Both traditional and digital practices share similar goals – attracting qualified customers and building brand awareness in your market. The right mix of digital and traditional marketing is better than the sum of its parts. Some businesses think of digital and traditional marketing as being at odds with each other, but in fact they can complement each other to meet your goals and get the best possible results.

Social Media has changed the way marketing is utilized. The ubiquity of platforms like Twitter means that social media has become a basic pillar in brand communication. However, the focus is not conveying a brand message, but understanding your audience and using the information gathered to ultimately generate a ROI.

Social media is often misunderstood and is deemed to be supplementary to traditional media. Sports fans are more loyal than any other consumers, making it even more crucial for brands in the industry to communicate with their fans, something that social media provides the perfect opportunity to do with its real time nature.



Traditional and Social Media marketing are two completely different processes that need to be understood separately. The funnel for social media marketing is the opposite to traditional marketing, with the former looking to find new customers through word of mouth and through the recommendation of retained and loyal ones.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING: The process of attracting consumers through word of mouth:-






Social media is really a paradigm shift or change in world view rather than simply a new set of tactics.

Traditional media relied heavily on a one-to-many paradigm — the brand creates a message and transmit that message to the masses through broadcast, print, radio, or signage. Traditional media is a one-way communication system that doesn’t create engagement or work toward promoting word of mouth — the hallmarks of social media.

Why should brands care about engagement and word of mouth?

Because consumers don’t believe brands.

Now, maybe at one point consumers DID believe brands, but they don’t anymore. Will that toothpaste make your teeth whiter, that laundry detergent make your clothes brighter, that fertilizer make your grass greener that competitors? After years of testing out your claims, the consumers have found too many of them lied, so the consumers have become immune to your propaganda.

And, your generic message shows you don’t really care about ME and it doesn’t give me a way to talk back to you. I am a passive consumer of your message, which doesn’t really provide strong motivation for me to get out there and do anything, let alone buy your brand.

Because I can’t talk back, you never learned I would love your brand if it only came in a smaller (larger) size, a different color, or was simpler (had more features). You brand failed because you didn’t know what I wanted, so you didn’t give it to me.


Social media (done right) gives all this because it’s inherently a two-way communication system.

Rather than getting brand messages, it can get recommendations from friends in the form of reshares and recommended posts, which de-commercializes the brand message. De-commercialization, while a mouthful of a word simply means that brand messages no longer carry the patina of the brand, but reflect the endorsement of your friends.

An example may help.

If you’re old enough to remember when you used to go to the store to rent videos, you likely experienced de-commercialization. Remember, you’d wander aimlessly through the wall of new releases looking for something to rent. Someone (often a perfect stranger) would walk up behind you and recommend one of the titles. Now, even through you might not know the person, you give their recommendation serious consideration because you value their opinion a lot more than the movie studio or some professional reviewer.

Social media exists to create word of mouth advertising by encouraging reshares that not only amplify their message (thus increasing reach), but make brand claims more believable. And we know word of mouth is much more powerful than traditional brand messages. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe word of mouth more than traditional advertising.

Of course, this is nothing new. Marketers always knew word of mouth was much more powerful than brand messages. In the days of traditional media, however, you didn’t really have the tools to generate word of mouth. Sure, you could use catchy jingles and bizarre images in hopes people would talk about your brand, but generating word of mouth from commercials was hard to control, develop, and measure.

Done right, social media consistently generates word of mouth.



In traditional media, content marketing consists of messages that are carefully planned and executed by teams of highly trained professionals. The brand spends huge amounts of money crafting these messages and much more distributing them (the average Super Bowl ad in 2014 was $4 million for each 30 second spot).

Due to the lead time necessary for traditional advertising, brand messages aren’t very flexible — they don’t change often, media buys are committed far in advance, and brands can’t easily adjust to take advantage of new opportunities.


Content marketing is often constructed on the fly, with a relatively short lead-time and flexible schedules. Even with a good content marketing calendar, flexibility to pop in a new message or replace an existing piece of content if it no longer fits exists. Of course, sometimes this backfires, such as when brands jump on a disaster by promoting their brand.

Content marketing is you focused, not brand focused, which is a big difference between social media versus traditional media.

