Why Facebook is like a club and Twitter like the office ? – Two different platforms

As a marketing channel, social media presents an unbound opportunity for marketers.The high campaign ROI potential of the medium, with a high risk of losing control over your brand communication (given the lateral nature of the platform) – makes it very interesting and imperative to analyse.

As such, to drive a tight, controlled, and high ROI social media campaign – it’s imperative to develop a good understanding of different platforms and their offerings.

Through this post I will attempt to analyse the two most powerful social media platforms Facebook and Twitter – and see how they compare with each other.

The best way to compare and analyze is via analogy – so ask yourself  – As a place what would Facebook look like if it were a room full of actual people ?AND What would twitter look like ?

I visualize Facebook as a club – “young people” hanging out at the pool in leisure , “the gentlemen” having animated discussions in the cards room , the “ladies” enjoying a little party on the patio and “the men’s men” enjoying a game in the billiards room.

Three values dominate this society :

1. Self Expression ( real people , strong profiling)

2. Socializing with the like minded. – ( More intimate connections)

3. Relaxed Leisure and Voyeurism – (longer content lifespans).

Facebook benefits marketers by offering real people – with real lives and interests to market to – instead of a list of phone nos/email ids .-

We’re terming this the benefit of – “Authentic connections

This leads to razor sharp segmentation and direct marketing to allow for very targeted marketing of specific brand offerings to consumers who are very likely to buy your product. This is the benefit of “Profiling

These benefits together bring us to the one limitation this platform has  – It  cannot be used for Mass Communication. The very nature of the platform allowing for similar people to form groups and collaborate – does not benefit a push marketing strategy depending on mass communication to bombard ALL consumers with product information.

Getting back to our analogy framework let’s analyze Twitter – as a real room full of people.

I see an office space – an environment busy with buzz –  every individual with their own skills , trying to promote themselves in their own ways – time is limited and there’s lot’s to do – people talk in 140 characters or less – collaboration, and support ( Retweet), @ mentions is key . Good behaviour is rewarded , bad behaviour is punished – ALL in real time.

This society has two key values :

1. A sense of urgency – very in the moment – Content Lifespan limited

2. Collaboration – @ mentions and retweets , DM – BUT detached connections

As a marketer it allows for great  “Realtime Communication” with consumers – so running campaigns that touch consumers in a way that helps them experience “Living the brand” becomes possible. An example of this is the “I want an Audi A8 ” tweet campaign from Audi the automobile manufacturer who promised to give consumers an Audi A8 to experience for a week !!

From the consumers point of view- Twitter allows for reaching brands for customer service in real time. Customer service for various brands has solely moved to “crowd-sourcing mode” where not only the company but other customers help the ones with their issues.

With it’s unique “in-the-moment” nature , Twitter has an inherent limitation – that of misleading people with Trends. While trends – or trending on twitter is an inherent part of Twitter existence , but the lifespan of such trends is very very limited – often limited to a few hours only. Hence marketers may be misled by these tends if they base marketing decisions on them.Fast follower-ship is not rewarded on twitter – if not punished with panache.

Finally, distilling the essence of Twitter and Facebook down to one single word – I come up with:

Facebook – Relationship Builder

Twitter – News hunter.

Business will need to maintain a presence on both platforms where both mediums are leveraged by guiding your customers and audience to your website and hitting the Order button. As I see it , sales are driven through the stores and the e-commerce platforms – while social media platforms allow businesses to share, comment and display engaging content with consumers to drive brand loyalty and sales.