Facebook and Twitter

This post may seem like something of a rehash of old posts, but there is still so much chatter online about effective use of social media that I will risk repeating myself.  I’ve explained that I use Facebook for friends, Twitter primarily with Trendsmap, and LinkedIn for professional contacts.  Other folks have a different formula.  I was surprised to start getting more “followers” on Twitter even though I post there very irregularly.  I can’t offer an explanation.

Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, was on Charlie Rose recently.  It seemed more than coincidence that happened about the same time as the uprising in Tunisia where Twitter again played prominently in the news as it did in Iran a few years ago.  Of course, this time it was with different results.

Twitter has a different business model and functions differently than Facebook, which has been getting a lot of publicity lately because of the movie and the cover story in Time of founder Mark Zuckerberg. Jack’s comment to Charlie Rose focused on the fact that his company is compatible across all platforms and is more efficient in real-time reporting than existing instant mail (IM) systems.  The only messaging system I’ve used is iChat that is limited to the Macintosh platform, and only one friend and I have used it to visit.  It really isn’t intended as a reporting platform.  I only “follow” a few people on Twitter, and one posts several times daily and others post irregularly.  Famous people like Lady GaGa and Ashton Kutcher, who parlayed his Twitter activities into commercials and self-promotion, have thousands of followers.

The basic question for writers is how do you use these various forms of social media to market yourself and to attract clients.  The process requires more than just “keeping your name out there” and in accumulating lots of “friends” or “followers.”  I’ve never understood how anyone could claim to have a dialogue with 5,000 people.  It’s strictly a monologue and too similar to fan clubs of the old days.  I see tons of stuff everyday from self-appointed gurus, or experts, in how to use social media.   They ask you to just download their “free” report, i.e. give them your email address so that you can be categorized as having legally “opted in” to their email distribution system.  The cacophony has become deafening, and I’m afraid that I’m getting to the point of tuning it out.  Just because “everybody is doing it” doesn’t mean that it is an effective marketing tool for you.

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