Today, I decided to finally take the plunge and connect my LinkedIn status with Twitter to see what would happen. I announced this in LinkedIn as:

Decided to link my tweets with my LinkedIn status, do tell me if it gets annoying.

Which then got duly posted on Twitter.

Mat Morrison, of Magic Bean and Mediaczar, got in touch via LinkedIn querying my decision and the problems of dividing our different social media lives such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which prompted me to respond to him with:

“I’ve avoided linking with LinkedIn until now, but noticed that I wasn’t using #ln for relevant tweets or that I was updating very often, which I think doesn’t look that great considering what I do, so this is a test. I may switch off in a week. But the audiences for me are similar, so decided I may as well try. And lo, you have responded ;-) as has someone else.

Facebook: I briefly linked them and just decided – different audience, output overload, boring – and quickly unlinked. My Facebook usage generally has lowered, but I think that’s because as an early adopter I used it to connect with other early adopters, who are professional rather than personal contacts. So without a lot of filtering and grouping work the site doesn’t really work for me. But those who’ve come to it later and younger people are smartly segregating their usage and who they contact on different networks. At Becta X yesterday there were children from 14 schools involved (primary through to secondary/tertiary) and when it came to a discussion about using FB in school (for education purposes eg. homework updates) they all agreed that it was the wrong context and that it would be distracting.

Context has knocked Content from being king, perhaps?

I’ve included Mat’s response here because I think it’s useful and adds to this:

Nice summary (and tend to agree w/ your points or have come to similar conclusions.)

I’ve been streamlining lots of my digital life recently — and mostly I’m using a loose GTD/43folders definition of context to do so.

For example, I’m rearranging my Facebook friend lists by “why I care (and if I do)” and “what I want to hide from this list”. My blog feeds are arranged, “can’t miss/daily read/graze/ego search/never read.” And I’m dumping Twitter news subscriptions to lists, and have created a list of “people I care about” (although “all friends” still has ambient presence.)

But LinkedIn seems useful.

So, do you or don’t you link Twitter with LinkedIn?

  • Decide on who you are speaking to and what each network of contacts is mostly about – personal, professional, mix?
  • Examine the kinds of content you put out on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn is this suitable for another audience, is the volume to high?
  • Test for a period and see what happens.
  • Disconnect if it doesn’t work for you and your network

7 Comments

  1. Hi Kathryn,

    I asked myself the same questions when LinkedIn first launched their twitter integration feature.

    In early 2009 I synced my tweets to Facebook and unintentionally caused most of my friends News Feeds to fill with my @ramblings and url links – it didn’t go down too well, especially with the ones who weren’t familiar with twitter and therefore didn’t understand symbols like RT and @ – to them I simply looked like an idiot. After complaints I stopped.

    I then discovered Selective Tweets which enables me to filter my tweets to and from Facebook using a simple #fb tag (more info here: http://apps.facebook.com/selectivetwitter) – it works perfectly when I want to share certain things across.

    To date I have avoided linking my tweets to LinkedIn, I see it as a very separate audience.

    I do however sync my WordPress and Blog Post rss to LinkedIn which means my contacts can stay up to date with my more articulate thinking and business ramblings.

    To date I remain unaware of a Selective Tweets to LinkedIn service but I’m guessing there’ll be one on someone’s development to-do list.

    Hope that the above might provide some food for thought =)

    Positive thoughts and Paulo Coelho proverbs,
    Carl @FellowCreative

  2. I’ve included my Twitter feed to my LinkedIn Account, but it’s limited. Only the tweets that include the hashtag #in shows up. I did this because my twitter feed isn’t the most professional at the moment, so somethings I rather than show-up in LinkedIn. I don’t have it linked to my facebook because that site is strictly social, and my Twitter feed is actually too professional for that forum.

  3. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter perform very different roles for me. FB is purely playful, it’s a closed community (FB privacy glitches permitting!) where I share personal experiences with friends and family. I only ‘friend’ people in FB if I’m happy to let them into this “circle of trust”. LinkedIn is purely professional, it’s where I think about my career and business network. I’ve not got into the rhythm of posting regularly to LinkedIn but plan to do so now it’s so easy with Tweetdeck and other clients. Twitter on the other hand is a mixture of the two. It’s public so I can’t authentically be one thing or the other. I mix up work and play but am always careful to keep my professional responsibilities in mind. But it never hurts to show the business world that you’re human and have a sense of humour; it’s one of my personal work goals to put a human face on my company.

    While treating these three services differently is a little time-consuming, I think it’s more respectful to feed relevant content to my different audiences than to seek the time-efficiencies offered by linking feeds. Personally I find it really boring to see the same update appear on three different social networks; it suggests to me that the writer couldn’t be bothered to tailor their message to me and there’s little that turns me off more than that. For that reason I wouldn’t even run a short test as you suggest; it just feels wrong to treat different audiences the same way.

  4. Hi Kathryn
    Thanks for initiating this useful and topical discussion. I would totally agree with Allister here. As a fairly new Twitter user (Jan. ’10) I’m still learning. I’ve recently added 2 other Twitter accounts to my usual one, with the aim of sending more relevant tweets to different audiences. It is more time consuming but I think it will pay off in the long run.
    I am trying to remember to link relevant tweets to Linkedin, but don’t always! I don’t use FB for anything work-related.
    Has anyone else decided on separate Twitter accounts?

    Debbie

  5. Debbie are the various Twitter feeds for your personal and business tweets? That sounds exhausting, I’ll love to hear how it works for you. It is an interesting concept, but seems too involved for me.

  6. @Soyini: I use three Twitter accounts: one is my personal feed (@rcosgrove), the second is my magazine’s feed (@pczone), and the third is for promoting (or rather a stumbling attempt to promote) a film I made (@goodbyefilm).

    I can keep the seperate by using HootSuite (http://hootsuite.com). It’s like an online version of Tweetdeck, so I can follow all my Twitter accounts, and selectively post to them.

    HootSuite can also post to and follow Facebook and LinkedIn news feeds, which simplifies things for me.

    The big downside is trying to follow five news feeds without spending my entire time watching my HootSuite account page.

    I also use Selective Twitter and have linked my LinkedIn profile to Twitter, for when I can’t access get on HootSuite.

    I must admit, I’m a bit stumped why Matt has a “never read” set of blog feeds. If you don’t read a blog, why continue to following its news feed?

    – Richard

  7. Where I got to with this was:

    * there’s no harm in linking the two – people don’t, as far as I can tell, feel spammed by status updates in LinkedIn, the way they sometimes do in FB if they get the frequency of updates you post to something like Twitter. This is perhaps normally because many more people in FB like to read everything in their streams, whereas Twitter users have developed their approach to dipping in and out without worrying about missing something.
    * I don’t link Twitter and LinkedIn, but I will post occasionally to both and leave the LinkedIn post there for a while. I think of it in terms of the LinkedIn user experience – people visiting my profile,
    or seeing me in their stream will mostly only be there occasionally. So significant things like an event I am organising or a trip to a city I leave up there – both sorts of update will be potentially useful to my network in the context of LinkedIn: noteworthy work and places I will be that might mean we can meet up or recommend something to do.
    * There’s no right way to connect up your networks, there’s just what works for you and your connections. That takes thinking and tinkering to get it right and is worth revisiting every now and again…

    Mat’s very thoughtful on this topic – his dividing out of FB and other networks was one of the first thought through personal network approaches I saw and informed some of what I wrote about in my book.

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