.  As a fan page admin you should know your options.  If you are posting shortened URLs in your wall and leaving the link in the text area then you are not making the most of this.  The user is confused because they are not ‘URL Shortening’ aware and won’t click because they can’t see it’s a link to their favorite site.  Once you understand the facebook linking option properly you can take a full length text post including a link and turn it into an engagement point including picture and formatted like a pro.

Twitter
One of the biggest mistakes a user makes when signing up for Twitter is to expect instant results.  Twitter is the accumulation of sharing knowledge with the expectation to connect with people who post similar tweets to yours.  You can also use it as a monitoring service to scan and show where your company is being talked about.  Expect to feel alone the first trip out and know that your following is not an indicator of your value.   Create valuable content and respond to people talking about your topics and begin connecting and your network will grow organically

I often see twitter accounts that blend too many ‘types’ of posts from promotional, engaging and accounts only containing links.  Using different types of tweets in the wrong atmosphere can be a mistake.   Make individual accounts for multiple purposes and set goals for each type of engagement.  You will find the separation can be more work but your following will be more content.

In conclusion, there are a lot of opportunities to fully engage your audience.  It is always the small mistakes that stand out the most.  Just one mistake can change the user perspective and reduce the amount of authority you are trying to convey.   You don’t reach out for a hand shake with your foot.  By taking the time to learn from my mistakes you are becoming aware and now you can provide clean and useful content to your audience.

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