Tag Archives: journalism

Cross social media communication: from Twitter to Facebook and back again

30 Nov

Caroline James @CarolineJames1

As befits this festive time of year, I’ve been on the hunt for a case study to back up anecdotal evidence about the health and safety menace posed by temporary ice rinks that pop up all over London as soon as the evenings start to draw in. Because the raw statistics wouldn’t make for exciting and visual TV, I wanted to liven my story up with an interviewee who was willing to confess to some ice-skating mishap or other.

To such an end I tweeted a shout out to my followers:

A few days later I got a response but not on Twitter. The answer came on my FB wall:

Why? The obvious answer is that the friend in question wasn’t on Twitter but had linked from my FB profile to my Twitter account:

The added bonus is, of course, she had the freedom of more than 140 characters in which to explain the exact details of her ice-skating related injury.  And those extra characters resulted in an amusing anecdote which I don’t think would have worked had it been cropped, tweaked and packaged into a Twitter-friendly format.

Added to this, I’ve now discovered there’s a plethora of tools that allow us to update our FB statuses via Twitter, meaning the two social networks are more intertwined than ever before.  I recently discovered this app which means cross social media communication’s never been easier.

For the more selective tweeter, there’s also a selective app that only posts tweets with the hashtag #fb.

Steve Thornton of Twitip uses the analogy of Facebook as being like a wedding where you know everyone, conversations are more familiar, the responses you get are from already-made acquaintances. Twitter is like a large party, he says, where you don’t know anyone and you need to make an impression and stand out. The responses normally come from strangers, via the hashtag.

The fact that my responses came on FB perhaps suggests that I, like many relatively new users to Twitter, are using it as an extension to FB, tweeting “what I had for lunch today” style posts instead of building up an online community , as you might do with a blog.

But, the fact that I can cross-communicate, from Twitter to Facebook , clearly says something about the changing nature of social media and the people who are now using it. Journalists need a contacts book that extends further than just the people they went to school with; even if it’s the people they went to school with who end up providing the answer they’re looking for!