Creating content your target audience loves and curating content from other sources on a consistent basis is challenging and expensive. Likely, the future holds more increases for content marketing and outsourcing more common just as most brands currently outsource traditional media. Content marketing is both art and science better left to those focusing full-time on such endeavors.


  • Digital marketing is a very economical and fast way to promote your service/product/brand compared to the more expensive and time-consuming process of traditional marketing. A well-executed digital marketing strategy, for a reasonable monthly investment, can help your business level the playing field and compete against larger competitors. Often, a television campaign is outside the budget of most small businesses, and even a hard copy brochure printing can be pricey. Digital marketing scales … you can do as little or as much as you want to meet your budget.
  • On the Internet, most of the time people can choose what to look at. Traditional marketing is usually forced upon someone – through your screen, mail or radio – which might not put people in the right mood to buy. Digital marketing is typically non-intrusive. Online, people have the choice to opt in or out of communications, and often it is relevant because they were the ones searching for it in the first place.
  • Digital marketing has the ability to go viral. Using social media shares enables your message to be shared incredibly quickly.
  • Online is measurable. It’s not easy to know how many people heard your radio spots or read your newspaper ad, but you can find out exactly how many times your digital marketing messages were displayed and clicked, which web pages they visited and how long they stayed on your website. Not only is measuring the success of your digital campaign easy, you can get real time results and have the ability to modify the campaign to get the desired results.
  • Digital is very useful for obtaining worldwide visibility in a much easier manner than traditional. But, it is also possible to tailor a digital campaign to reach a local audience only.
  • 24/7, year-round exposure with digital marketing which is not possible using traditional methods. You can reach an infinite audience.
  • Return on investment (ROI) in a very short period with digital marketing.
  • Interactivity with traditional practices is obviously absent. You are throwing information in front of people and hoping that they decide to take action. Digital utilizes social channels to increase engagement and interactivity. There can be plenty of direct contact between the audience and the business resulting in some very valuable feedback opportunities.
  • You won’t find a better medium for building relationships with customers than through digital marketing. Traditional marketing is typically done one way. Digital marketing is a two-way street where the audience can contact you with messages, email and comments (social media). Using digital medium, you can interact with your customers on a personal level. Building relationships with your customers is very important, especially if you want customer loyalty.
  • Traditional marketing offers a tangible product for your potential customer to hold and look at, and can reach people who don’t use the Internet or social media. But, the number of worldwide Internet users in 2014 is a whopping 2.92 billion of the 7.17 billion people in the world today.
  • You can target digital marketing. With a mail or television campaign, it’s difficult to target people who are actually interested in your business – meaning your message falls on a lot of deaf ears. Digital marketing lets you start up a conversation with the people who actually care about your products/services.



An elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value. The term stems from the marketing approach when meeting a prospect in an elevator and trying to sell them on something before they reach their destination floor and exit.

One famous elevator pitch can be seen in the movie “Working Girl,” starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford. Griffith is given the chance to convince a corporate executive during a brief elevator ride that she was the originator of a business idea and not her boss. Her pitch worked.

Think of Twitter as an elevator pitch, only with one floor to sell someone on an idea (Facebook is also an elevator pitch platform only you have more “floors” to work with.)


Facebook also offers a great platform to reach consumers, but it is harder to get “likes” for you business page than it is to get followers in Twitter and you will have to work to encourage and engage your audience.

But Facebook allows you to share a lot more information at a glance than Twitter does. You can imbed images, videos, and even create interactive pages. Facebook is also a great place to offer colorful coupons, article excerpts, and incentives such as “like” our page and get 10% off or we will “like” you back.

The bottom line is that, when compared, they really cannot be compared. The best way to take advantage of social networking is to use both Facebook and Twitter and treat each as a separate entity with the potential to reach markets in very different ways.


Comparison between Twitter and Facebook

With Social Media gathering huge momentum, two of the social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc are taking over people’s lives. Facebook and Twitter are probably the most popular tools of social media and as it happens with most competing brands, there are huge discussions on which is better than the other. This blog compares the two social media sites.

