I don’t know about you, but I am sick of people telling me to clean up my Facebook. I think it is clean. Am I supposed to wear a suit in every picture as if I were interviewing for a job? Should I get rid of some of my friends who have pages that are less than perfect? My own mother reads my Facebook, and she thinks it’s cute. So what is the big deal? How do I draw the line between a Facebook page I can be proud of and the pages people use as bad examples.

On the other hand, my Twitter is professional. I use it as my own micro-blogging networking tool. I tell my friends that they need to clean up their tweets and profile. I complain about having to un-follow friends because of their constant use of profanity.

The question is am I a hypocrite or just confused about the difference between the two social media sites?

Since I have a bias for myslef, I am going with the latter. After taking some time to research the issue, I found that the problem lies in the audience of the social media page. First let’s compare Facebook to Twitter. Here is a chart that a Social Media Pro Heather Shipley sent me:

At first glance the two seem fairly similar. However, Steve Thornton wrote a post that depicted the differences. He described the conversation on Facebook as, “you chat with old friends and acquaintances, mixing and mingling in an intimate manner.”

He said the conversation style on Twitter was that “you want to meet people and somehow make yourself known, stand out from the crowd, make an impression, self promote and make new connections. Twitter is like getting the podium and not everyone feels comfortable or knows how to stand comfortably in the spotlight.” Thornton even cut first time tweeters some slack because of the public speaking butterflies.

Since both Facebook and Twitter use different conversation styles then they must have different audiences, right?

Shipley helped me out with this one too. She said that they do have different audiences so “you have to tailor your messages to your audience accordingly.” This means that some messages can be used for both audiences. Shipley even found a way to connect her Twitter and Facebook, so the appropriate messages are instantly copied.

However, you have to remember to be selective because not every tweet can be a post. Tweets use a different language with # (hash tags), @ (mentions), RT (retweets — not to be confused with RT Evans) and DM (direct message) that some people don’t understand. And not every post can be a tweet. Posts can often be too personal for the public audience of Twitter.

This is what I have learned:

  • Both of my pages reflect my personality. While I would like to graduate, and get a job one day, I do not constantly wear suits. Creativity in pictures is fine. But I need to make sure that my grandmother would be proud.
  • My Facebook is for my friends and family. I keep it personal. I do not have this page attached to my other social media sites. However, I have to keep my posts and pictures clean. I caution everyone: nothing is private.
  • My Twitter is professional. However, I have to understand that some people may use personal Twitter pages. Since Twitter is received by more of a mass audience, I feel as though it needs to be professional. So I will continue to follow professionals — and professional students of course.

Enough about me, What do you think? Take this poll and comment. Go ahead challenge me or maybe agree with me.

 

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