From Facebook to Twitter: Save Your Community From Redundancy

  |  March 10, 2011   |  Comments

By understanding the nuances of each platform's digital culture, you can create unique and relevant content, speak the right language, and effectively grow both communities.

Of all the social platforms, it's hard to avoid your favorite brand on Twitter or Facebook. There's a page for every living, breathing moment you have: shampoo, face wash, makeup, breakfast, work, lunch, exercise, dinner, entertainment, and sleep.

I can't be alone in thinking there's not only a glut of information, but also brand redundancy that still exists across Twitter and Facebook. Like when your favorite mouthwash auto-tweets that five new photos of the logo were added to a Facebook album. Or when you get just the beginning of a tweeted Facebook post and then the message tapers off into that over-140-character void. (Cue disapproving community-manager grimace.)

If Twitter remains your bite-sized Facebook RSS feed, you've only built a crutch for readership rather than a community. By understanding the nuances of each platform's digital culture, you can create unique and relevant content, speak the right language, and effectively grow both communities - redundancy-free.

Consider these three areas of differentiation when managing your brand's presence in both environments:

Customer interactions. While Facebook has been taking steps to encourage more transparency among brand admins, Twitter remains the preferred platform for personable interaction - a human face greeting you in the avatar, closed one-on-one conversations, and more discreet @replies and hashtags rather than shouts among a crowded comment thread. The success of most early brand Twitter pages like @comcastcares and @jetblue have taken off due to a heavy - if not sole - emphasis on customer service, while on Facebook an app is necessary to better address customer inquiries.

Content. Twitter is an optimal reactionary environment - supplying quick answers, words of appreciation, and shortened links and updates. But Facebook is where full, dynamic content lives, often better when it comes to incentivizing behavior. As a user, your wasteland of Zynga wall spam is easily overlooked by dear friends and family, but you sacrifice many a follower for any self-serving promotional tweets. When developing shareable content and promotions for these communities, remember the forgiving nature of Facebook and less-forgiving nature of Twitter.

Capacity. Interestingly, Twitter's brevity has encouraged a tolerance for volume. A brand tweeting five times a day? Shrug. But a brand posting on Facebook five times a day? Gird your virtual loins. In Facebook, brands are intruders among a news feed of family and friends' baby pictures and wedding updates - the less intrusion, the better. Understanding each community's tolerance level and context (personal vs. impersonal) will help you appropriately calendar content and develop an authentic rapport with your audience.

Playing to each platform's cultural norms and technical strengths will not only help you stay relevant, but also help you stay sane. Avoid trying to be everything to everyone on every platform; if you're exhausted, so is your customer. A narrowed strategy can help establish a stronger identity with your audience - e.g., the place for customer service, the place for sale alerts, and the place to interact with other fans of the brand. Match your customer's needs with the right platforms and you'll never have double-post doubts again.

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Caroline Chen

Caroline Chen serves in a hybrid role at Publicis Groupe futures practice Denuo, tackling copywriting, design, strategy, and community management for its host of clients, which include AstraZeneca, General Mills, P&G, and Taco Bell.

Her responsibility as the agency's resident community manager is to help create content and manage customer relationships for clients' social communities. Working closely with SVP Dan Buczaczer, Caroline co-leads Denuo's newest practice, Continuous Content. This unit offers a more comprehensive service for clients needing a social strategy and surfaces creative ideas that helps them engage audiences for the long term.

Prior to launching Continuous Content, Caroline honed her social and community expertise while working on some of Denuo's largest social media efforts, including running the social strategy and Facebook and Twitter communication efforts during the redbox Thanks a Billion campaign – a promotion which celebrated the company's billionth rental and provided redbox customers with prizes and a chance to win free rentals. She also helped with the creation and launch of's Facebook recipe-sharing app Foodlife and helped design the identity for Taco Bell Truck - a popular user-generated Denuo program that launched in 2008 and continues to make stops across the country to hand out free Taco Bell food, based on social media recommendations from fans.

Before joining Denuo, Caroline had been art director at Chicago-based advertising and branding agency Point B Communications. Prior, she served as an interactive designer at film and TV boutique Mad Monkey and as a copywriter and designer for full service advertising, marketing, and interactive agency Robin Shepherd Group. She has received a number of American Advertising Federation ADDY awards – recognizing creative excellence in the art of advertising – for her work on radio spots, billboards, interactive design, and more.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in advertising from the University of Florida in 2004.

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