The Difference Between Facebook and Twitter That No One Seems to Get

Apples and Oranges

Many people used Facebook for a quite a while before using Twitter. For many, this may have created a misunderstanding that Twitter works the way Facebook works: you post content and people with whom you’re connected will see it in their feed. Sure, it can work like that (and does for those who follow only 100 or so people).  But here’s the little secret that none of your followers will tell you…

How Twitter Really Works:

1. You post content and none of your followers read it.

What?!? They don’t read it!?! At all?!? Hold on, it’s about to make sense.

2. Then, when anyone, follower or not, searches for a name, keyword, topic, or hashtag, they see your content.

So when we all say great content is key, we’re not kidding. High quality, high value, interesting content – with an attractive headline or catchy wording – is much, much more important on Twitter than your number of followers. Remember, all of those followers aren’t really reading everything you write. Sure they say they are, but Tweeps are nice like that.

More to think about: RTs not only matter, but also perhaps are the most important thing besides quality of content. We used to think about RTs as a great way of your content getting shared into new groups of people and communities. But, no one is reading all of your followers’ Tweets either. Or your followers’ followers’ Tweets. But, once again, it’s all about search. If anyone searches about your topic and sees multiple RTs pop up with your content, I’m betting that it will get read and your links will get clicked more often than if it only shows up once.

So, remember these Twitter points:

Interesting content      =   Most Important

Searchable Tweets      =   Very Important

RTs of yours        =   Important

Number of followers =   Not so much…

Results: Who Should Drive Social Media Engagement?


Here are the results from last week’s FANlet poll asking who within any organization should drive social media engagement.


The clear winner: Marketing. I had anticipated a better showing for Public Relations / Communications, but clearly the majority of voters chose Marketing.  Also, I’m glad to see many votes for Customer Service, which is so important to have involved in the conversation and is an excellent social media entry point for organizations looking to solve immediate business issues.

Poll: Who Should Drive Social Media Engagement?

Within any organization, who or what group should be driving the org’s Social Media engagement:
  • Public Relations / Communications
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Customer Service
  • Other
Please vote here:

5 Tips for PR Pros Using Social Media Tools

Thanks to Stephanie Krol and PRSA Chicago for inviting me to participate in the discussion “Making Communications More Effective with Social Media Tools” along with these all-star panelists: 

MJ Tam, ChicagonistaPRSA Chicago
Rick Wion, McDonald’s
Reid Lappin, VOKAL Interactive
Adam Keats, Weber Shandwick
Gini Dietrich, Arment Dietrich
For anyone who couldn’t make it to the event, here are a few of my points regarding social media tools for use specifically by PR professionals:

1. As PR practitioners, it is your duty to learn how existing and new tools can help your clients. No more saying “I just don’t have time to keep up!”

2. Use and learn new Social Media tools before your clients or executives do. What is an expert? Frequently, it’s someone who just has a jump on the information. 

3. As you learn about a new social media platform or tool, sign up and try for a minimum of 30 days. You may find that it has little use for you personally but it may be a useful channel for your brand or clients to engage stakeholders and customers. In any case, 30 days will give you enough of a history to be able to intelligently advise clients about including this new tool in their tool box.

4. Take some time to reevaluate your personal usage of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and any other platforms. I’ve spoken with many PR pros who still think they should a) trust privacy settings and 2) not connect with clients or bosses. I find that to be extremely narrow-minded and misses opportunities.
If posting personal material that your clients should not see is more important than making a deeper business connection, than perhaps you’re in the wrong business. Stop worrying about privacy settings – which need to be changed on Facebook constantly – and be transparent!

5. What’s the Future of Social Media? All of the panelists agree that the future is mobile. I add that the future is mobile and local. Users are flocking to mobile app versions and it’s time for your brand to engage customers at the local level.
Think about how PR can deliver results not by just Tweeting about the brand on a global or national level, but also by keeping friends, fans, and customers informed about events happening at each outlet, store, location, or community.

Making Communications More Effective with Social Media Tools *UPDATED 4/23/10*

PRSA Chicago

In Chicago? Near Chicago? Want a good excuse to come to Chicago???
Please join us on Tuesday, April 27, when the Chicago Chapter of PRSA presents: “Making Communications More Effective with Social Media Tools.” Register here!

I am excited about being a panelist discussing how social media tools can help you engage all audiences along with these fine folks:
Adam Keats
Senior Vice President, Weber Shandwick
Reid Lappin
Partner and founder, VOKAL Interactive
Jack Monson
Vice President, eNR Services
MJ Tam
Editor, Chicagonista
Rick Wion
@rdublife (personal) and @mcdonalds (McDonald’s)
Director of Social Media, McDonald’s
Gini Dietrich (moderator)
CEO,  Arment Dietrich, Inc

Top Ten Influencers Covering iPad Apps



iPad Spock
Pitching iPad Apps Would Be Logical
Here’s a list of the Top Ten Most Influential Writers Covering iPad Apps: 

Christina Warren – Mashable
Yukari Kane – Wall Street Journal
Roman Loyola – MacWorld
Eric Zeman – Information Week
Jay Yarow –  Mashable
Nick Mokey – Digital Trends
Paul Krill – CIO Magazine
Brian X. Chen –  Wired: Gadget Lab
Jared Newman – Network World
Erica Ogg  – CNet News


If you’re doing media relations for an iPad app or just following the developments, this list is a great place to start! These influencers were uncovered using MatchPoint on 3/22/2010.



engage121 Launches Today!



