Social media expert Brian Solis turned soothsayer for the crowd at Ragan‘s Social Media for Communicators Conference in Atlanta and told them that the future of social media lies not with Twitter, but with Facebook.
Why? Well, Facebook has a much larger audience, for starters, so the potential for greater reach is there. But Solis also says Twitter is too ephemeral. He says the average lifespan of a popular retweet is only about an hour. “Twitter has no memory,” Solis says. “It’s always moving on to the next thing.”
[P]articipation on social media runs deeper than just responding to other people.
“Our job is to contribute something to the greater conversation,” Solis says. “Have killer content. Make people feel compelled to share.”
I agree with Solis on the killer content thing. But my experience, based on working with both personal and organizational accounts on Twitter and Facebook, is that Facebook provides the greater reach but Twitter creates a greater connection among users. The people we interact with on the @MissouriSandT Twitter account seem more connected somehow than those we interact with on the Missouri S&T Facebook site.
Of course, most of you who know me from my blog and Twitter ramblings know I’m a big fan of Twitter, and that my interest in Facebook continues to wane with every new meme and every request to join a group that wagers a dog, a rock or some other object can get more fans than Sarah Palin or Obama’s health care plan. So maybe I’m a tad biased.
Also, it wasn’t so long ago that MySpace was the king of social networks, and Facebook was a mere sprite. But the table quickly turned. Could the same fate that came upon MySpace also befall Facebook?
The crux of the matter probably has more to do with what aspects of Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform appeal to people — not which is the better platform for everyone. This post from Twitip got it mostly right, I think:
“Facebook appeals to social animals and can be very addicting to people who have an insatiable appetite to stay connected with friends and make new acquaintances,” while “Twitter is like a communications stream you dive into for an invigorating swim.”
What do you think? Is Facebook the wave of the future? Discuss.