We do a lot with Facebook. We schedule events, investigate potential boyfriends and girlfriends, and look up old high school classmates to see what they've done with their lives. But more importantly, we stay in touch with friends and family and share photos. Twitter doesn't serve the same role: Though both are social networks, Twitter is about reaching out to an audience and sharing interesting information. It's about expanding your social circle in the interest of self-promotion or brand promotion, or following the developments of industries you're invested in.
Many of us use both, which makes sense -- they fill different roles and let us connect with different people. But this can present a problem: What if we want to send a message out to our followers on Twitter and our friends on Facebook? Posting on each site manually will get old very, very quickly. The solution: Post a single message on both networks simultaneously! Because Twitter messages can only be 140 characters long, pushing short Twitter messages to Facebook makes more sense than doing the opposite.
The simplest solution lies in Twitter's official Facebook app. By logging into your Facebook account, you can install the app, then give it permission to update your Facebook status via Twitter posts [source: InsideFacebook]. With the Twitter app up and running and linked to your Facebook account, your tweets will automatically find their way to Facebook with no extra effort on your part. But maybe that's not what you're looking for. Maybe you want to get your updates on Twitter and Facebook without actually using either website. Or perhaps you want to post messages to even more social networks -- Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and MySpace, too. There are tools out there that put Twitter's basic Web interface to shame -- let's take a look at a few clients to make posting messages on Facebook and Twitter quick and convenient.
Clients for Tweeting to Facebook
If there's a better Twitter client than TweetDeck, Twitter itself probably doesn't know about it -- the company paid about $50 million to buy TweetDeck in May 2011 [source: Valentino-DeVries]. It's easy to see why people use TweetDeck -- the client can be used on computers, mobile devices and the Web and offers a number of tools to make tweeting easier. Followed Twitter accounts can be split into different groups with unique notification options, posts can be scheduled in advance, and URL shorteners and media uploads are baked right into the interface. And, of course, there's the tool that gives TweetDeck its place in this article: Facebook support.
A TweetDeck account acts like a master account that contains your profiles for multiple services. You can easily just use it for Twitter, but it also supports Facebook, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, MySpace and FourSquare. Once logged into your account, you can post a message to multiple accounts simultaneously or choose which account an update goes out to. Want to post something to your Facebook friends but not your Twitter followers? No problem. In fact, TweetDeck does more than that -- it lets you bring most of the Facebook experience into the app. You can view the Facebook stream of updates and photos without ever closing the app.
TweetDeck's hardly the only application that merges social networks into a single, easy-to-use interface. HootSuite supports the same services, plus a few more, and offers a combined social media dashboard that allows you to manage all your feeds simultaneously, as well as mobile apps for iPhone and iPad, Android and Blackberry. Another TweetDeck competitor, Seesmic, offers the same widespread integration and the ability to post messages to a single account or multiple profiles. While all three programs can be installed as standalone applications on various platforms, they're also accessible via the Web. If you use TweetDeck, HootSuite or Seesmic, there's little reason to ever go to Twitter's official Web site.
Products like TweetDeck and Seesmic primarily exist to make life more convenient. Posting messages to Facebook and Twitter independently really isn't that difficult, but doing both at once is easier. Just remember that Twitter and Facebook are different social networks -- messages aimed at your family probably don't need to go out over Twitter. Know your audience, find the app that's right for you, and make sure you know how to post a perfect tweet. You're set!
- HootSuite.com. "HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard." (July 25, 2011) http://hootsuite.com/
- Mysore, Sahana. "How to Sync Your Twitter and Facebook Status Updates." Jan. 22, 2009. (July 23, 2011) http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/01/22/how-to-sync-your-twitter-and-facebook-status-updates/
- Seesmic.com. "Seesmic - All of your social media services in one place." (July 25, 2011) http://seesmic.com
- Valentino-DeVries, Jennifer. "Twitter Buys TweetDeck." May 25, 2011. (July 23, 2011) http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/05/25/twitter-buys-tweetdeck/