How Do You Bridge the Gap Between LinkedIn and Twitter?

August 6th, 2009
by

Gail Nelson
A recent Mashable blog post outlined the different ways to apply Twitter and Facebook to your social media strategy and described how the author, Soren Gordhamer, uses each platform. For B2B marketers, though – many of whom have grown up with LinkedIn – that social network remains important.

I started to wonder, with Twitter gaining traffic every day, how do PR and marketing pros balance their use of LinkedIn and Twitter? I ran a quick, one-question poll earlier this week on both LinkedIn and Twitter, and this is what I found:

twitterlinkedin.jpg

As expected, the preferences of the 58 folks who answered the question at the time of this post differed a bit based on whether they accessed the Twitter poll or the LinkedIn poll.  For example:

  • More than half (56 percent) of the Twitter poll respondents used both, but preferred Twitter.
  • LinkedIn respondents were more likely to say they used both and found them equally useful.

(For those of you looking to run a poll on these services — perhaps more scientifically than I did — consider using LinkedIn. It has good free tools and, for a fee, the ability to target the right people inside and outside of your network. But for a full-fledged survey, I still like SurveyMonkey. )

For insight into the Twitter versus LinkedIn issue, I asked two successful users of both services to weigh in.  

Kent Huffman, CMO at BearCom Wireless and author of the soon-to-be launched SystemicMarketing.com (Twitter: @KentHuffman LinkedIn: Kent Huffman), has built a large community of marketers. Here’s what he had to say:   

“I spend about the same amount of time on Twitter and LinkedIn. Twitter has been a great tool for finding like-minded professionals and initiating relationships. By contrast, I’ve found LinkedIn and its associated groups to be ideal for sharing more in-depth conversations and relating on a deeper level. Both forums have helped connect me to some awesome people who have become great colleagues and even better friends.”

Johna Burke, Vice President at BurrellesLuce and Southern Region Chair for IABC (Twitter: @gojohnab LinkedIn: gojohnab ), said:

“I find them equally useful, but my contacts are different on both networks and I use them for varying purposes. There are significant distinctions in how I share and engage on each network. I update Twitter more frequently and send and receive on average 25 direct messages each day. I have an average three emails daily through LinkedIn, but then talk – yes “old school talk,” – to at least a couple LinkedIn contacts each week.

“That said, there is still some industry cross-over in both networks and when there is something relevant I will post an update to multiple platforms via ping.fm. There are other services, but this is the one I have found to be the easiest for me.”

As for me, I have found that as the time I spend on Twitter has accelerated, I check LinkedIn less often.

How do you participate in LinkedIn and Twitter? Are you phasing out one in favor of another? What is the best use of each?

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