Facebook

For nonprofits with limited resources, it’s tempting to link social media accounts and broadcast the same message across multiple platforms with a single keystroke.

In almost all cases, that is a mistake.

While linking all your social media accounts may sound like a great solution, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are completely different animals and require entirely different management. User behavior, consumption of information, structure of posts/tweets, and the ways fans and followers engage vary dramatically across platforms.

Imagine you post a status update on Facebook, and the identical post automatically posts on Twitter. Your tweet is likely to be truncated, with a link to the original Facebook post or image.

You’re telling your Twitter entire audience, “We’re not really here on Twitter. We’re not engaged. We’re just marketing to you.”

Twitter users know when an organization is being inauthentic, and a Twitter feed that duplicates your organization’s Facebook timeline is a surefire way to lose engagement. After all, there’s no need for an individual to follow an organization on multiple platforms if the message is going to be the same.

There is value in occasionally cross posting content – for instance, sharing an occasional Instagram post on Facebook. It helps remind users that your organization is engaged on multiple platforms.

But automatically linking your accounts is explicitly telling your constituents you’re talking to them, not talking with them.