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Please Don’t Auto-Publish Everything You Do On Facebook To Twitter

As I was browsing my Twitter list of North Carolina Senators I noticed an almost universal bad habit. Senators are automatically publishing every action they take on Facebook to their Twitter feed. I can understand why they thought this was a good idea. They get publish content once on a platform they are more familiar with, and it will automagically appear on a platform they, more than likely, wouldn’t otherwise use, further spreading their political message.

It’s a good theory, but in practice it leads to weird formatting and cut offs,

tweets with absolutely no context

shared photos that are missing the all-important photo part

and spammy, duplicated messaging.

Fully automated accounts have an additional, unseen flaw: they’re usually never checked. Twitter is an interactive platform. If you never log in, you can’t respond to anything and aren’t truly participating.

Automation isn’t inherently evil, but there are much better ways to accomplish it. I will detail some of them in future posts. In the meantime, most politicians shouldn’t be logging into their accounts directly anyway. Instead, use a social media management suite to keep posts on appropriate platforms. Hootsuite is free for up to three profiles, and though it’s far from perfect, it’s better than the status quo.