Why Mixing Social Networks is a Bad Idea

Finding your voice on social mediaFinding your voice in social media can be a tough one, especially if you outsource it or have interns doing it. Experimenting until you find the right balance between the different platforms can take a couple of months, but well worth the time investment made by all. However, more often then not, I see brands (for-profit and nonprofit) post the same thing on multiple platforms at the same time. Mamma Mia!

Granted, the social networks make it super duper easy for you to do this, but that doesn’t mean someone is holding a gun to your head forcing you to do it. Please differentiate your content among different platforms, I am begging you! (Nonprofits, here is an example of 5 nonprofits who are doing it right).

Why do I harp on differentiating the content between platforms and to “just say no to co-linking” because whether it’s a business brand or for personal reasons, you need to consider content vs. context. For example, a good way to get new fans on Facebook is to host a promotion, but if you offer that same promotion on Twitter, well, now it’s less special. Don’t get me wrong, you can cross promote it on Twitter, in fact, I encourage that, but you can’t offer the same contest or promotion on Facebook and Twitter that links back to your website. It’s redundant.

In fact, the only time I’d allow that would be this: you can occasionally post the same blog link from your blog or website on different platforms if you change the text surrounding that post. Otherwise, zzzzzzzzzzzzz you’ve bored me. I’ve tuned out, and maybe you’ve lost me for good.

I know, I’m asking a lot of brands to share different things on different platforms, especially nonprofits, right? Well, do you want me to follow your brand on all of the social networks where you have a presence? If so, then give me a reason to do so. Make me feel like I am getting something from you on one social network that I am not getting on the other and make me want to click “follow” or “like.”Make me feel special.

Here are a few tips on how to help you differentiate your content:

  1. Create an editorial calendar for each social network where you have a presence
  2. Make a separate list of events you have coming up and think about which audience they are appropriate for, then plot them on the editorial calendar for that social network. (Note: I know nonprofits think that they want everyone to come to their event and that it will be applicable to everyone – no problem, just make sure you differentiate the text surrounding the post.)
  3. Find some quotes (a handful, not a quote every day) and put that into the calendar.
  4. Set up a Google alert for news on your industry/cause and schedule those posts a few days out.
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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.


  1. […] media classes at various schools and companies across the country and I always teach them to “just say no to co-linking” your Twitter account with any other social media platform. Then, the other day I was showing […]