Most business want as many followers, likes and fans as possible on each and every platform they’re on. It’s completely understandable given the logical argument that the more networks you have your audience on, the more of your content they’ll see. Whilst this might not necessarily be true, getting existing fans on one platform to like or follow you on another platform is a tactic we call “cross-pollination”.
So there you are minding your own business and all of a sudden one of the select individuals you have decided to “follow” tweets “Be sure to like my Facebook fan page” followed by a link directing you to the aforementioned fan page.
“Fair enough”, you might think. This individual clearly wants to translate their loyal band of followers into “fans” who can see more enthralling updates of his/hers/the business’ day-to-day activities. But this is surely not good practice. People follow individuals and companies because they are interested in updates involving no more than 140 characters, maybe a photo and even a link to a page which they can choose, or otherwise, to click. This is, after all, the beauty of Twitter and appeals to our seemingly ever-shortening attention spans. One of the most annoying things to see on Twitter is a Facebook post that automatically appears on your home feed. These usually end in a rather unappealing ellipsis and often an “unfollow” – it’s a 140 character limit for a reason!
A company has its followers where it wants them and where their followers want them. If a follower is really keen to see what your Facebook page has to offer, they are going to find it; either via a web search or by finding it on your website; which should be on your bio (this may even be your Facebook page). Discreetly making followers aware of your Facebook page is easily done by tweeting a link to a story or post on your page that they are, of course, not obliged to click. This is far more appealing than begging for an extra “like”. If you’re just after sheer numbers, you can always buy Facebook likes (at your own peril!).
So how about the other way around? Should we be encouraging our Facebook “fans” to become our “followers”? The key thing to remember when posting anything on your fan page is that these updates are going to interrupt people’s personal life by appearing on their news feed. This may actually provide some light relief from the unrelenting garbage spewing from the keyboards and memory sticks of school friends we’ve not spoken to for 5 years. Otherwise, such requests are likely to be met with a negative response. It is far better to keep your Twitter presence common knowledge by making sure it is one of the listed webpages or in the information section of the fan page. Again, you’re giving them the choice without pleading for their attention across all platforms possible.
Remember, if you are planning on sharing the same content on each of your social media sites, that there is not much benefit in having ten thousand followers and ten thousand “likes” if they are the same ten thousand people! Especially if a lot of them aren’t as engaged as they would be if they were just using their preferred platfor
m. It is for the reasons outlined above that an effective social media presence involves both Facebook and Twitter specific content and scheduling to be as effective and engaging with your target audiences as possible.