|Twitter vs. Facebook
By: Angela Bright
Business Insider recently posted an article titled, “When It Comes to Marketing, Twitter Destroys Facebook.” The article reports that, despite Twitter making up only 5% of social media traffic compared to Facebook’s 78%, further research showed that Twitter is a better marketing tool.
I’ve been a Facebook user since 2004 and a Twitter user for less than a year. Within just a few months, Twitter almost managed to make me abandon my relationship with Facebook. In addition to the pros of Twitter mentioned in the Business Insider article, here are the top three things that immediately stood out. These, to me, position Twitter as a better a marketing tool.
1) Exposure: Tweeting leads to more exposure than simply posting a Facebook status. When someone posts a status update on Facebook, it’s usually not reposted by that person’s friends. However, retweeting on Twitter provides an opportunity for an audience beyond a person or brand's initial group of followers to see tweets and potentially engage in the brand. Retweeting is like a domino effect, and it allows messages to be spread very quickly.
2) Speed: When users log into Facebook, they may update their status, read friends' statuses, see if anyone has posted new pictures, chat with a few people, and then log off. It might take a couple of days to log in to Facebook again. Although people might find themselves on Facebook for a couple of hours during each session, the speed at which the Facebook environment operates is much slower than Twitter. Depending on the audience, this may not be a negative thing; maybe the audience for a given brand can't keep up with the fast-paced nature of Twitter. But since Twitter requires constant interaction and updates in comparison to Facebook, users are encouraged to check Twitter constantly throughout each day. Immediate responses from users are also more likely when communicating through Twitter. This keeps conversations flowing and can be much more engaging.
3) Purpose: I tend to look at Facebook more as a tool to connect with family members and reconnect with old friends. It’s a space that’s a bit more personal and many users might hesitate to "friend" people and companies they don't know. Twitter tends to be the opposite; it’s not uncommon to follow and tweet people that you don’t know. Brands can follow fans on Twitter in return for their interest, which shows a desire to establish a relationship.
Not all social media platforms are appropriate for all brands or all audiences, and there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both platforms. When creating a social media strategy, it’s important to research target audiences to determine their social media habits. Work to understand the capabilities of each platform in order to create a strategy that works for your brand, no matter which platform or combination of platforms is used.
Angela Bright is a marketing professional who is particularly interested in all things branding. She's also a self-proclaimed pop-culture junkie. Read her blog.
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