DIY Tip #5: Linking your Social Media Accounts

Weak LinkWith all the interconnectivity between social media platforms these days, it can be confusing knowing what and how to link them all together. Facebook will connect to Twitter and vice versa. Constant Contact’s Simple Share feature will post emails to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. WordPress will automatically send your new posts to about six other platforms including those already mentioned.

So how does one determine the best way to link them? Start by deciding which is your base platform, i.e., the one that drives the rest of your content campaign. For most people, this will be their blog. In this case, original content on your blog will be publicized using other social media accounts and email.

Next, decide how you want the content to flow. For example, once you’ve written your blog where should you publicize it first? If you’re using WordPress, go to Settings=>Sharing from your Admin Dashboard to select the channels where you would like to send your new blog posts. I have mine linked to Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Notice that I don’t link to Facebook. This is because currently there is a bit of wonkiness involving which image Facebook selects when it posts to your page. In many cases, it doesn’t select an image that you’ve used in the article, but it will use something from your home page which may or may not be appropriate or to your liking. It will sometimes use the featured image you’ve set in WordPress, but I haven’t found this to be reliable. Therefore, once I’ve published an article I manually post the link to Facebook, giving me a lot more control.

It might be helpful to visualize the order and flow in which you are posting to various media. Here’s how I see my campaign:

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 12.16.14 PM

Now, here’s where things can get a little tricky. Keeping in mind that you want the content to flow in a particular direction, you may or may not want Facebook linked to Twitter, or vice versa, because you might end up with duplicate tweets and posts, which can look a bit sloppy (as in the right side of the diagram above). My preference is not to link them. This way I can format the posts specifically to the media. For instance, I don’t like to include hashtags in my Facebook posts because that’s really a Twitter facility. I don’t use Constant Contact’s Simple Share feature very often because my content has already been posted to social media by the time I push send.

Another factor you may want to consider is that not all platforms have similar prime times for posting. Monday before noon may be the best time for you to post to your blog for your particular readership, but after noon may be the best time to post it to Facebook. Twitter engagement goes up 30% on weekends so perhaps you should hold off until then to tweet it. However, this all might be splitting hairs for your particular campaign so don’t panic. Just give it some thought.

When it comes to using all the interconnecting features in social media I apply the same caveat that I do to all technology: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.

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