Twitter and Facebook: What’s Your Strategy?

The other day I was emailing a friend of mine about Twitter – he’s new to Twitter and hasn’t been liking it as much as Facebook. I was sending him some ideas I had about how to get more comfortable with Twitter, and I said something about “going broad” with Twitter, as compared to Facebook.

This got me thinking about how people approach these social networking sites.

I’m active both on Facebook and on Twitter, but I’m active in very different ways on each site.

image I keep my Facebook profile fairly private, and my friends list on the small side. Most of the friends in my Facebook account are either real-life friends, or online friends who’ve become good friends. I do have a few people on my friends list I don’t know very well, but very few.

I update my Facebook status with personal things – my thoughts of the day, pictures taken on my iPhone as I go about everyday life, links to funny or inspiring videos I come across … my latest Bejewelled score …

I have a great time on Facebook; it’s where I keep in touch with friends. I laugh a lot when I’m on the site, make comments, click on the “like” button quite often.

My daughter occasionally sends me funny, sweet little Facebook chat messages from her computer, which is a desk away from mine. My son sometimes makes quirky remarks on my wall that make me smile.

I seeimage Twitter, on the other hand, as being more wide open – more like a fabulous cocktail party to which everyone has been invited. I only have one rule of thumb when it comes to following people: I follow anyone I find interesting.

I go to Twitter to discover new links, catch up on the latest news, and chat with an assortment of fun people about lots of different things. I love that I don’t have to be there every day, every hour, every minute. I love that no matter what time of day it is, whenever I pop into Twitter, there’s usually some interesting conversations going on. I love never knowing what new thing I’ll discover through a link in someone’s tweet.

None of this would happen if I didn’t follow a wide assortment of people. So I keep my Twitter outlook broad.

As with Facebook, I have a great time with my Twitter account, but it’s a different kind of fun.

I’ve been wondering whether other people approach these two social media sites the same way I do. I know there are some people with a ton of friends on both Facebook and Twitter; I wonder what their approaches are to each site. Do they share the same things on each site? Are their friends and followers lists made up of the same people?

What do you do? Are you on both Facebook and Twitter? Do you participate frequently or infrequently? What’s your strategy for the best use of these two social networking sites?

34 thoughts on “Twitter and Facebook: What’s Your Strategy?

  1. Cathryn

    I approach Facebook and Twitter in exactly the same way you do … except I’m rarely on Twitter! I need to make some time to get better acclimated to it, and I think your post will prompt me to action.

    I know all my Facebook friends personally.
    .-= Cathryn´s last blog ..Where did THAT come from? =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      I first tried Twitter last year, Cathryn, and was just so overwhelmed – I think I lasted three days! But then in March of this year, I decided to give it another try, and have loved it ever since.

      I think the reason why it didn’t work the first time was because I treated Twitter like my Google Reader – I tried to catch up with everyone’s tweets! But now I just pop in and out, catch a few tweets while I’m there, check out some links, see how people are doing. It’s a lot of fun!

      Reply
  2. Caitie F

    I use Facebook how you do, but I use twitter a little differently. I have my tweets protected so that I have to let people see what I am saying. This is mostly to protect myself, I don’t want people to google me and see what I am saying. I also use it as a job-hunting supplement. I follow lots of publishers and regularly @ reply them to get myself noticed.
    .-= Caitie F´s last blog ..Random Acts of Kindness Challenge =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Using it as a job-hunting supplement is a great idea, Caitie. The whole public thing is a bit daunting, that’s for sure. I try not to go into anything particularly private when I’m on Twitter.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      I seem to have weaned myself off of Twitter, too, Kathy – I dip in for a few minutes at a time but don’t have much trouble coming up to tackle the next thing on the to-do list, thank goodness!

      Reply
  3. Jemi Fraser

    I have a lot of fun with Twitter – but I don’t panic if I miss a day because of my crazy busy life. It’s a friendly place where you can pick up where you left off.

