When you post to facebook pages, you have the option of having each post tweeted in real time through a specified twitter account. By connecting your facebook page to twitter, not only will your facebook friends and likers see your posts, but your twitter followers will as well. With this system, even if you’re not using twitter, at the very least you are generating content and history in your twitter feed, and hopefully picking up some followers. Logging in to facebook and twitter directly will enable you to interact with other users, constituents, or networks to build your public voice, your visibility, and your participation in the online digital democracy.
In setting up your profiles, it makes most sense to title your twitter account similarly to your facebook page, so that other users will recognize you and be able to reference or “tag” you in both locations. Write your twitter bio in less than 160 characters, and build your twitter profile parallel to your facebook page’s “about” description. Once you set up your facebook page and a twitter account, you can connect your accounts. While you are logged in to the corresponding facebook and twitter accounts in the same browser, go to http://www.facebook.com/twitter/. Select the facebook page you want to connect with twitter. Follow the instructions – it’s just a few clicks. Now whenever you post a status update to your facebook page, the post will appear in your twitter timeline. Additionally, a tweet will be sent when you create an event or post photos in your facebook page. Likers and followers can interact with you in both places, so be sure to attend to the attention you draw, to continue to build your buzz.
To maintain an active, engaging facebook page, post at least 2-4 times per week. A simple, smart post goes like this:
- Share a link
This sharing process must become second nature. Copy and paste the link from the address bar of the article you want to share on your facebook and twitter feeds. First, go to the article, highlight the url in the address bar at the top of your browser window, and copy using [control C] or right click and “copy”. For efficient navigation practices, you should have your facebook page open in another tab in the same window. Click to that tab, and scroll down to the field under “status” where light gray letters say “Write something…” Paste your article link in that field with [control V] or by right-clicking “paste”. In a moment, you will ideally see a beautiful micro-blog style heading and intro with an image from your source site pop up below.
- Write an intro – your tweet!
Now that the article has appeared below, you can delete the long, messy internet link from your intro. In the “Write something…” field, write your own introduction to the article you are sharing. Why are you sharing it? What’s the message you want to convey? This intro is how you direct the discussion of your micro-blog. The first 120 or so characters will automatically tweet in your twitter feed, so use them well. The beginning of your intro is the headline of your idea, and is the only part that will appear on twitter along with a link to the article. After the second line of your intro, you can expound on your ideas if you like. A few lines is good. A few paragraphs can work once in a while. If you have more to write than a few paragraphs, then write it as a blog entry or as its own facebook note with its own article link.
- Include tags and mentions (facebook & twitter)
One of the greatest strengths of social media is that it’s interactive. Be sure to “Use Facebook As” your page from the “Edit Page” box, and interact on other pages in your field or with your audience. You can also mention or tag other pages in your facebook intro by typing @”page name” and clicking on the page in the drop-down box that appears. Facebook is unfortunately inconsistent in which pages will appear as tag options, so it’s not something to get hung up on if you cannot tag the page you are looking for. Sometimes the tag will show up as a post on the page you tagged. Always the tagged page in your intro will be blue and clicks through to the page itself. You can mention twitter handles of other twitter users by just including them in the first 120 characters of your intro, and those users will be notified of your mention through twitter. Hey, maybe they’ll even retweet or reply! Including #hashtags of topics you’re addressing will bring your post on twitter into the conversation threads, and make your tweet more easy to find. So include #hashtags at least now and then so your allies can find you. Careful not to overdo the twitter hashtags and mentions in your intro because it can become too cryptic. Balance your interactivity and sure the intro is easy and inviting for the facebook users who are not familiar with twitter lingo.
- Edit the link
Before you post, you can customize the look of the article as it appears below your intro. If there is an image option, click thru the arrows to find the thumbnail that best fits the article and page, or check the box “no thumbnail” if none work. Posts with images get read more, so use them if they work. Then when you glide the mouse over the article title or the article blurb, they will turn yellow. You can click on either of these and edit them. Feel free to refine the title, but keep it true to the article. If the intro that appears isn’t strong, you can copy a small section of the article itself that makes a key point, and paste that in as the blurb. When you’re all done, click the “share” button to post.
- Horizontal Posting
Share posts directly from other pages by clicking “share” under the post, and selecting “on your page” from the dropdown box. Inter-facebook exchanges like this leave trails for fans to find you and should be reciprocated by others among your social network. You can also share many website articles by clicking the share buttons on their sites, and in many cases the pop-up facebook box will give you an option above the “Write something…” field to “Share… On your own timeline.” Click “On your own timeline” to see the dropdown box, and click “On your page.” Fill out the intro and post as within facebook on your page. It can be beneficial to “share” directly from articles where your clicks are recorded and public, contributing to positive clout.
You’ll figure out tricks as you go. For example, work with your posts and links to share multimedia with your viewers through both facebook and twitter.
Maintain your sites
Check how your latest post looks on facebook and on twitter. Make sure that your top 3 posts, which are most visible, relay the message you intend. If it’s not right, clean it up. Look over twitter and make sure that each of your tweets make sense and that your timeline presents your story well. There are various opinions and plenty of data about how often to post, what times of the week, etc. There are facebook insights where you can analyze the data on your page. There are other apps that can help you track your impact. When people comment on your posts, “like” and even interact with them. Keep the page lively. If you want your page to look active, you should post weekly at a minimum. Maintain your sites, and monitor your stats. Pay attention to what gets a response from viewers. Go over your profile images, bio and about page periodically to be sure they identify you or your project effectively. Post links to your facebook page from your own website or blog, or post news or story links from other sites with an informative, contextual intro. Each interaction is more visibility. Your facebook page is your microblog and your twitter account is your headlines. All these tell the readers about your work, and can be picked up by press and quoted like press releases. Use them wisely!