All those handy “timesaving” tools for managing your social presence, which let you blast out the same old content, sometimes repeatedly, across all the social networks you use, are as dangerous as a chainsaw in the hands of a chimp if you don’t use them thoughtfully.

You *know* that your audience on Twitter is very likely to be different from that on Facebook, right? And that your LinkedIn connections will almost certainly be a different kind of person, and expecting something a little less chummy than the tone with which you approach Facebook. So, using your social management platform to send the same thing everywhere is just going to ensure it’s not going to push anyone’s buttons.

We’ve also posted before about why it’s a bad idea to cross post from Facebook to Twitter, and vice-versa – but that really focused on the unappealing user experience that results, and a possible penalty in Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm which means your post won’t show in as many Timelines as you’d like. Just this week though, we’ve come across something even more fundamental.

Facebook’s #1 superpower

Beyond being a handy platform for conversations with your Likers, the real power of Facebook is the access is can potentially provide to your existing customers’ social networks. Whether you’re selling to extreme sports enthusiasts or young mums, the chances are that your existing customers are going to be above averagely well connected to others who share their enthusiasm for jumping off of cliffs or finding ingenious ways to get a shower before 2pm.

The real gold dust of Facebook marketing is building a relationship with, and providing valuable enough content to, your customers that they want to share it with the rest of their social network.

Posting from Twitter ruins your Sharing potential!

So, here’s the biggest reason of all why you should think very hard before setting up that cross post link. The image below shows a couple of posts on Facebook which have come via Twitter -notice anything unusual?

Facebook posts via twitter

Yup – the “Share” link is completely missing.  So no matter how great a job you do of posting great content, you’re significantly limiting your potential reach on Facebook. This is a really big issue, and one which more than justifies the extra few minutes that a direct post would’ve taken.

Save time elsewhere

Everyone, unless they’re lucky enough to have a well-resourced social media team, sometimes struggle to keep up with the workload. But there are so many better ways of saving time than this. For example – learn to use the prescheduling feature in Facebook, and a good software client for Twitter. Make sure you’re crystal clear about your strategy and audience, so you don’t waste time searching out irrelevant content or wondering what to talk about today. But cross posting is an enormous false economy – it’s really high time that Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all took those tempting “connect to…” buttons out of their signup routine, don’t you think?