Do you talk to your boss the same way you talk to your BFF? Do you call a potential employer as often as you chat with a coworker?

Hopefully, the answers to these questions is no. So why do people think  it’s all right to broadcast the same messages to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn?  It is so easy to link your feeds together using HootSuite and then just “set it and forget it” by blasting all of your updates to all of your social networks. Fight that urge to take the easy way out. Here are just a few reasons why treating all networks the same is undermining your social media success:

  • A status update like “OMG, was soooo wasted last night” is a pretty common sight on Facebook, but it’s not so appropriate in the more public and professional worlds of Twitter and LinkedIn. Likewise, your frat buddies might not care much about your great new blog post, but your LinkedIn audience sure does!
  • Each of the social networks has its own rhythm and pace. It’s not uncommon for someone on Twitter to post 50 times a day or more. Imagine pushing that all to your LinkedIn, where most people only post once a week. You can completely swamp someone’s feed with the constant barrage of useless information–causing them to hide all of your status updates. Even the good ones.
  • Hashtags, @ signs, and RTs are all characteristics of just one social network: Twitter. By pushing your Twitter updates to the other social networks, you run a very high risk of confusing people with its idiosyncratic language.

If you’re going to do social media, please take the time to do it right. It’s fine to just focus on one network–and in fact, it’s a great idea. But if you want to have a hand in each of them, craft messages that properly address each network, with the right frequency and the right lingo.