In the last six weeks, I’ve been suspended from Twitter and banned from Facebook–but not to worry. Social media is forgiving of newbies to the network. Soon I found myself back in their good graces. See, I’d taken some bad advice from sites who said they knew how to build an online presence quickly. What they said was a hoax. I learned Facebook won’t allow me to establish new friendships with people of different cultures. I had to know them first. I also discovered how to find people on Twitter with whom I have common interests–who are apt to appreciate my tweets and blog posts.
When I researched the right social media writers should use, it was unanimous that Facebook and Twitter were the top two–but they are diametrically different. Susan Orlean, New Yorker journalist and author of The Orchid Thief, looks at Twitter as “a noisy cocktail party, with lots of chatting and quick interactions, a kind of casual free-for-all,” and Facebook a combination of “high school and college reunion and therapy group.” I have to agree. Facebook is about life–what people are doing, where people are going, and what they see and share that inspires and tickles and makes them sad. For the most part, it is encouraging and uplifting where conversations are held close to the heart.
On Twitter, though, short thoughts, idea sharing, and loyal followers are the keys to success. If relationships aren’t developed and tweets returned quickly, followers are easily dropped. There is even a website that can help you “unfollow” those who aren’t active. It’s sort of a crap shoot–you follow someone and hope they follow you back. But Twitter can take time away from actually writing–and that’s a bad thing.
Some use Twitter as a daily log of comings and goings and sharing what interests them during the day, but Facebook users get annoyed with so may status updates. With them, pacing is key (which I’m still learning). Once a day is more than enough with Facebook friends.
You may be thinking that this is old news–everyone knows how to navigate on Facebook and Twitter by now. I think I’ve alienated my Facebook friends for a while when I double post between my blog and Twitter that I can’t seem to correct. My son’s girlfriend hates Facebook and loves Twitter, but she’s the only person in my immediate sphere of influence who does. Only two nieces of mine have a Twitter account and neither uses them. But that’s MY family.
I believe the world is heading down the Twitter road faster and faster. Facebook and other sites are incorporating hash tags now and Twitter accepts pictures and video to make their tweets visually appealing. Do you think that we’ll soon have a social networking site called Twitbook or Facer that combines the best of both worlds? I’d like that.
- Facebook is the suburbs while Twitter is the city (melissafergusson.com)