That Syncing Feeling


As the senior living industry is beginning to understand the power of social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to also understand how each platform is different and how each should be used. A common misconception is that a Facebook account and a Twitter account should always be synced together. While that seems logical in wanting to drive traffic to both accounts, it turns out that less is more. Facebook and Twitter need to be seen as two different avenues reaching two different sets of audiences.

What are the problems?

Automatically Posting Facebook Updates to Twitter

The big problem is the character count, of course. You have a lot more to work with on Facebook than you do with Twitter, which limits tweets to 140 characters. So what happens when you go over the character count and you have your Facebook updates automatically sent to Twitter?

The message is cut off and a link to the original Facebook post is created.

Twitter users are forced to click over to Facebook to see the entire update. This is extremely annoying! If we wanted to be on Facebook, we would be on Facebook. Your fans don’t want you to choose which network they have to use for them. They want to make their own choice.

If your organization is on Twitter, you should be able to fit your full post in a single tweet, with a link to your website or blog, not to Facebook.

Automatically Posting Twitter Updates to Facebook

So, you’ll just go the other direction, sync your Twitter to your Facebook page and post your Twitter updates directly to your Facebook account. That way they won’t go over any character amounts and everything is fine, right?

No! This limits you unnecessarily, and, again, has the potential to be extremely annoying. The main problem here is that Facebook and Twitter have different functions and layouts.

Even though Facebook has now added its own hashtag function, it isn’t nearly as robust as Twitter’s. Twitter’s hashtags and Facebook’s hashtags don’t link to the same page, so the conversation is scattered. If you participate in any Twitter chats, that hashtag will be especially lost on your Facebook followers.

Any retweets (and you should be retweeting) will show up on your Facebook feed with the letters “RT” and some random @username very few people will recognize. Twitter mentions will also only show one part of a conversation, leaving your Facebook fans left out.

Other Key Differences

  • Facebook is a much more visual space than Twitter. Graphics, pictures, and other images work really well on Facebook.
  • Twitter is big on links as opposed to visuals.
  • Twitter is more high-paced and frenetic. All of your conversations are part of your feed.
  • On Facebook, you reply to comments within a single thread as opposed to starting a new update for every comment.
  • Facebook users log in to check in with their friends and their favorite brands.
  • Twitter users log in to find out what’s happening now not only with their network but also with the world at large.

Thanks to for these great tips! Now get out there and tweet to your heart’s content and update your Facebook followers with all of the exciting things happening at your community or business!


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