When the World Cup locations were announced, Twitter was a tweet about Qatar and Quatar and Katar (all top trends, have to love the decreasing importance of spelling things right). Within moments a global audience was sharing their thoughts on whether or not Qatar deserved a bid because obtaining alcohol would be difficult and what fun is World Cup without a drink in your hand? Or so I’m told.

Now, your Facebook friends may not care about the World Cup, but on Twitter, where you can easily tap into people from around the world, the conversation was robust. Which got me thinking. What role does Twitter play in conversation?

With Facebook I may share inside jokes, personal photos and college memories, but Twitter, well Twitter is more about sharing info on your interests and less about what is interesting about me.

On Twitter, I’ve never met 80% of my “friends,” so I certainly don’t follow them because we’ve shared good times together, although you never know that may happen one day. I follow them because they are smart or interesting or useful to me. Twitter behaves in a similar role to a brand/organization Facebook page. It’s often a conversation starter between people who have similar interests but most likely don’t know one another. It’s a place for people to share their passion about their interests.

Knowing this, think about how you can maximise your role on Twitter.

1. Share useful links. Be that information resource.

2. Follow people who have the same interests. If you love the Indianapolis Colts, follow other Colts fans, follow reporters who cover the Colts. Don’t follow me, because I’ll most likely never talk football.

3. Save the personal, personal for your Facebook friends, you know the ones who actually care if you ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

At the end of the day social networks are tools which you can use to connect in different ways. Knowing the role of the tool and how to use it will allow you to get the most of your social networking efforts.