Who has time to post individual updates to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter? We’re all running a mile a minute trying to cram more and more things into our day, so why not make life a little easier on ourselves by automating some of the process? It’s so simple to use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck or one of the dozens of other platforms to feed all your posts from one network to all the others, creating a never-ending loop of content. It’s fast. It’s painless. It’s easy. As a social media company, people confess to this all the time. And it makes me sad.

It’s wrong, and it’s ruining your social media efforts. Here are five reasons to stop linking your social media accounts together–now.

1. It’s confusing. For instance, if you push tweets to Facebook (or LinkedIn), your messages might be filled with strange symbols that make no sense in the context of Facebook–like @ signs and # signs that aren’t traditionally used on Facebook. Because significantly more people use Facebook than use Twitter, these can come off as just plain bewildering.

2. The timing is off. People on Twitter might tweet 50 or more times a day while thinking nothing of it. On Facebook, a couple of posts a day is acceptable. On LinkedIn, some people post only once a day, and many post far less. By connecting all the accounts, you’re ruining the natural timing and pacing of each network. Posting once a day on Twitter is far too little–but posting 50 times a day on LinkedIn is far too much.

3. It’s repetitive. Some people might follow you on multiple networks, believe it or not. While duplicating an occasional post is fine, when you duplicate everything, people get bored. And then they unfollow, unlike or disconnect. After all, what’s the point in following you on multiple networks when you’re just going to repeat yourself like an echo?

4. Things fall through the cracks. When you post every update to every network, there’s really no reason to regularly check each network. After all, everything feeds automatically, so why waste the time? This is much more efficient. Sure, you might check your primary network, but what if someone posts something in response on a little-visited site like LinkedIn, or it gets lost in the shuffle on Facebook? Overly automating makes it too easy for messages to get lost in your misguided quest for efficiency.

5. It’s missing the point. Pushing all updates to all networks means you’re using social media as a broadcast network, not as a way for genuine communication. You’re forcing one untargeted message down the throats of anyone willing to like, follow or connect with you–and that’s a disservice to them. And it’s a disservice to you. Take the time to craft interesting, unique messages for each social network. If you don’t have the time, it’s okay to focus on one network. Make your LinkedIn page the best it can be, or really pour some love into Facebook. But don’t just spray your message and pray it hits someone.

Need help?  Consider attending one of the Free social media seminars offered by Roundpeg, an Indianapolis social media firm.