Facebook is like a barbecue picnic

And Twitter is a big gala. Your blog? That’s a conversation with a friend over coffee at Starbucks.

You know what I mean? Well, let me explain what I’m thinking. I was considering this blog (I write for several blogs, but this is just about The Fletcher Prince one), and wondering if I was handling it correctly. For my blog, and for my clients who have blogs, I’ve recommended feeding the blog to their Facebook Pages. So that each blog post appears as a Facebook Page update to the Page’s friends. Easy way to update the Page’s content, more readers for your blog, it’s all good, right?

Well, now I’m not so sure.

I’m wondering if feeding your blog to your Facebook Page is such a good idea, after all. People who study social media are coming to understand the ways these different platforms are used. And generally speaking, what they’ve found, is when people go online to visit Facebook, they’re in a good mood, they’re positive, they want to connect, and they want to engage. Kind of like at a barbecue picnic, if  you think about it.

So short updates work on Facebook, event announcements, polls are good, photos always — don’t you know how people share photos at picnics? — and who doesn’t love YouTube video? But extended blog posts? I’m thinking maybe not. So, I’ve stopped feeding my blog to my Facebook Page.  I’ll concentrate on shorter, pithier, more engaging updates.  When I write something on my blog that I’m sure my Facebook Page friends will want to read, and it’s upbeat and in the right vibe for Facebook, I’ll link to that post.

Blog posts, to my mind, are more like sitting down in a coffee shop with a friend who has specifically asked you for some advice on a certain subject. They’re ready to listen, they’re there to listen. The blog-style of communication just feels two-way to me, although I know it isn’t.

Now, Facebook, on the other hand, Facebook is like a barbecue picnic. Think about it! There are plenty of people there, but you KNOW them all. Family, friends, some co-workers. There’s an atmosphere of fun, but also trust. Maybe some good conversations, but none too long, and everyone’s chiming in, going back and forth with iced tea, and games. Nobody’s there to get too deep or negative. So blog posts probably don’t work so well.

And Twitter? When I think about Twitter, I think about a big gala with hundreds of people. When I go to a gala, I don’t expect to have any conversations at all!  Just a quick hi, hello, oh you look great!  There’s too many people, and there’s too much noise, and there’s so much to see. Everyone wants to be there and say they were there, get their picture taken. But there’s not a whole lot of connecting. Everyone wants to stand out and be remembered, no one wants to wear the same dress. But an extended conversation? Or in-depth advice? You wouldn’t do that at a gala. You’d want to see and be seen. That’s Twitter, to me.

So, I’m going to experiment with this a bit. When I post updates on my company’s Facebook Page, I’m going to think more about posting the kind of upbeat, short statements, photos, and videos that would really get comments.  Barbecue picnic stuff!  Fewer links and long blog articles.  What do you think?


About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.

Posted on August 14, 2010, in Blogging Tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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