Facebook vs. Twitter – Get Ready to rumble

Somebody somewhere, that I am too lazy to look up, said something the the effect that one’s Twitter followers tend to be friends while Facebook followers were — I forget, something that wasn’t friends. The implication was that Facebook was better for promotion.

At last part of that statement, in my opinion, is wrong. Your Twitter followers may well end up becoming your friends because the medium allows for real time, or near real time conversation.

My lack of engagement with Facebook might be at least partly my fault because I don’t care for Facebook. I find the interface confusing and I hate doing anything that requires me to sit there and figure it out. I hate that Facebook makes me feel like I’m taking a security risk every time I log in and that with every new “feature” I have to worry what tricky new thing they’ve done to get at and share my personal information. Like burying the logout button with, I presume, the hope that people will stay logged in and allow them to track their web surfing outside of Facebook. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m not leveraging Facebook, but from what I’ve seen, I don’t have time, either.

Worse, I worry about unintentionally over-communicating on Facebook. I don’t want to continually say, hey, buy my book!! all the time. People will hate me if I do that. Unfortunately, I end up doing practically nothing. I completely under-communiciate. Sigh. I removed my Twitter feed from Facebook after my brother complained about all the tweets.

At any rate, not much happens for me over at Facebook. I get friended by other authors at about 3 times the rate of readers. I think. Usually, it’s pretty easy to tell the author pics from the kind of picture a regular person uses, but every now and then I’m surprised by an author whose photo looks like it was taken on a hot day at picnic by a relative who was drunk. Authors tend to read a lot so I almost always friend them back. But I don’t think they’re fans of mine. I think they’re hoping I’m a fan of theirs. And, you know, sometimes I am. I posted my ARC contest over at Facebook and I’m not sure it brought me any additional traffic. The actual friends I have on Facebook are people who were already my friends In Real Life. I don’t think I’ve made any new friends as a result, although I have made some fun contacts — a cousin I didn’t know about, for example. The daughter of a Turkish pen pal I had in High School — now that was great!

In short, probably through my own fault, Facebook doesn’t seem to do much for me book promotion wise.

Twitter is another matter. There are probably ten or twenty people I have met through Twitter who I now consider friends. I met up with about half of them at RWA and it was lovely to meet them in person. I was thrilled, in fact, to meet them IRL. It was quite clear that the badges should have included Twitter IDs. I was constantly hearing “What’s your twitter ID?” or “Oh, You’re @[whoever]!!” Several conversations that started on Twitter have gone off line for further, deeper conversation.

Here’s an interesting Twitter story: At RWA I met a woman from New York who, I found out, was staying in Oakland CA (not too far from me) for a time. We ended up following each other on Twitter and after I got home, I saw a tweet from her regarding a pic of the Golden Gate Bride. I tweeted back and asked if she was still in the area and if so, if she would ever be coming North. The answer was yes indeed! Two days later, pretty much arranged entirely via Twitter, I met her, a good friend of hers who was visiting CA and her mother at a cafe in my home town. We had a great conversation about all kinds of things. Conversely, only once has someone on Facebook inquired about meeting me. It was a much younger man who thought I was good looking and well, he was bored and in my home town. Of course, I didn’t see his request until several days later (my fault, see above) when it was too late. Just as well as I feel it would not have been wise to meet up in any event.

When I decided to give away the rest of my ARCS, I posted it on Twitter and within five minutes all the ARCs were spoken for.

For me, Twitter works because I don’t have to log into some monolithic site to see what might be going on. Unlike FB, Twitter comes to me. I look at my feed half a second after I decide I want to. It’s right there on my desktop. If I must work without interruption, I can turn it off. The stuff that applies to me gets sorted into a single place for me to look who’s talking to me or about me. I can join any conversation I want to, whether someone follows me or not. Anyone who doesn’t like what I say or how often I say it can just unfollow me. And I can do the same.

Last night I decided to unfriend someone on Facebook because I, personally, found his politics offensive. It took me fifteen minutes to figure out how to do that. Seriously. I had to go to the online help to find out how. That spells “Horrible User Interface.”

Another issue for me is that I have a low quality internet connection, barely half a step up from dial up. This means that I spend a lot of time waiting for web pages to render, including Facebook. And 75% of the time, my connection drops and I have to start over. Often, I give up. The effect of this on my Twitter stream is much less frustrating. Sometimes I have to try a few times before tweet gets through, but I don’t have to sit there waiting for ages to see if anything is going to happen.

So there you have it. I am Facebook impaired and a Twitter fan girl. I like making friends and I have made actual In Real Life friends on Twitter and none on Facebook.

How about you?

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4 Responses to “Facebook vs. Twitter – Get Ready to rumble”

  1. Likari says:

    Oh! I am SO HAPPY to read this. I canceled my personal Facebook account months ago because of security concerns, but lately I’ve been thinking I need to have a Facebook page for book promotion.

    I tried to set up a new Facebook page under LK Rigel. I won’t tell the long and boring story that ending in giving up.

    I canceled the account. Which was not easy.

    Facebook is evil.

  2. cjewel says:

    It took me AGES and AGES to figure out how to make a Facebook fan page. For a while all I ever got was errors and then one day for some reason, it worked. But now I can’t remember exactly how to get to the page again so I can do stuff there. Because Facebook does not seem to think that a person who is, say, a writer, will want to have a private page and a public page yet maintain both from the same place.

    Twitter clients make management of multiple accounts easy.

    I’m all about easy these days. I’m too busy to mess around with stuff.

  3. KathyF says:

    I found you through Twitter. Someone posted a link to your blog, I liked what I read, and then read an excerpt of a book. Loved what I read, and now have it on my to-be-ordered list at Amazon (I live overseas and put in a big order when I have several books saved on my list).

    So there. At least one book you will have sold via Twitter.

    • Carolyn Jewel says:

      KathyF: Thanks for the info! I’m glad to know you liked the blog and the excerpt(s). Yay!