    I haven’t joined Facebook yet. Don’t plan on it at the moment. Full time busy job, full time busy family, writing, blogging, responding to blogs & Twitter take up a lot of time. If I add FB, I don’t think I’ll ever get any sleep :)
    .-= Jemi Fraser´s last blog ..Fave YA Couple? =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      “It’s a friendly place where you can pick up where you left off” describes how I think about Twitter perfectly. No-one really realizes you’re not there, and when you are, no-one says, hey, why weren’t you here an hour ago? :)

      I’m pretty good with Facebook, too – I treat it much the same as Twitter. There are days when I’m not on there at all, and I don’t even always update my status when I’m on, not unless I have something to say!

      Reply
    1. Belle

      I have now perfected the art of dipping in and out of Twitter. I do it at all times of the day – I’ve been noticing that there are different people on Twitter at different times. I’m probably on Twitter each time for about five minutes, which is much much better than the way I used to do it!

      Reply
  4. Petunia

    Yeah, FB is much more personal. I put a lot of info. on there for people that I know, like my real name. :) There are a few people on my FB account that I’ve not actually met in person but I’ve known them on the internet for so long that I may as well have. I only have an overlap of 2 friends between FB and Twitter. Twitter is where I go for mostly the book blogging community but it is certainly overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost in all the tweets.
    .-= Petunia´s last blog ..Review: When She Flew =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      I have a lot of cyberfriends on Facebook, too, Petunia. It’s a great place to catch-up with them.

      I treat Twitter as an in-the-moment thing – it’s the only way to not be overwhelmed!

      Reply
    1. Belle

      I have been really liking Twitter for the links, too – I come across a lot of links that I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered.

      It’s almost like a newspaper, too – lots of breaking news comes across in tweets.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Well, of course it’s timely, since you’re the one I sent the email to! So you’re the spark that prompted this post :)

      Reply
  5. Barbara

    I joined facebook only because a friend keeps a page there for our high school class. My friends on it are mostly people from high school. I’m really not that into it and have no desire to get into Twitter. I’d rather have the time for reading.
    .-= Barbara´s last blog ..Celebrities with Feet of Clay =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      I find I’m mostly on either Facebook or Twitter when I have a work deadline, Barbara. It really takes away from the tedium of working when I’m able to take a very short break and take a peek at what people are doing on both sites! When I’m not at the computer, though, I’m like you – I’d much rather be reading.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      Family plays a large part in my Facebook activities, too. It’s funny how I stay in touch with so many people in my family through Facebook – my cousins especially, which is really quite nice.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      I haven’t really been using it as much to publicize MsBookish, although I guess I should. I tend to treat Twitter more like a cocktail party filled with interesting people – I’m not sure all the people I follow would actually be interested in my blog!

      Reply
  6. Cat Woods

    I am on FB because my kids are and I like to see what they are doing. I check it roughly once a day and post maybe a few times a week. All my friends are personal: family and close cyber friends.

    I approach Twitter more as an information center than a social center. I read interesting links and tweet about ones I find that might interest other writers. I rarely socialize there except a passing hello if someone’s comments make me giggle.

    All in all, I use Agent Query, blogs (mine and my cyber friends’) and Live Journal to socialize while discussing the ins and outs of the writing life.

    My concern is that social networking takes oodles of time. I try to get the biggest benefit as possible out of each venue.
    .-= Cat Woods´s last blog ..Honestly? =-.

    Reply
  7. Malcolm R. Campbell

    I use Facebook somewhat the way I used MySpace, as a place to display personal stuff (that’s not private) and professional stuff as well. People can display my profile or not, so I feel more free to talk about my books there than on Twitter where to many mentions will get one labeled as a spammer.

    Facebook keeps local “real life” friends informed about what I’m doing, from clearing dead limbs out of the yard after a storm to doing a book signing.

