I saw a quote recently that said, “Twitter makes me like people I don’t know more and Facebook makes me like people I do know less.” While this is obviously a generalization and isn’t universally true, it fairly accurately describes my sentiments regarding the two social media sites these days. This could be due in large part to the fact that my Facebook usage is predominantly social/personal, whereas only a handful of the folks I follow on Twitter are friends. I have no doubt that many people share the same inane updates about themselves on Twitter as my Facebook friends do on that site and perhaps that’s why I’ve made a concerted effort to restrict my Twitter followings to personal and professional interests rather than another means through which to connect to my friends.
I thought a recent tweet, shared by @itsgoodell, illustrated an interesting point about a major difference between Twitter and its counterparts. The tweet read (in part), “LinkedIn is your Rolodex. Facebook is your scrapbook. Twitter is your lifestream idea generator.” LinkedIn & Facebook, while incredibly useful, functional, and sometimes even enjoyable are much more easily defined/categorized than Twitter. Twitter seems, to me at least, to serve many more functions to people than other social media sites. It’s an aggregate of countless RSS feeds. It’s a marketing/public relations/promotional tool. It’s a vehicle for companies to provide customer service. I personally was initially attracted because it was one-stop shopping for all of the sports news and updates that were leading me all over the web, a slave to the refresh button. I very quickly discovered its value in various other capacities. Along those lines, I thought I’d share two recent examples of interesting and effective uses of Twitter that caught my eye.
Shawn Ryan (@ShawnRyanTV), Executive Producer of hit TV shows such as The Shield, The Unit, and the upcoming The Chicago Code found an interesting way to commiserate with fans over the cancellation of his critically acclaimed FX Network show, Terriers. He held what he referred to as a “Twitter Wake” for the show, allowing fans to ask him all the lingering questions they had about that show that would normally have gone unanswered. I thought this was a great way to engage with fans and reward a loyal (albeit insufficiently large) following of the show. For a sampling of the wake, you can peruse the postpost (a story for a future blog post) I created here (scroll down to the 10 PM on 12/16 tweet to start from the beginning).
My second example of outside the box Twitter usage involves multiple Twitter accounts and also falls under the category of fan engagement. It’s also of great local interest. The Celtics, despite being one of the oldest teams in the NBA, are also one the league’s most active in social media. In addition to Shaq (@The_Real_Shaq), who practically pioneered the role of athletes on Twitter, players such as Nate Robinson (@nate_robinson), Jermaine O’Neal (@jermaineoneal), Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo), and Paul Pierce (@PaulPierce34) are frequent tweeters. On multiple occasions, a few of these players have offered their tickets to a game to their followers on Twitter, often with the winner being decided by Twitter-based trivia contests. Giving up two personal tickets and running a quick trivia contest via Twitter takes minimal effort on the part of the players, but goes to a long way to engendering good will with their fans.
Feel free to share feedback about this post, or let me know examples of things you’ve encountered on Twitter that caught your eye and are worth sharing.
Happy Holidays to all of you and hope you’re staying warm.