Thursday, May 05, 2011

Social Networking: Twitter v. Facebook

As you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about social networking and how authors can best use it for promotion, and one of the things I have been dwelling on is Twitter v. Facebook and which is really the more powerful when it comes to building a readership because, let’s be honest, that’s our ultimate goal.

As many of you know I’m on both Twitter and Facebook. I Tweet fairly frequently, especially in the wee hours of the morning and, of course, depending on how busy my schedule is. All of my Tweets are connected to Facebook and automatically update my Facebook status. My blog is also connected to Facebook, so each new blog post appears on my profile page. I have about 5,500 Twitter followers and roughly 1,700 Facebook friends. I think it’s pretty obvious where I’m going to create the most buzz.

Beyond the number of followers, though, is the ability to find followers. On Facebook you either have to request friendships or search someone out. In other words, most of the people who will find you on Facebook are already fans. Don’t get me wrong, fans are your most important marketing tool. When you announce on Facebook that a new book is available for pre-order, they are the people ordering and spreading the word to others about how much they love your work. However, it’s unlikely that these fans are going to make that news known to all of their Facebook friends. That’s not typically the way Facebook works. Twitter, however, is all about spreading the word. The infamous retweet is how you find new readers and a new audience, and it’s not just about announcing the release of your new book, it’s about telling your followers that this other person you’re following is incredibly clever, informative, and worth following.

In Twitter people might find your books because they loved your tweets first. In Facebook they are likely to find your books first.

If you ask me, Twitter is the place to be right now, the place where you’re likely to create the most buzz. Facebook is the place you want to be when honing and building those already established relationships. Both are important, but both will do very different things for you.