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Guest Post: To Link or Not to Link Social Media Accounts?

by Ted Rubin (@tedrubin) One of my LinkedIn connections (Phil Masiello) recently asked me an important question – one that, in my opinion, everyone should be asking themselves if they haven’t already.  Following is his question, with my response and a few additional thoughts: Phil: Ted, 
I have my Twitter linked to my LinkedIn account. Read more

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by Ted Rubin (@tedrubin)

One of my LinkedIn connections (Phil Masiello) recently asked me an important question – one that, in my opinion, everyone should be asking themselves if they haven’t already.  Following is his question, with my response and a few additional thoughts:

Phil: Ted, 
I have my Twitter linked to my LinkedIn account. One of my contacts is complaining to me that I shouldn’t do that. Linked in is for business and Facebook is for other. My twitter is mostly related to business, business travel, etc. What is your thought? Should I take twitter off LinkedIn?

My response went something like this:

I connect my Twitter activity to my Linkedin account because I do very little daily LinkedIn interaction and this way my LinkedIn presence still has a life. I DO NOT connect Twitter to Facebook since those posts  do fill up peoples pages and cause issues, and the language I use for Twitter and Facebook differs so greatly.

I have had a few LinkedIn complaints as well (about showing my Twitter activity there), but those complaints are HUGELY outweighed by the positive feedback and interaction it creates for me in a medium that lacks that easy functionality. I explain this to those who complain, and they all understand my reasoning. That being said, if they are unhappy, they can simply unlink from me, with no harm done.

I DO pay attention to these things and if the negative begins to outweigh the positive, I will change my practice.

The key things to ask before linking any social media streams are

  1. Is the information relevant to more than one network?  If not, don’t link.
  2. Is the language (tone, formal vs. informal, etc) appropriate for more than one network?  If not, don’t link.
  3. Is the content valuable to more than one network?  If not, don’t link.
  4. Is the content appropriate for the purpose of more than one network/tool?  If not, don’t link.
  5. Is the link (and resulting automatic feed) likely to get in the way of other people’s online experience?  If so, don’t link.

Although each social media tool has several shared attributes, each tool also has different functionality and different purpose – which draws a different audience and content for each.

Bottom line?  Pay attention to your audience and make sure your links between tools are of value to each audience involved, and not just an easy (but useless) way for you to spray your content far and wide.  Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

On the other hand, when done intentionally and appropriately, linking content feeds from one social media tool to another can be a highly effective and valuable way to extend your online presence to more than one relevant audience in more than one way.

Bottom line?  It’s your choice… just choose wisely, for the sake of all involved. 

PS. Notice how Phil used social media to request information from a trusted source.  LOVE it!

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