We often hear from small business and non-profit clients that they really don’t need a Twitter account. The argument goes something like this: “Well, I already have a facebook page….and I don’t have time for Twitter too….and I don’t ‘get’ Twitter anyway!” If you have any of these excuses, read on, because here’s the deal with Twitter.

They’re Different

First of all, Facebook and Twitter are different media and they serve different purposes. And just because you have one, doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from the other. Here are some of the differences:

On Facebook, if you post more than, say, 5 posts a day, that would be considered spam and cause for un-liking. On Twitter, that would just be considered normal.

On Facebook, the word of mouth spreads through people who are usually real-life friends. On Twitter, you get a chance to influence an even wider network of people, by tapping into people’s “followers,” a much larger list.

On Facebook, you’ll probably get a lot of “likes” but not a lot of “shares.” On Twitter, there are no likes, but you’ll enjoy even more effective help from your fanbase when they actually ”re-tweet” or directly share your message.

Even their audiences are different. The Facebook audience tends to be more interested in having fun, while the Twitter audience tends to be more interested in ideas and intellectual pursuits. So even if you have one crowd, you may still be missing the other.

Where are you?

The biggest reason to start with Twitter, however, is that users who want to talk about you will seek to mention you by name and you’re….simply not there. It’s like having a customer service line, but nobody picks up the phone. This is actually disappointing for the Twitter user, and when they search for you and don’t find you, instantly they lose respect for you. If you have a brand or non-profit reputation, know that someone somewhere will be talking about you on Twitter. And whether they have good things to say or not, you want to be there. And you want to be at the center of that conversation. So don’t disappoint, get on there and get active.

Auto Posts

For those of you who say you don’t have time, there are many tools that offer cross-posting. This means that if you post in one place, it will automatically be posted in another place as well. Sites like TwitterFeed.com help you automatically post your website’s feed to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at the same time. There are also sites like HootSuite.com that let you schedule your tweets in advance. Yes, it’s important to sometimes offer fresh tweets, but many an organization has ridden the waves for a few days on auto posts.

Twitter Culture

Lastly, to those of you who say you don’t “get” Twitter, you won’t fully understand its genius until you begin to engage people on Twitter. There is a whole culture that Twitter users have created over the last 6 years.  It includes things like hashtags, FollowFridays, tweetups, twitter parties, and klout scores. Sounds daunting? Or maybe silly? This is the fabric of Twitter society and these are people you need to reach. And your potential follower numbers are endless.

So roll up your sleeves, and start tweeting! (And ask us if you have any questions about Twitter or social media.)


3 Responses to Do I Really Need a Twitter Account?

  • Hadassah says:

    You hit the nail on the head! Twitter is quite different from Facebook, and you shouldn’t knock it till you try it. And that means giving it a real try, to see how you can get your name out there in the twitterverse.

  • leah says:

    Thanks, you’re so right. There are so many people who create accounts but don’t use them. What a shame.

  • leah says:

    Another difference – you can’t really “live-tweet” on facebook. Most people would think you’re spamming them.

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