Facebook just gets better and better. I know we read weekly about the looming demise of Facebook, that youngsters are leaving it in droves and that it will never be able to sustain its “coolness,” but Facebook just keeps proving them wrong. It just keeps getting better and better at helping us stay in touch with the people that we want to stay in touch with. Because its primary purpose is connecting people that know each other, it isn’t particularly useful to meet new people. Sure, it happens, but Twitter is a much better venue for that.
It is kind of like the difference between a trade show and a family party. You may run into somebody new at a family party, maybe that is having a picnic next to your family, but that isn’t where your focus is. When you are with your friends and family you want to be with them, you aren’t looking for networking opportunities, and you would actually be pretty annoyed if someone tried to prospect you while you were grilling burgers.
Twitter is like a trade show. You are there to exchange ideas, so meeting new people is welcomed. You aren’t disturbing somebody by asking them a question or retweeting their message, you are participating in Twitter’s highest and best use. Information exchange among people that have no common connections other than an interest in the same useful information. Because this focus is on information, it makes networking easy. Twitter also makes it easy to test ideas out, to see if they resonate.
The title of this post is just one example.
@dasjoshua – (who I don’t know, but follow on Twitter) shared this Tweet: “ #Facebook is who you used to know. #Twitter is who you want to know.” This resonated with me, so I retweeted the message on Twitter. This means that his message was then shared with thousands of followers. I don’t take credit for his tweet, he received full credit in my retweet. But after I sent it, dozens of people retweeted my retweet of @dasjoshua. This simple Tweet that resonated with me, resonated with many, many more, so I wrote this quick blog post about it. Will the blog post be successful? Maybe, maybe not, but it has a far higher chance of success than a new headline—even a headline I’ve spent hours trying to think of.
So can you learn what ideas resonate if you don’t use Twitter very often? It’s much more difficult. Just like if you only blog a few times a year, it is very difficult to get any attention or gain an audience.
Facebook is fun because it is comfortable. Twitter can be a lot of fun, but it takes more work. Twitter forces you out of your comfort zone, and that’s a very good thing. It gives you the chance to grow. If you are learning and growing, not only will you make new connections on Twitter, but you are more likely to be the type of person that others want to meet.