I’ve had a blast over the past few months working on a new application. It’s called engage121 and it launches today!

The application empowers you to:

1. Listen – monitor Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, and many other channels.

2. Speak – engage anyone via social media channels one-to-one.

Think of it as TweetDeck, Ning, HootSuite, your Facebook pages, your LinkedIn profile and about a few dozen more tools rolled into one. Oh, and it’s totally free.

Readers of this blog are invited to be beta testers and use engage121 for free via this link:

For more information about engage121, check out The Facebook Fan Page, The engage121 Community Blog, or follow engage on Twitter: @engage121.

Lastly, if you write one or multiple blogs, you can post to them all directly from engage. In fact, I posted this blog entry directly from engage121 this morning…

Dear CEOs: Social Media Is Not E-Commerce

The first Black Friday and Cyber Monday since the Great 2009 Social Media Explosion are now behind us. The first reports are in and it looks like many retailers had a great week.

I wonder if any CEOs who recently “gave in” to their marketing advisors and signed off on SM efforts are right now going over sales figures for the year and wondering why they’re not seeing a big payoff from Social Media.

The reality is Social Media is not e-commerce.

I’m not criticizing any CEOs who don’t get that…yet!  For now, I am finding fault with any marketing directors (and God forbid any PR managers) who sold Social Media efforts internally as online magic that makes cash registers ring.

I fear that some people in the marketing and communications industry have set unreachable goals in order to sell their CEOs on Social Media Campaigns. Or perhaps they are measuring social media mentions in terms of Revenue per Tweet.

There IS an online community where any company can expect the cash register to ring the moment they establish a presence. It’s called e-bay.

But unlike social media, e-commerce and auction sites won’t allow an organization to engage with its customers, learn from them, build loyalty, and all of the things that social media can do that we haven’t thought of yet!

Thanks to my colleague Jeff Tidyman of eNR Services  for suggesting this topic. End of rant and enough blogging for today… I’ve got to go check on how my eBay auctions are doing. That’s where the big money is.

Death of PR Spam

PR Spam took a few more hits last week. First, blogger Gina Trapani created a new wiki of PR agencies who have spammed her via press release. 
Secondly, MatchPoint rolled out a new version: MatchPoint v1.5. The anti-PR Spam tool will keep users off of Gina’s list!
 PR Spam
PR Spammers (and the over-priced PR vendors who enable them!) typically build lists of journalists (based on beats) who may or may not have ever written an article or blog related to the Spammers’ blast press release.
MatchPoint allows PR pros to identify the most appropriate reporters and bloggers based on what they have recently written, not by outdated information like beat or title.
The true PR Spam killer is this: after finding an appropriate journalist, users can engage them one-on-one directly through MatchPoint. The personalized, custom message can range from a simple pitch note to a full multi-media press package.
Other new enhancements include the ability for PR pros to monitor specific journalists, create notes on follow up activity, and evaluate success of campaigns with detailed tracking reports.
MatchPoint is now giving journalists the ability to evaluate the usefulness of story pitches and rank the sender. This new system was designed to weed out PR Spammers and open a dialogue between professional PR practitioners and journalists.
PR professionals can get a free ten-day trial at this link. PR Spammers should ignore this link!

Social Media Experts or Hammer Gurus? Part 2

In an earlier post, I discussed the continuing sensation of some communications folks appointing themselves “social media experts.” Once again if you are calling yourself this, I implore you to stop! You’re saying nothing!
Social media is a tool; you need to be an expert in the messages you’re crafting.

A good carpenter knows more than just the inner-workings of a hammer and is therefore more than a hammer guru.
There are hundreds of twitter users who list in their bio that they are social media experts, gurus, kings, queens, and mavens. Uggggg!
I’m not sure what credentials one needs to make this claim. Did they discover LinkedIn two days before the rest of the world? Do they have more time to spend on Facebook lately since their PR agency business has slowed down?
One of my local PR community’s favorite butt of many jokes is one such self-described “mavens.” My favorite part of this story is that this CEO joined Twitter only after hearing about it on Oprah this past spring. You can’t put lipstick on an outdated publicity model and call it a social media consultancy.
Here’s another gem. I recently started following on Twitter a marketing and PR agency that says it specializes in social media strategy. What happened next? You guessed it…I received a generic auto-DM saying “thanks for the follow.” I hope they are not charging their clients actual money for their social media expertise.
Don’t misunderstand – there are many true social media experts out there. The best of them do not need to call themselves experts; their clients and peers are doing that for them.