How It All Began
Mark Zuckerberg along with his college roommates launched Facebook in February 2005. It first started off as a social site for Harvard students only but then expanded to include other Ivy League university students. In September 2006, it was made available to anyone who was over 13 years of age. The company went public on 17th may 2012 and was valued at $104 billion. Facebook’s user base is growing rapidly and at end of July 2014 it was about 1320 million users.
Jack Dorsey founded Twitter on March 21st 2006. It was launched on July 5th 2006. Twitter does not reveal its user base, but it had exponential growth between 2009 and 2011, with 2 million tweets a day in January 2009, 32 million tweets a day in January 2010, 90 million tweets a day in September 2010 and 200 million tweets a day in July 2011.

Purpose of use
A major difference between Facebook and Twitter emerges in their methods of communication. Facebook is, in fact, meant to be more passive. In contrast, Twitter seems a much more active form of social communication in which the way you talk to people on the social network emerges as much more conversational.
Facebook is used by members mainly to connect or reconnect with people that they know ofline. Facebook lets members create profiles , post status messages on their wall, upload photos and share links and blogs, write notes, send private messages to friends, text and video chat, and also to play games. In short it is used as a social platform as well as for entertainment. It allows users to express themselves in detail and makes it more personal since the people that we connect with are all friends and family.
Twitter allows users to post 140 character messages, or tweets, and follow the messages of other users on their Twitter feed. It is mainly used to communicate with other individuals with similar interests, regardless of whether users know one another off Twitter, and to follow updates from celebrities. Users can upload photos, share links and send private messages to people they follow.

Privacy settings
Facebook provides users the option of various kinds of privacy settings. They can have profiles that is open to everyone as well as settings that will make their profiles visible only to some friends who have been acknowledged. In addition, users can change the privacy setting on each individual post or for each individual friend. Thus Facebook is meant more for socialising with people that you know and want to socialise with.
Twitter on the other hand does not have too many options for privacy settings. It has only two privacy settings: public and private. Private messages can only be read by people who are being followed by the user. Individual messages cannot have different privacy settings, just one setting for the account.

Facebook has ads featured on it’s website. The ads change based on customer preferences. There is a certain amount of analytics done on the browsing history of the user. Facebook sells the user profile information to various companies.
Twitter does not have any ads featured. Twitter may sell user information to other corporations.

Twitter can be integrated with Facebook such that tweets can be posted to Facebook automatically.
Facebook can also be integrated into other websites, and Facebook login details can be used to access some other sites.
Twitter widgets can be added to a website or blog and can be integrated with Instagram. Some websites allow users to sign in using Twitter.

In conclusion , Facebook and Twitter are two completely different kinds of social networking and should be used based on what kind of communication that a user is looking for.

How do you compare Twitter and Facebook as tools of social media marketing?

Social media marketing is the process of getting the web traffic or attention through social media sites and today organizations are extensively focusing on marketing using this new channel. One question as a social media marketer we face is how do we effectively use social media, what tools to use to effectively communicate and make our consumer collaborate? It is then we compare the tools that can be used for marketing. One such comparison is between Twitter and Facebook. We are doing this comparison to understand when we can use Facebook as a mean for social media marketing and when we can use Twitter as social media isn’t one size fit all.

If we consider the usefulness scenarios for Twitter we can say that it can be used for consumer service and time based communication. Twitter provides you with a platform to understand the patterns in which the users come online or are active on twitter. The enterprise can also do a behavior analysis by skimming through the tweets that the consumer has posted. Twitter is however not good enough for understanding trends. It can be used to understand immediate behavior patterns or the issues in the products and services. It can help us identify issues in the communications as well but this lasts only for a short period of time and does not last long. So trend analysis cannot be done with Twitter.

If we consider the usefulness scenarios for Facebook we can say that it can be used for connecting with the consumers, understanding and authentication of the consumer demography. Facebook can be a very good tool for profiling as all the information about the user is easily available on Facebook and more importantly the available information is mostly authenticated by the group and people associated with the given profile. However Facebook is very expensive tool for mass marketing and there are other traditional channels that can be as cost/value effective as Facebook in mass marketing.