    Twitter, I use for links to new posts and other book-related info I find around the net including this post right here.

    Malcolm

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Ah, thank you, Malcolm – so that’s another good use of Twitter: not just to discover great links but have your own posts seen by more people. I do have my posts set to publish as a tweet on Twitter, but I wasn’t too sure whether people were actually clicking through.

      I find Facebook great for keeping up with real life friends, especially events and activities. It must be great for your book signings.

      Reply
  8. Aarti

    I am like Jackie from Farm Lane Books. I use Twitter, but almost exclusively for book talk- I don’t follow anyone that I know in real-life, really. And don’t like them following me, either. I also protect my tweets- I don’t like all these crazy spammers following me and it makes me nervous that things I say, without protecting my tweets, could be seen by pretty much anyone at any time.

    I use Facebook, too, but I don’t use it as much as I did in college. I think it’s too big and I get kind of annoyed by people inviting me to a bunch of applications I don’t want to use, and reporting their farm’s progress to me or whatever. So I just go on there and maybe look at pictures and comment on people’s walls that I haven’t talked to in a while or who have important stuff going on. I also use Facebook to do events, as it’s easiest to reach a lot of people on there.
    .-= Aarti´s last blog ..Rosie’s Riveters: Rachel & Anne Elliot =-.

    Reply
    1. Belle

      Whenever I find myself tempted to get too personal on Twitter, I pop over to Facebook instead – it usually means it’s something that works much better as a status update on FB!

      I hide all the game applications updates from friends – it’s great because it’s really cleared up the clutter in my Facebook feed.

      Reply
    1. Belle

      It looks like you’re using Facebook the way I use Twitter, Dorte! I think Facebook works well the way you’re doing it, too. It’s really about knowing what you want to accomplish with each site, I think.

      Reply
  9. Memory

    Sounds like we approach Facebook and Twitter in the same way. My Facebook is quite small; it’s mainly real life friends, real life friends-of-friends who I sometimes see socially, and a few online friends. I use it to keep track of what everyone’s doing.

    Twitter, in contrast, is like a great big chat room. I follow mostly book bloggers, writers, and random people who’ve started following me and who seem interesting. I use it to comment on random stuff that’s happened to me, to vent and/or update people on my writing, or to converse. I’m not terribly picky about who I’ll talk to; if the conversation is interesting, I’ll keep with it regardless of whether or not I know the person in any other way.
    .-= Memory´s last blog ..169. Fire by Kristin Cashore =-.

    Reply
  10. Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    I think I have a similar strategy to you — Facebook is for most of the people I know in real life, and Twitter is much more broad. I love your cocktail party analogy for Twitter though, that makes a lot of sense to me. The tricky part is that FB is starting to get populated with people I know from work and other professional kinds of things, so I have to start monitoring what I say on there too (which I hate, sometimes). I mean, I never wrote anything terrible, I just have to watch complaining about work :)
    .-= Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)´s last blog ..Thanks, Book Blogger Secret Santa! =-.

    Reply
  11. Rebecca

    I have the same strategy!

    I think Twitter is much more wide open for me than Facebook. FB is where I post more personal things that I don’t need everyone in the world knowing. I do have lots of FB friends, but they have to be mutual. On Twitter, anybody and their anybody friend can see what I am writing about and linking to. On top of that, Twitter is far superior to FB, imo, for networking. More people follow me than I follow back, if only because they are interested in my book blogging world more than I am interested in their random parties in Boston information. But I follow people in Twitter that I haven’t even committed to following their blog yet, just to get to know them better and have fun conversations.

    I have gotten to know some online people through Twitter that I would not have otherwise known quite so well, even as much as we comment on each other’s blogs (Hi Belle! :)

    So, Twitter to me is like a chat room mixed with a message board. You can use it as either or, ideally, both. FB is more personal. Each are fun in their own ways. Personally, I don’t want to give up either of them.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Friday Fill-Ins #155 =-.

    Reply

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