5 Ways Twitter Beats Facebook – A Net Gen View

By Rewan Tremethick

It’s my second week here at CubeSocial, and the main thing I’ve learnt so far is the value of Twitter. At first I was hesitant; having noted the similarity between 140-character Tweets and Facebook’s status box, Twitter just seemed like a stripped-down version of Facebook. I was failing to see Twitter’s potential.

1. Facebook Is Quantitative, Twitter Is Qualitative

On Facebook people place importance on quantity of friends. People have friends numbering into the hundreds, yet only speak to several dozen at most.

On Twitter following can be one-way. To build a large following you have to Tweet things that are interesting and of value. If you follow many people but are being followed by few it looks bad because the number of followers you have is an indicator of how interesting you are.

2. The Cocktail Party

Facebook is often called The House Party, whilst Twitter is The Cocktail Party. Talk on Facebook is mostly casual and often of little wider relevance (‘drank so much I woke up in a bin lol’). Twitter talk is about news, views, networking, and the occasional piece of self-promotion. It’s not all dry though – it is a party after all.

When you ‘come home’ from the Twitter party, you go to bed with a head full of ideas and opportunities. When you ‘get in’ from Facebook, you go to bed because you can’t stand up any longer without your eyes falling out.

3. Community Spirit

Twitter feels like you’re part of something. Everyone is very welcoming, and I was soon Tweeting with confidence. Linda gave me a few virtual introductions to get some conversation moving, and then I was off on my own.

The terminology alone makes you feel a part of something more connected and with more community spirit than Facebook. Facebook’s generic terms, such as friends and likes, get the job done, but when you’re on the Twitterverse, with Tweeps, you feel that you belong to something special.

4. Have You Heard …?

On Twitter, you get a great sense of relevance. People ReTweet things that have been said that are interesting or important. Whether it’s a piece of breaking news, an interesting and relevant blog post, or an amusing quote – things get spread around Twitter fast.

5. Show Your Worth

On Twitter you can build a reputation. Facebook is about staying connected with people you already know. Twitter is about networking, and people recommend each other all the time. ‘@X, have you met @Y? You might find her knowledge of Z useful.’ Mention people in your Tweets and they’ll pick up on it and reply to you. Include links to things you find interesting, and others who find the link interesting join the conversation and widen it by sharing the link with their followers. You never know, one day soon you could be @Y, being introduced to @X because of your reputation for being an expert on Z!

How Jonathan Ross helped me see the business value of Twitter

By Linda Cheung

Twitter fan, Jonathan RossIf you’re hesitant about using social media for business, don’t worry: I was too.

When I left Morgan Stanley to start my own business I knew it was important to embrace “Net Generation” tools, but social media felt like something I needed, rather than wanted to do.

Now I’m a huge fan and leading a start-up that provides software for professionals to win business through social media.

When I recently explained my journey from cynic to convert to Michael Tinmouth of Entrepreneur Country, he was surprised that I mentioned Jonathan Ross as a reason, and suggested that I repeat my story here…

Customer Engagement

When I first joined Twitter I thought to lurk and learn. Jonathan Ross (@Wossy) was one of the first people I followed because he frequently mentioned Twitter on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and it was widely accepted that he, not a PR company, was tweeting. Reading @Wossy’s tweets I realised how brilliantly he was engaging with his clients (audience) and how great Twitter would be for business.

It was an open secret that Friday Night with… was filmed on Thursdays. Before each show @Wossy would tweet about the celebrities he was about to meet and share informal photos taken on the set. In other words: @Wossy was reminding his clients about his product (his show), keeping them updated on the latest features (this week’s guests), influencing them to buy (watch) and increasing his sales (audience ratings). Clever!

Customer Research

Once I’d noticed this, it was difficult not to notice @Wossy was also using Twitter for focus groups and research – ahead of his Radio 2 shows @Wossy would tweet playlist themes and ask for suggestions, e.g. first single, desert island disc, favourite song from the 80s, etc. Followers would promptly send in their suggestions hoping for a mention on the next show. What might have taken hours could be created in minutes – with @Wossy knowing that his clients would approve of the service he would provide.

Customer Care

As with all great business, clients felt special – they were getting services they wanted and special insights, with loyalty rewards in the form of Radio 2 mentions, or in the case of the British Comedy Awards, private jokes that only they, as followers, would be privy too (@Wossy would tweet asking for sound bites that he’d have to mention during the Awards, later announcing on Twitter his choice and who suggested it). So not only clever, but great customer service, with high client retention and advocacy potential.

