How to Sync Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Social Activity

Using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to grow your ecommerce business can be a time drain. These social apps will help you link social profiles to share content – and save time.

Ecommerce business owners love social media. Used correctly and this new communication channel is a great way to connect with your online customers. While Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are free to use, they do come at a cost: your time.

Ecommerce SOHO and small business owners already have a full-time job running a business, and social media can increase your daily work load and take away from time that should be spent on other business management tasks.

One way to cut down on the amount time you spend managing social activity is to use a social app that can manage social identities, simultaneously post content across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or even schedule posts in advance.

Caution: Think Before you Sync

Before syncing your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, look at each service and how you use it. Most businesses tend to use each social service for a different reason, so a tweet to your Twitter followers might not be the kind of message you would normally share with your LinkedIn connections.

There's a difference between sharing content between Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and auto-syncing the accounts. Syncing means you send the exact same message to all three services from a single post. This should be a short-term solution and not something you always do. To be socially successful you have to take the time to be unique and creative and syncing won't win you big points with followers.

Sharing content is a good option when you post special announcements or direct users to Web articles or blog posts. You can do this more often because the messages are suitable for all three social platforms.

5 Tools to Manage Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Activity

The best reason to use a social management tool is because it gives you the option to share content and sync accounts when you need to. For example, if you're short on staff or if you plan to travel, you still need to maintain your social activity, but you have less time to fit it in. A social app can help you get multiple updates out on each social service faster than logging in and updating each one manually.

If you use a third-party app to manage the accounts instead of linking accounts from within the social platforms you get the best of both worlds. This lets you use the app's single dashboard to cross-post content, but you can still post unique messages directly from your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile.

HootSuite Social Media Dashboard

HootSuite is a social media dashboard that lets you update Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress from a single app. It features custom analytics to track follower growth, it incorporates Facebook Insights and Google analytics, plus you can schedule posts in advance and connect RSS feeds to auto-update posts. 

HootSuite offers a basic free account, but it's ad-supported and offers limited features (five social profiles and two RSS feeds). The upgraded Pro plan ($5.99 per month) offers a team collaboration function, so that a second contributor can share social profiles and activity. Additional team member pricing starts at $15 each per month.  

The free account might work well for SOHO and entrepreneurs, but if you invest a lot of time in social activity for your business, the Pro Plan is more likely to meet your needs.

Seesmic Social Service Management

Seesmic is a free beta service that synchronizes and manages multiple online social accounts including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr.  Depending on the application you use (e.g. Seesmic Desktop,  Seesmic Mobile or Seesmic Web), you may have access to Klout, Zendesk and Salesforce Chatter integration as well.

New users need to create a Seesmic Profile, then add other social accounts and choose a Seesmic app to access your social dashboard. With Seesmic you can see all social profiles from one dashboard and use social features such as post scheduling, shorten URLs, search and sync accounts.

Yoono Unites Social Networks

Available as a desktop, browser or mobile app, Yoono supports a number of popular social services including Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, FriendFeed, Foursquare, LinkedIn, AIM, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger. Yoono's single dashboard lets you connect to all the supported services and update and share your status messages across all the platforms. Yoono is currently in beta and free to use.

Manage Your Identities with DandyID

If you have profiles and identities across a number of social and online platforms, a very handy tool for ecommerce business owners is DandyID. This service is designed to "collect" all your social profiles to help customers find the verified version of your business online.

The key benefit for business owners is that you can access all of your social accounts (individually) from within DandyID, and you'll save time getting to the social sites. The free version of DandyID lets you add and manage your social profiles from many online services and share your identities and profile with DandyID tools and plug-ins.

The Pro version ($4.99 per month) offers extra features including SEO-enhanced links, personal stats and social analytics.

How to Manually Link Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

If find yourself short on time (or staff), you can manually connect the social accounts from within each social site. This process will allow you to sync Twitter messages with Facebook and LinkedIn:

1.  Log in to Facebook and use Facebook's Twitter app to Link a Facebook Business Page with a Twitter account. Follow the step-by-step instructions and test auto-syncing by posting on Facebook and checking your Twitter account to make sure the message appears in both places.

2.  With Facebook and Twitter connected, from your LinkedIn profile choose Edit Profile, and make sure you have provided your Twitter name. You will need to choose Manage your Twitter Settings and check the box to display your Twitter account on your LinkedIn profile. Save your Twitter settings on LinkedIn.

3. Log in to Twitter (or Facebook) and post a message. You should see your message update on all three social sites.

Remember that auto-syncing from within the social platforms will send any update from Twitter or Facebook to all three social sites, and you may need to be a little more careful about the messages you send. To remove syncing, you need to manually remove the applications and change settings on all three profiles.

More Social Marketing Tips for Ecommerce Businesses

Are you looking to get a better handle on integrating social media marketing into your ecommerce marketing plan? Try these tips and guides for small business ecommerce sites:

 Based in Nova Scotia, Canada, Vangie Beal has spent the last decade contributing featured articles and reviews to more than 20 technology-focused publications, including Webopedia and Ecommerce-Guide. You can tweet with her online @AuroraGG.

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