As many community managers know, you often have the same message to spread across different platforms, a skill in itself. Messages should be tailored to their respective audiences and platform constraints. This often includes transforming messages from an “unlimited” amount of space (Facebook) into a micro-message limited to 140 characters (Twitter).
For me, I look at turning Facebook posts into tweets as a puzzle. You have to fit 200-300 character messages into 140 – or ideally 120 (to leave room for retweet messages). When you account for the 22 characters used for a link, you’re left with a mere 98 characters to fit in your message.
So, how can you fit a complete, grammatically correct sentence or two into just 98 characters or less? Here are some tips:
- Shave it down to the core message. What exactly do you need to say with no frills? Start with that and your link, plus any additional hashtags. Then go from there if more reductions are needed.
- Use ampersands, numerals and contractions when possible. Using “&” instead of “and” will whittle it down from five characters (accounting for spaces) to three. Using the numeral “7” instead of “seven” will knock off four characters.
- Can you change a sentence into a question? Sometimes, questions can be shorter than full sentences, and you’re also more likely to pique curiosity about the link you’re pointing users to.
- Use active voice instead of passive voice. You’ll get rid of extra “to be” verbs while using stronger language at the same time.
- Don’t resort to “texting language.” A tweet reading “R U looking 4 the best tips 4 tweeting?” is extremely unprofessional and should be avoided at all costs.
Automated linking of your Facebook page to Twitter handle shouldn’t be part of your strategy. Nothing makes less sense than a stream of tweets that are cut off before the key messaging due to automated Facebook synchronization. It can even cut off the link you’re sharing, sending your readers on a wild goose chase across platforms just to get your message – something hardly anyone has patience for, especially on mobile.
What about translating tweets back into Facebook posts? The first step is to make it grammatically correct and eliminate symbols and shortcuts. You have a little more room to work with, so you can briefly introduce your content before adding your call to action or conversation starter.
I also prefer to not include a double link – if your Facebook post already includes the link below, there’s no use in leaving it in the post, as well.
Overall, it just takes a little time to tweak each message for the right channel, so be patient, and you’ll come to the puzzle conclusion soon enough!
If you’re constantly changing Facebook posts into tweets and back, what are some tricks you have for making them channel appropriate?