Quoting Michael, “once you put it like that, it’s obvious”! Smile

Twitter Clinic: Who sees what you’re tweeting

By Linda Cheung

clip_image002In the last Twitter Clinic I explained the “mystifying acronyms” #FF, DM and RT. After explaining DMs it was interesting to hear that many newbies thought @replies were private and only seen by the person they were replying to…

@Replies

Twitter defines a reply as “a tweet that begins with another user’s username and is in reply to one of their tweets”. For example, CubeSocial is replying to a previous Craig Killick tweet here:

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Some newbies thought that only the recipient (Craig) would see this tweet / the tweet would be private between the sender (CubeSocial) and the recipient. This is not true. Anyone following the sender and the recipient will also see this tweet in their timeline, and this tweet could appear in any number of public searches. Be aware of this and your digital footprint!

@Mentions

While @replies begin with a username, @mentions do not. @mentions are sometimes referred to as “broadcast” tweets that happen to include usernames. For example:

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In this case, the sender (Gideon)’s tweet will appear in the timeline of everyone who follows the sender, plus anyone who follows the sender and either/both of the recipients (Mark and/or me). This tweet will also appear both recipients’ @Mentions pages, and can be searched as with @replies above. RTs are a type of mention because “RT @<username>” is added to the start of the tweet. For example:

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Reach

Knowing the difference between @replies and @mentions means you can influence who sees your tweets. To share information as broadly as possible, use @mentions. Otherwise, use @replies [and if you’d like to keep your tweets private, use DMs].

So, when you want to thank and recommend someone, send a @mention:

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If you want to quote someone, @mention by adding a full stop before their username or give their username at the end:

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Where you don’t want to crowd your followers’ timeline / it’s a more personal chat, @reply:

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Please use this knowledge to spread a little @mention cheer!

Forget 140 characters, describe Twitter in 1 word!

Guest blog by Paul Allen

You often read just how effective Twitter is at driving traffic to the destination of your choice, but I guess I never realised just how good it could be!

Rightly or wrongly, it appears to me that businesses using Twitter in the UK are using it in one of two ways, either as a giant networking tool or more frustratingly, as a platform to broadcast constant sales messages.

Intrusive?

For my business, Twitter has been a revelation. In addition to highlighting opportunities that I never knew existed, I have made some interesting contacts, met some interesting people and yes, even won some business! Interestingly, when demonstrating Twitter’s potential to clients I often see a similar spark of excitement in their eyes when they realise what it can do for their business.

When talking to businesses about prospecting, I have often said that I loved the “intrusive” nature of Twitter, but following my first meeting with new twitter friend (twiend?) Linda Cheung she challenged my use of the word.

Linda was uncomfortable that the word implied unwelcome almost sinister. On reflection I agree with her, but if not intrusive what would be the correct adjective to describe the power of Twitter?

Engage

I love the fact that when you engage with your community, the message seems to spread far wider than you would expect and I love the fact that people often respond immediately. I can recall two recent examples that illustrate the power of Twitter. Recently a friend rang me asking if I knew a photographer who would be free that evening to take pictures of an event. I tweeted the request and within the hour had the name and number of a local photographer who went on to do a great job. Similarly, I used Twitter to demonstrate to a potential client why they needed a Social Media profile for their business. During the appointment, I sent out a tweet asking if anyone could recommend an office cleaning company on the Hampshire/Berkshire border. Within minutes three replies listed each of their main competitors!

Community

Similarly, over a period of time I became aware that in the tweeting process I was unwittingly segregating my followers into sub groups who would be interested in particular types of messages. I assumed that when talking about Social Media, I would be reaching one particular profile of person (Tweep?) and when chatting about football or similar personal interests I would be talking to a different section of my community. What I learnt very quickly was not to trust my intuition, or try to second guess my followers! Furthermore it was amazing to see just who and how many were happy to introduce me to others who they thought would also find my tweets interesting and informative.

Interaction

Several weeks ago I was working intensively on Twitter and Facebook activity with one of my clients, an interior designer. We had taken a long hard look at her customer base listened to the reasons why they used her services and defined her target market. We began to build and engage a following of people likely to be interested in her & her work. To support the engagement principle we devised a large number of helpful design hints and tips designed to not only assist homeowners with their own efforts but hopefully to spark an online debate. Each tweet contained a link to her Facebook page which we had populated with photos and videos of her recent work. On studying the analytics after just one week, we were staggered to see that just 15 tweets had driven 222 visits to her Facebook page which also resulted increased “likes” to the page.

Innovation

As a former broadcaster, I constantly compare the development of Twitter with the great days of UK radio back in the 1970’s. It was true that communities built up around particular broadcasters and programmes. The best broadcasters developed two-way communication with their audiences (Noel Edmonds “Dingly Dell”) and as a result great things were achieved often in the name of charity, but the difference here surely is the global power of the Twitter community?

So if the adjective to describe the power of Twitter is not “intrusive” then what would it be, perhaps it is without comparison? Certainly, as its popularity and influence grows, it continues to surprise and amaze and I guess the message here is if you properly engage with your community then expect the unexpected.

Paul Allen is a social media marketer helping businesses engage with new and existing customers via new media. He is also matchday host at Reading FC.