So you’re using Facebook, but you’re still not sure about Twitter? A lot of people think that because of their Facebook presence, Twitter would be redundant for them. I think I know why they feel that way. I believe it has a lot to do with Twitter’s status update prompt: “What’s happening?” They see a few folks who use those precious few 140 characters to share the mundane details of daily life and they think, “Wait, don’t I already do that on Facebook?” And they’re right. Except that this isn’t what you should do on Twitter. Twitter has a higher calling, as it were, which is great to be a part of once you understand a few key points. Make no mistake, I don’t THINK you should be on Twitter. I KNOW you should be there.
Much as I love and use it now, I readily admit at first I didn’t “get” Twitter. I don’t think most people do, initially. If you joined Facebook first, then Twitter may seem limited by comparison. Yet, Twitter in my opinion is by far a better medium to get really useful information from reliable sources on just about any topic of interest quickly and efficiently. Its brevity, which novices can find limiting and even frustrating, is its best and most valuable feature. Each tweet is easy to digest, can be easily shared, and the short bursts of info enable you to cover more “ground” quickly. The symbols and shorthand are easy to learn and use once you visit the site a few times. I use it both as communication and research tool. By following those individuals, organizations, and companies who have content of interest to you, you’ll find it an invaluable and virtually unlimited resource platform to use for your personal and professional benefit and that of others. Have a complaint about a company on Twitter? You’ll likely get a response in hours, if not minutes. Want to stay abreast of current events? Often the first place I learn of breaking events is Twitter. Other mediums are slow by comparison. Have insights to share? Tweet it. Looking for a job? Post a link to your resume. The possibilities are endless.
As for the redundancy issue, remember, Facebook is more about personal connections with people you’re acquainted with, and sharing information in much greater detail. Twitter is better used as a pointer of sorts to worthy information of greater general interest to many people. They are two completely different tools that complement each other.
My advice? Sign up at Twitter.com. Right now. Read over the Twitter Basics in the Help section, and if you’re a business, check out that section, too. Both appear at the bottom of theTwitter page. Next, type in some topics of interest, start following a few folks, and tweet at least twice a day. Offer interesting content (including links where appropriate) ask questions, (even about Twitter itself – people love to help) respond to requests for info when you can, be friendly, and let your personality shine. In other words, be your interesting and unique self and you‘ll reap the rewards. Concerned about the time it takes? Don’t be – you can do all this in 15-20 minutes a day several days a week. I promise.
New to Twitter ? If you have questions we’d be happy to address them, If you are a seasoned Twitterholic, tell us what you love about it!
Guest post by Liz DeLoach of the Social Strategies. Please be sure to check out her company and website at http://socialmediawiz.biz. You can also find her on Twitter at @SocialStrateg and, of course, on FaceBook.