Monday, August 01, 2011
Getting Your Social Media Straight
Twitter means 140 characters or less. Short, pithy, to the point. When you have to write ten Tweets to make your statement, it's time to write a blog post or switch to Facebook. The mindsets of the readers are different on each forum.
Twitter followers are reading Tweets like an AP ticker tape, one headline after the other. They don't want to think they have to stay on point for the next point, then the next, then the next.
Facebook followers like checking in and out, with nothing very time sensitive. They can type a one-word response or a hundred. Few molds and liberal rules.
Blog readers are prepared to read for a minute or two, assuming you've written good material. They invest a chunk of time in your creativity.
I once followed a marketing guru on Twitter. One evening she tweeted 17 times in an hour. We knew each other, and I dropped her a note thinking she didn't realize it. She apologized and said she gets carried away. I laughed and said I did the same at times. The next day she did the same. On the third day, when the number hit 40 in 60 minutes, I unfollowed her. I'm a Twitter lover. I don't want to read essays in 140-character increments. She writes great editorials and blog posts, but the continuous domination of my Twitter feeds frustrated me for some reason. I'm probably one who wouldn't be excited about reading a serial novel on Twitter, though it's been successfully done like Matt Stewart and his book The Literary Revolution.
In another situation, last week the President asked the public to Tweet Congressional Representatives. Then his staffer commenced to posting each and every state's representative, waiting four to five minutes between each state. People fussed. After all, you can only live in one state. Who wants to deal with 49+ additional Tweets? The smart staffer could have put a link up with all the Twitter accounts. Even repeating the message once an hour would have been more respectful of Twitter subscribers. Glad to see leaders using Twitter, but they get more mileage out of it by using it wisely. (No, I'm not professing to belong to one party or another.)
On a blog, people commit a little more, expecting a bigger message. So if someone logs in to read your daily post and finds a one-liner, you run the risk of frustrating him. Don't ask me to explain the logic, but I'm not making this up. Twitter is fast; blog posts are not. It's as if readers are stunned by the altered state when they pull up the feed, email or direct link to the post.
Some readers prefer short stories over novels, others like novellas over flash. Not only be consistent in posting to your social media outlets, but understand what's considered acceptable, consistent and appealing to the readers. Time is a precious commodity to people, so make them feel you are helping them use it efficiently, and you'll create longer-lasting fans.
Think differently? Would love to read your comment. Leave your blog address, Facebook address, and Twitter account, too, so others can sign up.