What Separates Twitter from the Social Media Pack
If you’re already on LinkedIn and Facebook, have multiple online résumés, and own your own domain name, you may wonder why on earth you should bother with another social network. You certainly don’t have to use Twitter, but most people really enjoy using it after they get started. However, you can judge for yourself. Here are some of the key differences between Twitter and some other social networks:
Twitter is an open network. Facebook and LinkedIn impose a mandatory mutual relationship. If you receive an invitation to join someone’s network, you can either ignore the request, which severs the connection, or accept the invitation, which allows you to access each other’s networks and updates.
However, when people follow you on Twitter, you don’t have to follow them back. They can see your posts, but you don’t have to see theirs. This openness allows you to follow tweets from anyone, even very famous people, even if they don’t know you or want to follow you back.
You can have conversations with anyone. On Facebook and LinkedIn, only people who are directly connected to you can see your real-time updates. Likewise, if you want to follow the updates of a potential hiring manager, you have to get her permission first. With Twitter, you can see anyone’s updates, and through @reply you can even begin a conversation with anyone, whether you’re connected or not.
Get instant access to the collective consciousness. By posting a tweet to your network, you can get instant feedback, ideas, and help. And when your tweet is retweeted, your name, brand, and message are exposed to even more people, who can then start building relationships with you.
Twitter is like an empty canvas. Because Twitter’s use isn’t clearly defined, people use the site for all sorts of reasons. Some people need more structure; others enjoy having full control. You can make your Twitter experience exactly what you want it to be. If you use Twitter to build your brand and expand your professional network, that’s exactly what it will do for you.