What The Tweet? Friends vs Followers

I never thought I would say it, but Twitter is so much more than idle chatter and gossiping.  I’m upset that I waited so long to join as I assumed it was nothing more than a short dialogue (140 words) to give a quick update such as: I have to pee.  I fashioned it to the likes of MySpace, a place for kids while Facebook was a bit more intimate.  I was wrong and right.

I have only been on Twitter about a month or so, and it has taken this long to understand it all, but I have removed “Twitter for Dummies,” off my must read list at this point.  There are hashtags(#) and followers as opposed to friends and some lingo like “RT” which was confusing at first, but people are always willing to explain.  Within my first 24 hours I already had 5 followers, none whom I knew personally, so I began to wonder what the heck Twitter was.  A spamming site? A stalker site (well maybe, I do stalk Tim McGraw and Chuck Palahniuk…yep, I put them in the same sentence)? But it is so much more than that.   It is a place to meet other people who are just like me–writers– or have a service to offer people like me.  I simply search, “marketing,” and hundred if not thousands of people pop up for me to follow.  Or I can search, “writer,” and find other writers.  Do I know them? Nope, not-a-one.  But they all have something great to offer in the way of blogs, articles, helpful info and more.

Sure, some people spam with nothing more than plugs for their book or service, but if they get to be too cumbersome you can always unfollow.  Twitter can be a useful networking tool.  I have PR Web as a corp I follow and when I sent a message to the effects of, “Does @PRWeb really work?” PR Web responded with a list of Twitter followers I could ask.  That was nice.  I have also found many tweets to have links to great articles, reviews, and networking events.

How is it different from Facebook? Like I said previously, Facebook is more intimate created for your friends and family, and while they can definitely follow you on Twitter, Twitter seems to be more set up for networking.  I also don’t have to request to be friends with Ron Howard.  He is on Twitter and all I have to do is follow him (kinda exciting too), but that doesn’t mean he is following me.  On Facebook you have to send a friend request (on a personal page you want secured) and anxiously wait to be accepted…or not.  However, on Facebook you can set up an account to be open and accept all requests but it is still inherently different than Twitter.

Is there one I prefer over the other? No.  I like Facebook to be intimate with my friends, but I have my book site also to only talk about my book.  I really don’t want to spam my friends on FB on a daily basis with my marketing, publishing, and general book info all day, but I can put that on my FB page dedicated to my book.  Keep your friends separate I have learned, but make sure they know once in a while what is going on with your venture.  Twitter I like for the connections and to be interacting with others like me.  And I like to think I have some kind of connection to Tim McGraw, Ellen DeGeneres, Ron Howard, and James Patterson, but I also have a venue through #hesperia #highdesert #victorville to be able to share with my community what is happening.

Just imagine, twenty year ago I would have had to pay for an ad to get this much publicity out.  Now I can make connections, meet new people, give and receive advice all from the comforts of my bed and Hello Kitty pajamas.

I’m at @TaniaLRamos on Twitter

TaniaLRamos on Facebook (the one with my bookcover)


See you there!


2 responses to “What The Tweet? Friends vs Followers

  1. Tania, I really appreciate your post here–I’ve been dragging my scared heels to do anything beyond the blog. But you are the 2nd confirmation I’ve had that Twitter would be a good thing, and not that difficult. Thank you, always, for your humor and smarts–and very nice encouragements which I do ponder and mull over, even sub-consciously. (I’m wondering, now, if some Hello Kitty pjs wouldn’t dramatically turn the tide for me…hmmmm) God bless you today!

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