Too many people think of Facebook and Twitter as two versions of the same thing: just another place to link to your website. While it’s true that ultimately you are probably on Facebook and Twitter to promote yourself and your website, simply dumping links into your feed isn’t going to get you very far.
Maybe you are one of those people who post the same thing to Facebook and Twitter (you can set this up right through Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/twitter/). Sure this is a convenient shortcut but what does it really accomplish? Why bother posting the exact same thing in two different places? Trust me, nobody likes your posts so much that they want to see how they look on both Facebook and Twitter.
That said, it is perfectly ok to post your links, even the same links, into both your Facebook and Twitter feeds. There are just a few things to consider before you do so.
For starters, think about the basic difference between the two sites. We all know Twitter only allows for 140 characters and that Facebook allows for a lot more (420 characters to be exact). So you know you have very limited space for Twitter and nearly unlimited space for Facebook. Make the most of it.
Twitter is all about short, concise posts. It can be tricky to fit both your link and your clever little message.
One way to buy yourself some room is by shortening your links via bit.ly, goo.gl or another similar service. These sites can take a big, long, ugly link and cut it way down. This should leave you plenty of space to get clever.
Keep in mind, one of your objectives is to get your posts shared by other Twitter users so be sure to leave enough space for your followers to write those all-important letters “RT” (short for Retweet) in front of your message. All the better if they have room to write their own clever message in front of yours!
Facebook is a different animal. Studies have shown that Facebook users are less likely to click on a link that was shortened by a service like bit.ly. This is presumably because users have no way of knowing where that link is going to take them. Apparently we are willing to suspend this concern for Twitter.
It’s still best not to have too lengthy of a URL. If you have any control over what goes in your URL, it is best to keep it short and with as many real words and as few random characters as possible. But that is a discussion for another day.
To recap – the basic rule of thumb for linking is as follows: shorten links for Twitter but let them be for Facebook.
Class is dismissed. See you back here next time!
Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Also check out our Basic Social Media Strategy post for more info.