Based on the research by Buddy media, Booz and Company and Sortrender it has been observed that it is advised that an enterprise should skip/avoid using social media just for promotional activities. One of the reasons for this is that the consumers can easily distinguish promotions from the group of activities/posts and most of the consumers will skill/block/avoid the promotions. This beats the whole purpose of using social media for promotions. Sotrender’s research also shows that emotions works better on Faceboook than on Twitter as many participants of Facebook use this as a personal tool and a way for engaging with friends and family. It is a medium that participants use to communicate with the people close to them. They share information which may have medium to high contents with emotions. On the contrary, as according to research by Booz & Company, Twitter is used by participants to communicate something that is relevant for that instant and it can be for the general crowd as well as family. This is the reason it is preferred to keep the messages on Twitter as short and crisp as possible. It also allows others to add more to the tweets thereby increasing your tweet score. Apart from the data that is shared using the tools it is also very important to understand the timings of when to use which tools during a day, week or month to maximize the engagements with customers. According to the mentioned research roughly one fifth of tweets occur on Saturday and Sunday despite the fact that Twitter engagement rate is 17% higher on weekdays. Communicating on Twitter tends to do best during the business day while engagement on Facebook does best during personal time.

As a marketer, it’s not a matter of choosing between Facebook or Twitter to support your plans but rather to use each platform to effectively achieve your goals.


Social Media Wars: Twitter vs Facebook!

Facebook as a social network is flexible and versatile. You can upload pictures, videos, games, and apps to your profile; embed videos from YouTube; and post calendar events. Twitter, at first glance, only allows for text, more text, and even more text with links. Also, Twitter is a microblogging service while Facebook has many facets including a microblogging component.

Facebook is, in fact, meant to be more passive, as Jeff Glasson noted in an early 2008 blog post on the Social Media Today website. In contrast, Twitter seems a much more active form of social communication in which the way you talk to people on the social network emerges as much more conversational. Twitter has been likened to a giant party where you know no one but wish to make many friends. In contrast, Facebook would be a wedding reception filled with family and friends.

When looking at these two tools, one issue comes up quite frequently—the issue of privacy. Privacy seems paramount to the users of Facebook, but Twitter users tend to embrace the feeling that everything is public. Simply look at this difference in the two services: Facebook gives you friends, while Twitter gives you followers. With Facebook, you often need some sort of approval to contact another user while Twitter does not require the same type of approval.

Top accounts
Twitter’s top three accounts and Facebook’s top three are completely different. Katy Perry (54 million followers), Justin Bieber (52.4 million followers) and Barack Obama (43.4 million followers) are top of the Twittersphere. Over on Facebook, the top three have a much larger following, led by Shakira with 102.3 million. Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place with 94.7 million while Eminem comes third with 93 million.

Once the preserve of millennials and college students, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is now the 55-64 year age range. For young people, the prospect that their mum can see everything that they are posting and talking about with their friends is a serious risk to Facebook’s cool factor.

Real-time news attention
This is where Twitter excels. The reason that its status updates or “tweets” are restricted to just 140 characters is that it was originally conceived to add a social layer to SMS text messaging, before smartphones became widespread. While 140 characters might not be enough for long-form blog content, it does force users to be concise, and they can still link out to external websites and articles.

Twitter is widely thought to have come of age during the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements of 2011, when protestors in the Middle East used it to share their movements and organize mass demonstrations.

Facebook’s most common use is to keep people informed of what’s happening. It’s become a scrapbooking site, where people archive important moments in their lives. Twitter focuses on speeding things up, often becoming a source in and of itself.

Connecting with friends & family
Here Facebook has the edge – reflecting the emphasis of connection over information in its mission statement. Whereas you can follow anyone you like on Twitter – which results in a lot of one-way connections if they don’t follow you back – Facebook friend requests require mutual consent. This usually means that you end up with more ‘real’ connections of people you actually know. Which brings me to one of Facebook’s biggest bugbears or virtues – depending on your point of view – the role of “passive communication.” The idea being that, once somebody’s accepted your friend request, you forevermore have a window on their life, broadcasted to you in daily chunks.

