Facebook Vs. Twitter

Facebook and Twitter are different beasts as far as social media marketing is concerned. The strategies that work on one platform might not be applicable for the other.

To understand how Facebook and Twitter differ, we must first understand their purpose of existence and how they differ from each other. Facebook users tend to be more interested in keeping tabs on their family and friends. They usually use this social network to remain in touch and for “liking” celebrities, books and causes. Twitter is better for public trends and viral marketing. Twitter is also more public than others. Celebrities and other influencers are more active on Twitter than on Facebook.

If we evaluate in terms of demographics also, Twitter and Facebook are different. Twitter has a better reach among black and Latino markets as well as for people in the age group 18 to 29. Facebook on the other hand has a far better reach among seniors and women. According to TechCrunch, as of early 2012:

  • 15% of all adults in the U.S. use Twitter
  • 14% of Adult Men Use Twitter
  • 15% of Adult Women Use Twitter
  • 26% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 use Twitter, and
  • 8% of those who do use Twitter, use it every day

While Twitter stands as a no frills social networking platform, Facebook is more complicated and bombards you with games, chat, apps and what not. People use Twitter as a news feed whereas Facebook is far more difficult to operate like that.

The marketing facilities of Facebook or Twitter can be compared below (Source: http://HeidiCohen.com):

Category Facebook Twitter
Promotions (such as Call-to-action) Avoid any form of promotion; Keep prospects on Facebook Can ask to retweet message
Use of links Avoid use of links since reduce response Include as long as they work
Photographs Improves results Improves results
Communications timing During personal time During work time

Facebook and Twitter differ in another aspect – the content. Twitter is more text heavy with the posts being limited to 140 characters. Facebook on the other hand is more content rich.

Twitter is also excellent for real-time engagement with customers. If you want an important update to be sent to all your followers, you should send a tweet. The application also translates better into mobile devices compared to Facebook’s clunky interface. On the other hand, Facebook is for making highly targeted campaigns based on exact user information. Suppose, if a company wants to target women ages 15-24 who like black chocolate and Sufi songs and currently resident in Brazil, you would be better off using Facebook rather than Twitter.

Research has shown that Facebook is a more personal social network than Twitter and is a source of deeper engagement. People put more thought in sharing or liking items in Facebook rather than on Twitter. People think twice before “liking” a page or a product compared with “following” on Twitter.

Another aspect that most companies should be careful about is the timing of their tweets/messages. Precise algorithms are available online to measure when the impact will be maximum.

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