It never fails that you’ll see an article here or there on the “Rules” of social media or marketing as a whole. Sometimes these rules are pretty solid. Sometimes they’re stupid. But like anything else, there is always a time to break social media rules.
One of my personal rules?
Never link accounts. What do I mean by that? Never have what you post on Facebook automatically post to Twitter. Never have what you post on Instagram post automatically to Facebook. Etcetera.
Each of these platforms has its own unique ways of operating. If you automatically post your Facebook content to twitter you’ll get tweets that are truncated and look bizarre. You’ll usually be missing hashtags that could make you a part of a conversation or topic and you’ll likely not tag people who might need to see what you’ve written.
The same is true if you post your Instagram to Facebook. Instagram LOVES hashtags. HASHTAG ALL THE THINGS! It’s how people find content they want to explore. But seeing an endless stream of hashtags on Facebook is both annoying and tacky- Facebook doesn’t do hashtags except in joke.
And really, regardless of the medium, your fans deserve quality content and effort don’t they? Well… mostly yes.
But as with anything, there’s an exception to every rule.
Meet my friend Nial. He owns and runs Hovercraft Amplifiers. He builds beautiful stuff and does an awesome job of posting it to Instagram along with personal pics. His fans love him and he’s growing a huge following there.
But Nial is also a sole proprietor who does everything himself, from answering endless emails to building these amps to packaging and shipping them out- and EVERY OTHER THING in between.
He doesn’t have time to manage every social media channel. To be honest, he doesn’t have time to do half of the stuff he’s actually doing. The fact that he can find time to even be on Instagram is a miracle.
And yet being on Facebook would be solid for his business and indeed Hovercraft has a page there… a page with 10k fans. A page that he has no time to manage and has basically “shut down” by telling folks he won’t be posting there anymore.
You got it. Link your Instagram account to Facebook and have it automatically post to Facebook for you. He should be able to even turn off comments or at least, let fans know that they can’t get in touch with him on Facebook (remember, he has no time for community management… no really, he doesn’t).
This would help keep his page alive, with content and when it comes time to advertise on Facebook folks could see that something was being posted on the page.
For normal folks this would be problematic
REACH and all… but unlike most folks his fans actually are pretty rabid… he doesn’t need to worry too much about his reach and right now, with a page that isn’t being used, it can’t actually be less. Remember, he posts pictures of his dinner on Instagram and people still love it. Not everyone can get away with that. He is a celebrity for the work he does and people want to see his process, even if it’s not well-polished marketing content with solid community management and perfect response times.
So yes, there are times to break rules. Does this mean YOU should instantly have all of your Instagram posts pushed to Facebook? Probably not. Do you honestly have 10k fans you grew without trying who would care what you ate for dinner? No? Then the answer is NO.
The key to breaking rules is to know when it’s actually appropriate and not just doing it because you want to.