Creating your profile
Mar 26, 2010 10:33 AM, By Franklin McMahon
Facebook signup requires that you use your real name. This allows people to search for you by name who may know you, and it is the reason why Facebook is the fastest-growing social network. You input your name and email and create a password, then select male/female and your birthday. Your birthday can be hidden on your profile page. After that, you can search your email account for users who may be on Facebook. Facebook can search through your contact list/address book if you wish, and if an email comes up that is registered on Facebook, the site will bring up the profile with an option to add them as a friend. You can skip this step, but it is a fast way to add a lot of people you know fairly quickly. Next, you can fill in your details such as where you went to school and your current company. Again, you can skip this step.
Finally, you can upload your photo for your profile. Once your profile is created, you can add as much or as little info as you want—your website, links you like, hobbies, info about you, and what you do. Bear in mind the more info you can add, the better picture you paint about yourself. Consider whether you want to blend your personal/family information with your business (some do) or if you want to maintain both a personal account and a business account. This will keep you from burying your relatives in activity from all your business partners and overwhelming your business partners with the minutiae of your teenage nephew’s personal life.
Twitter allows you to sign up with your real name, but you can also create a username. I recommend that your username be your actual name. It helps with people searching for you and makes you easily identifiable on the Twitter timeline (the stream of updates from all Twitter users). I use my real name on all social media networks. On Twitter, I am twitter.com/franklinmcmahon, and on Facebook, I am facebook.com/franklinmcmahon (feel free to friend me).
After creating your password and entering your email, in a few seconds, Twitter creates your account and takes you to a Friends Suggestion page, where it suggests people in various industries to follow (for example Jack Welch pops up if you choose Business). Follow as many as you want or skip this step entirely. Next, as with Facebook, you can have the site search your email address book and if there are matches, the site will bring them up and allow you to follow them. Finally, a standard search box comes up with the option to do a keyword search for globally finding friends. After this step, you can upload your profile picture.
One important difference between the two services is worth noting. On Facebook, if you friend someone, it is a two-way street. Each of you can see the other’s updates. On Twitter, however, if you follow someone, you can see their updates, but they will not see yours unless they follow you as well. A lot of people will return the follow, and it is a nice feeling to see someone you are following also follow you. But if you follow someone with thousands or millions of followers, the chances go down that they will follow you back, because sometimes it just too hard to keep track of.