Are LinkedIn and Twitter becoming unsocial?

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Linkedin iPad

As a practicing B2B social media marketer, I use LinkedIn and Twitter extensively to share thoughts with my Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections. To make it easier to share the same content across both platforms, a link was provided between Twitter and LinkedIn. You could use this in two ways by either replicating all your tweets on LinkedIn or selectively sharing your tweets with your LinkedIn contacts by including a #in hashtag in your tweet.

Sadly, this feature is no longer available. This is what was reported on Bloomberg news:

“LinkedIn Corp., owner of the world’s biggest professional-networking website, said posts from Twitter Inc. will no longer be displayed on its site, as the microblogger encourages users to visit its own services.

“They don’t want people to consume and interact with Twitter in places where they probably have no ability to put ads,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research.

I wonder how many people around the world are hastily changing their social strategies in reaction to this announcement. While I understand the reasoning about the “severed” relationship, I do not appreciate how these decisions are made and carried out without any due consideration of the millions of users of these social networks (many of which are paying users).

So going forward, if there is a specific update you want to share with your respective Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections, you have to do this independently on each platform. I tested the #in hashtag this morning which used to conveniently replicate your tweets on LinkedIn, but alas, this does not appear to work anymore. The link from LinkedIn to Twitter is still available however, enabling you to share LinkedIn updates, group discussions, etc. with your Twitter followers, but for how long I wonder?

I am pleased in a way that this has happened, as it will thwart the spammers that broadcast continuously across all these channels. It will also encourage users to manage their conversations independently too. LinkedIn users are generally different from Twitter users and the tone and content of the conversations differ too. I received a request from one of my LinkedIn contacts a while back. He told me that he found the links I shared with him very useful but he asked if I can strip out the “other” updates which he didn’t find useful. Upon investigation I discovered that the “other” updates were my Twitter conversations which a LinkedIn professional user, who is not accustomed to Twitter, would consider gibberish.

My take on this is that Twitter wants to make more money from their advertising and stopping Twitter updates from appearing on LinkedIn will force users to interact with content on their platform. Correct me if I am wrong here, but I thought social media (i.e. marketing 2.0) was all about word-of-mouth advertising. Twitter is brazenly promoting and encouraging “marketing 1.0″ behaviour.

In conclusion, I think this move is good because we should be using the two platforms differently. It also discourages marketers that adopt a “spray and pray” approach with their content. It also teaches us all that you mustn’t assume relationships between these platforms will be there for evermore.

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  • http://twitter.com/ohgodknows Greg Arthur

    I agree with you David. The platforms all fulfill an unique role in our communication as they have different audiences…some of which are more a community than an audience, therefore requiring a different tone. Once you establish why you are each platform you will begin to understand how the message needs to be slightly different on each platform.
    Thanks for this article.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Thank you for your comment Greg!

  • Eric V. Guichard

    I disagree. I think we are at a place where tools can be created to filter which msg are viewed by which platform (friends vs. Professional colleagues.) This is a lazy response from Linkedin. They simply could have created ad reciprocity tools between twitter and their platform. Now by disintegrating our ability to reach our various communities efficiently they’ve lowered switching costs for their users looking for an integrated solution. There will be an app for that.

  • http://twitter.com/entegral Adriaan Grové

    Here is an interesting view from Erik Jackson from @ericjackson from Forbes suggesting that twitter is doing exactly the right thing “Cutting Off Leeches” http://goo.gl/AfZkZ

  • Eric V. Guichard

    Well, took me less than an hour to find the app that solves this problem. Feast on HootSuite.com, my new fav app.

  • http://www.twitter.com/NazareenE Nazareen Ebrahim

    Thanks for the article Graham.

    I will say, rather neutrally, that this move is welcome in a way.

    I am a social media and content manager and have always advised clients away, from posting across platforms with one click. The sharing ability does not appeal to me as the platforms have their own context and method of speaking.

    It was also quite irritating to see tweets come up on my LinkedIn timeline about topics or threads of conversations that clearly belong to the Twitter space.. everything from latest matches being played to meeting a prospective client for a drink later.. not good content management, even if it posted under a personal profile.

    The same rules apply : be you a personal profile, brand, company, artist or organisation, you need to exercise clever content management. This not only tells people that you care enough about what you’re putting out there, but that you’re keeping the real-time reading, innovative, interesting and relevant.

    It is a different argument when you talk about social media management clients i.e. Hootsuite and Sprout Social.. but its for a different forum.

  • http://twitter.com/nathomson Natascha Thomson

    What about #FB? Thanks for the blog,

    Natascha

  • http://twitter.com/nikolauseberl Dr Nik

    Thanks for putting this into perspective, David! Maybe this points the way for a new kind of social media – one that is user focused rather than advertiser driven – in your opinion, what could be the next big wave of B2C and B2B media?

  • Thapelo Radebe

    I got a job using linkedin, it’s doing its job.

  • http://twitter.com/executiveoasis Executive Oasis Intl

    Actually it is Twitter that does not want their tweets showing up on LinkedIn. Check my tweetstream I posted the article @executiveoasis

  • Lee Traupel

    You raise many good points – one that especially should be underscored; i.e. these are different platforms and communities and the messaging may need to be separate and unique.
    I love LinkedIn but as it has increased in popularity the endless stream of HR, Recruiter and “job consultants” is diluting the brand and platform. And, LinkedIn seems to have no interest in metering back any of the requests for connection.

    Clearly, LinkedIn, like Facebook and Twitter is so focused on revenue generation the user experience takes a back seat at times. The social web is maturing!

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  • http://twitter.com/dblacombe Doug Lacombe

    If you’re dying to have the “selective tweets to LinkedIn” feature again it’s easy to replicate using dlvr.it with a #in rule. Same works for Facebook and #fb (or any other hashtag you might choose). I think there might even be IFTTT.com recipes to do the same or similar.

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