Well, this is going to my first ever blog post and it’s for my social media class that I’m taking at Southern New Hampshire University. My topic for this entry is about comparing social media tools. When it comes down to it when I think social media the first two aspects or tools that pop in my head that are the big guns. Facebook and Twitter.
I’m going to guess a lot of my fellow classmates will probably discuss the same topic two aspects but with something like this everyone is going to have a different perspective. I’m going to take it bit-by-bit and run down what they’re about, what’s different and similar and is one any better than another.
First off let’s look the two of them, Facebook was originally a college based social website to connect students together in an online community and the community grew beyond colleges and universities and went public. Currently on Facebook users can give status updates, share photos, videos and articles, and the list goes on and on. Twitter is almost the exact opposite; anyone can create an account since inception and make 140 character status updates or tweets. The reason why it’s only 140 characters is because developers were restricted by the amount of characters that SMS (Short Message Service) devices would do. On Twitter, a user can still share photos, videos and articles however in most cases you are limited to that one tweet, so if you wanted to multiple pictures, it would take multiple tweets.
I feel that both lend themselves to being very sociable, however Facebook might lend itself to it being a bit easier to do so. I have seen and heard of Moms, Dads, and even grandparents taking the steps into the social media world. It’s user friendly, it’s easy to find other users. On Twitter, may not be harder to get into but I feel Twitter is a mini blog, like an ultra-super-mini-blog. It can be used to express thoughts, feelings, opinions, promote companies, a new form of online customer service, and more. On Twitter you can make a tweet and if phrased and hash tagged right, the people and companies can come to you. You can make all sorts of connections. Being the huge Disney nerd that I am, I’ve been able to connect and talk to other enthusiast like myself from all over the country. For example, I’ve connected with someone whom I now consider a friend; he currently hosts a Disney competitive game show “Around The Hub” for www.wdwnt.com on their Internet streaming radio channel. The more amazing thing is he lives in the same state as me and we may of gone to some of the same college hoop games at Central Connecticut. Such a small world!
There has been other times where, not even purposefully reaching out to a company or business on Twitter and I’ve been contacted by them to help me out it’s a great example to compare the two sites. I recently made the same post on Facebook and Twitter, trying to figure out when and where the new episodes of the BBC show Sherlock would be airing. I was in the dark because I had watched the first two seasons on Netflix. On Facebook, I was reached out to by a good handful of my friends who gave me the information. On Twitter, I was actually contact by BBC America and PBS. In both cases I was told where, when and how to find the new episodes. Keep in mind I didn’t tweet to BBC America or PBS about this at all. They came and found me. The two networks, their social media departments took time out of their day to help a viewer. On Facebook, I feel you won’t get that service unless you go out and seek it. There has been plenty of times where I’ve sought out help through a businesses Facebook page and gotten an answer.
One last thing I’d like to tread into briefly in how social media can be quite the responsibility. Depending on who you are, maybe where your working and the position your in social media can make or break a company or a person’s credibility. In the last year or two I have seen many a scandal break out over a tweet. The one think of most recently was where Justine Sacco, a PR executive for IAC made a tweet about going to Africa saying “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just Kidding. I’m White!” and needless to say the firestorm that ensued was intense. Needless to say she didn’t hold her position for much longer. When it comes down to it, mind what you say on the Internet, especially now a days because once it’s there. It’s there forever.
All in all Twitter and Facebook do have their differences but are all mighty tools when it comes to social media, both can be worked and wielded to your advantage and disadvantage if used properly.