Facebook and Twitter: A Love Story

Friday, February 18, 2011

As my BlackBerry alarm rudely interrupts the last fleeting moments of my precious slumber, the first thing I do upon waking up is check my Facebook page.  The second thing I do is go to the washroom.  The third thing I do is check Twitter.

I check Facebook first because I want to know what's happening with the people I have tangible connections with.  I go to the washroom because it's a thing of nature.  I check Twitter last because I use it was a connection to the news and media world.

I clearly have my priorities in check.

Facebook and Twitter have completely different functions depending on how and why you use them.  My mom, for instance, uses Facebook to keep tabs with her family and friends.  And to play Farmville.  Now, if she owned a small business like a restaurant or catering company, and relied on Facebook for networking and business endeavors, then she'd use it completely differently.

Not only does Ebert know movies, he
 sends some damn funny tweets.
Twitter is a different animal.  It's appeal is simple: everything scrapped to a skeletal structure of 140 characters.  But not really.  Take a quick flip through your Twitter feed, and you'll notice that most tweets from businesses, media outlets, and Roger Ebert come with links to other sites.  Really, you're getting a lot more than just the 140 characters.  You're given a ticket into the larger mainframe of a companies machine.

If I was in charge of public relations for a company, I would use Facebook and Twitter interchangeably.  The base of knowledge that I'd want my publics to know would be available on the company website and Facebook page.  Humans are visual creatures.  They want to absorb photos, links, graphics, and bright lights.

Twitter needs to be used as a friendly, subtle, and intriguing gateway for people to visit your website and Facebook page.  This is done best by casting away all the business and advertising jargon, and to just be real.  A human element needs to be prevalent and authentic for Twitter--in a pr capacity--to be effective.

Now, not every company or brand adheres to this successful prototype I've outlined.  The biggest violators are celebrities.  Figures like Kanye West, LeBron James, and Desean Jackson (only to name a few) use Twitter as their own personal ego-boost service.  I've analysed Twitter accounts like these and have found little evidence of even a hint of a two-way communication model.

Really though, I guess it's naive to think that celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers would follow a two-way model.  But some do.  Often, athletes like Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, and Reggie Bush will send a tweet with a trivia question or something, and the first person to get it right gets tickets to the next home game.

 Now, that's what I'm talking about.  Twitter etiquette that will have people following for the right reasons.


  1. Dude, this is a great blog! Your writing and views on things astound me. Your blogs are always so informative and a pleasure to read. This seemed like a great assignment our class, never got requested to do the Facebook/Twitter relationship.

    Very poignant sir. Have your writing style unfold in front of me, with the facts interveaved throughout makes it clear that you made the right choice with Journalism.


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