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With hundreds of millions of people on Twitter and Facebook, chances are very good that your current customers are on one or both of the services, and chances are excellent that many, many prospective customers are here. So what is the difference between these two services if you're trying to decide which one to go with, or should to go with both? Let's take a look. First of all, let's take a look at Twitter. Twitter is often termed a microblog, in that it is a service where you type in something similar to a blog post, but you only have 140 characters to do so, and that's all it allows are characters.
If you want to post a picture or a video, you post a link to a picture or a video. In that way, that restriction actually makes it kind of free in that you know you don't have to write the magnum opus every time you post what's called a tweet to Twitter. And there is really no distinction between a personal Twitter account and a business Twitter account. You just create an account. So you could create an account in your personal name and post about stuff having to do with your business, or you could create an account that is the name of your business and post what you had for lunch.
Really, there is no bifurcation between the two, and in that way it also makes life much simpler. People who are fans of your Twitter account and who want to be notified whenever you tweet something new are called your followers. Anybody can see what you've tweeted just by going to your Twitter page. You don't need a login or anything to see what somebody is tweeting. But if you want to be notified and automatically have those new tweets, what's called pushed to you in a Twitter utility then you would follow them.
So your fans are called followers, and you try and build up the number of followers. To have your tweets go viral, to have it spread, it's called re-tweeting, so that you post something pithy under 140 characters, maybe a link to a great coupon code to use for your business. Then your followers who like that will re-tweet it, which is the concept of copying and pasting, but it's done automatically by the service. They just click the Retweet button, and then all of their followers who may have never heard of you see what you've tweeted, and then they'll just jump directly to your link, whatever it was, to your blog or to your Facebook page, or give you a ring if you tweeted your phone number for that matter.
So let's take a quick look at a couple of sample. So here is the Twitter page. You can see twitter.com/, and then there is this gobbledygook. You don't need to worry about that indesignsecrets. indesignsecrets is the name of this account, and actually it is one of the Twitter pages that I help admin. It's a business that my partner David Blatner and I run where we sell sponsorships to our blog, and we sell e-books, and we sell attendances to seminars and conferences, and so on. We have a lot of people who follow us. We have over 3,000 followers, and you can see that we both log in and tweet occasionally about information having to do with news about Adobe and InDesign, about an upcoming conference, about tips and tricks, about new posts on our blog, and so on.
Each one is under 140 characters. Sometimes it's just information, but most often it's a link to something else. This business is named Forget Computers, which is an unforgettable name for a business I think. It's a computer consultancy in Chicago that does support for Mac and PC networks, and here they are posting. You can see everything they've posted as well. They often will post news about Apple or Adobe. They publish their own little newsletter. Or they just post invitations. You can see the crew was going out bowling and they are inviting people to stop by, and they have about 800 followers.
So now here is my own personal Twitter account. I'm logged in as amarie. I have a ton of followers. But what I want you see is that out of all, I am following 226 other Twitter accounts and I can see what they've posted. Many are persons, but some of them are businesses. So this is what I mean by when you follow somebody, then their tweet gets push to you. Now if I really like what InDesignMag just wrote, I can click the little Retweet button, which would post their message to all of my followers, and that's how that would go viral.
Now, let's take a look at Facebook. Facebook doesn't have a limit of 140 characters. You could write a magnum opus there if you wanted to. There is a facility called Notes where you can essentially use it like any kind of standard blog and write as long as you like. But mostly you're entering information in a small area called your status area. But still even in that area, you have a 400-character limit and you could always link to longer posts elsewhere in Facebook. You're not just limited to text. You can also include pictures and videos and all sorts of fun stuff.
So the content is much more flexible on Facebook. Now, along with power comes responsibility. So there is actually a lot more you can do with a Facebook page for your business than you can with a Twitter business account. You can even have applications written just for your Facebook page. You can affect the design somewhat. You can do a lot of interactions. And so if there is much more structure involved, and so it's more complex. So just keep that in mind. Unlike Twitter, there is definitely a division between personal and business accounts on Facebook, and they really don't want to use your personal Facebook account to promote your business. Because so many people were doing so in there early days, they created this concept of Facebook pages.
So it looks like a personal Facebook account, but it's just for businesses and organizations. And we'll definitely be talking a lot about that in this video title. On Facebook, when you a regular Facebook account, you have friends. People want to be your friend. You accept their friend request. So you have your little social network there on Facebook. When you have a Facebook fan page, people who like your Facebook fan page click a Like button and are called your likes. You don't need to accept their like request. They can just go ahead and become a like. So that's what they are called on Facebook for your page they are call likes, like on Twitter, they are called your followers.
Something goes my viral by sharing a post. So let me kind of share you what that's about and what a Facebook page looks like. We're looking at a Facebook page for a company called Knee Deep, and this is a vintage-clothing reseller in Chicago. You can see that it looks very much like a personal Facebook page, and it has the same pictures going across the top. But instead of friend request, it says there is a Like button, and the person who runs this business is allowing their fans to also write on their Wall.
You don't have to allow that. You can just allow your own posts to appear here if you like. About 976 people give or take one or two like this page at this moment in time. So he has got a nice little crowd of fans here. Here is another Facebook page called DesignGeek. Now, this is a page that I run, which is a service that provides information and software training to clients. In here, on DesignGeek's page, only DesignGeek is allowed to write, but other people are allowed to comment on these things. There are 600 people or so that like this page.
If I want to, I can share what Knee Deep has posted, and if I click Share here, then I'm going to be reposting what Knee Deep has posted to my personal friends in my personal account on Facebook, and that's how our messages go viral on Facebook. I want to make sure that we're clear on this concept of viral marketing because whenever I talk to people about Facebook using Facebook and Twitter, I get a lot of pushback from business owners saying, "Ugh, I don't have enough time to deal with that. I'm already doing a lot of marketing.
Why do I have to worry about it?" Well, because they're free, because your customers are there, and also because there is nothing like this concept of viral marketing. If your remember for Facebook that anybody can come across your Facebook page and click Share, and so your message is then shared with all of their friends, and their friends would see that message appear in their own personal Facebook account, and they too could share it with their crowd of friends. That's how your message can become viral on Facebook. On Twitter, somebody who is following your Twitter feed likes what you just tweeted, and they click the Retweet button. That suddenly becomes their own tweet that goes out to their own crowd of people who are following their Twitter feed. And out of those, dozens, or hundreds or thousands of people who are following their Twitter feed, if they like it, they can Retweet again.
Sometimes these things get stepped on 20, 30, 40 times, and your message something is going out to hundreds of thousands of people. That is not something that is easy to do with any other kind of marketing and is definitely not something that you can do easily for free, like you can with Facebook and Twitter. So it's two different approaches to social media marketing. I say get involved with both.
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