Everyone wants to try and leverage social media to help their marketing, advertising and P.R. teams get the jump on tomorrow. Well, hopefully everyone, because it is powerful. The first thing is making sure you have the right person for the job. While some people claim to be so-called gurus, they’re only actual experience is playing at home with their own facebook or Twitter. There is a lot more behind the cover, and a good deal to learn before trying your hand at working it. You have to learn the difference between the platforms and how they’re used seperately. To some, Facebook and Twitter might seem similar and you might want to be posting the exact same thing on both platforms. The truth is, they’re meant to be two seperate entities.
Facebook, the big boy on campus, with 500 million followers and growing is a much larger, multi-purpose platform . Starting out as a social network for colleges where you could share photos and messages as well as contact info, has grown into one of the largest mediums of advertising and marketing in the world. These days, more people are visting a brand’s Facebook page rather then their actual website. This is somewhat the purpose of Facebook. Its a way to create communication and share about anything and everything. Between brand and consumer the two can interact seamlessly. With everything from company updates, media, press releases, applications, in app purchases and more, its a powerhouse of sorts. Facebook is meant to the be the face of the brand. You “like” pages of brands and celebrities. There is no following back from them. Facebook is more so a social playground. Its not something you really want to use for news or a professional profile, not that you can’t. Leave that stuff to sites like LinkedIn and even Twitter.
Twitter on the other hand was designed as a microblog. You have 140 characters to say whatever you want including a link. Now with Twitter 2.0, you can share media and it doesn’t hurt your character count. Twitter is meant to be a newsfeed where information is shared. The message needs to be short and straight to the point. It also has to be unique and enticing if you want to draw people to it. In Twitter you can follow whoever and if they choose, can follow you back, whether its a brand, celebrity or average Joe. With the incorporation of hashtags, users are allowed to create trends in which twitter follows and posts. A trend is a topic a lot of people are relaying over and over. You also can retweet and reply. There are plenty of sites used to measure your reach, influence and many other metric of a twitter account. You tend to retweet things you enjoy, and people do the same to do. You also want to @reply to people as well. All together it helps you grow. Twitter is a great medium for networking and making connections you wouldn’t elsewhere. As you retweet and mention people, they notice and see and hopefully, will start following you or will mention you back. I’ve found this a great way to get in touch with some of my favorite inspirations.
Some people get the mistake that Twitter is merely posting a message every little miniscule thing you do during your day. This is a misconception, don’t believe everything you see or hear. People do that, thats what you want to ignore. Take a more serious approach with, You can have fun with it, its not meant to be strictly business. If you’re looking for connections in your industry, its a great start. With sites like Twellow, you can search for people doing the same thing you do in your area, or maybe where you want to live. Follow them, respond to their tweets and see where it leads. Follow your favorite bloggers, writers, news sites, brands, etc. Grow from it and learn.