Event promotion
Due to its huge user numbers, if there’s a big event on, like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, you’re likely to hear what your friends and perhaps their friends are saying about it on Facebook, but you’re less likely to get the full range of views from across the whole of the world. Facebook tried to introduce hashtags last year to its status updates, but so far they have caught on to the same extent as in Twitter. By contrast, Twitter’s news feed can be rather raw and unfiltered, but that has actually proved an attraction for people wanting to follow celebrities and get an insight into their daily lives. Again, Facebook belatedly introduced fan pages that you could ‘like’, but whereas updates from musicians and film stars on Facebook can sometimes seem a bit scripted and the work of the PR department, on Twitter, there’s a direct interaction between celebrities that intrigues users, as well as a chance that a fan’s comments or @replies might get read directly and ‘retweeted’ by the celebrity.

Where we build and share our digital identity
Facebook pushes us to use our real-world name and identity, and its controversial “Timeline” feature is quite literally a lifelong history of your every move on its network. On Twitter, less information is required to register, and we can be more anonymous if we so choose. If Facebook is a bit like a digital scrapbook for our lives, where we share both the big and the small things with friends, Twitter is more like a digital soapbox, where we share our big and small views and ideas with the whole world.

Here, Twitter fills an interesting middle ground between Facebook and LinkedIn, which is more for purely professional talk. On Twitter, many professionals tweet on work-related topics and contribute to the relevant hashtags – hoping that they will build a following over time – whereas on Facebook such shop-talk might risk boring or alienating friends and family. Those wanting to craft such a professional or public identity on Facebook are forced to set up separate “Pages.”

However, as we switch from sharing words, to sharing photos and increasingly video, Facebook is better positioned. With the 140-character limit and text focus, photo-sharing is still something of a niche activity on Twitter. Many photography enthusiasts now flock to Facebook’s Instagram.

Twitter and Facebook as tools for Social Media Marketing

Twitter has close to 284 million monthly active users, 500 million Tweets that are tweeted per day. In comparison Facebook has 1.35 Billion users and 864 Million active users per day. Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2014 mentions that over 90 % of Marketers leverage Facebook and over 80 % use Twitter to promote their products. Followed by Linkedin, Youtube and Blogs. This report indicates that significant use of social media marketing started  only around 2010. The likes of Facebook and Google have also acknowledged this opportunity and created dedicated tools / opportunities for organization to promote their products.

Twitter allows users to send short messages limited to 140 words while Facebook has gone further to provide tools for Businesses to leverage. One could not only host a Organization Page on Facebook but also upload videos pictures along with putting up posts. However, research by the publishers of this report indicate a steady decline in use of Facebook by marketers. It is expected though that there will be a 3% increase in use of Twitter and a decrease of 7% for Facebook by Marketers for Social Media Promotions.

There are many ways in which Twitter could be leveraged. It could be used to provide quick and short regular updates. The updates could include links that provide for further detail. Twitter could be used to generate a network of followers. It is also used to monitor what various users of twitter are saying about the organization and their brands. So all in all it acts as a quick and effective medium to reach millions. Marketers could look to tag in their posts Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) and experts that could help build the brand further. Twitter also provides for functionality to retweet messages. Hence it is critical for marketers to identify when such messages are published and they should look to promote these message through the medium of retweets. Twitter also provides for use of Hashtags which are keywords that can be used in a tweet. A customer can search for the particular keyword and obtain all the tweets pertaining to this keyword.

 Facebook too could be leveraged for Social Media Marketing. A dedicated fan page can help get a feeling of personal interaction for fans with the organization. It also brings together the fans of the brand / organization providing opportunity build the brand reputation. Ads is another medium to promote product and brand. Further one could create various types of groups to collaborate and provide insights that otherwise would not have been possible. One could run polls to get a sense. There are tools that are available that help in listening to relevant matter that could help the organization to further build their brand. Social Media Marketing Report 2014 survey of 2800 marketers shows that Facebook has seen a steady decline as a marketing medium. Only 43% of the marketers felt their promotions very effective.

So how does one choose between Twitter and Facebook for Social Media Marketing. Twitter is not to be used when one is trying to observe trends whereas Facebook is more apt in this situation. Whereas Facebook is not apt for mass communication instead twitter is more suitable. Some of easy rules one could reference are as follows. If there is a continuous stream of information that is expected to be published and the marketer / organization are committed to spending as much time to connect with its customer on social media then Twitter is the recommended medium. On the other hand if there is limited budget and time then Facebook would be a recommended medium. If one has a huge following on Facebook then they should look to leverage that and if there is a niche product or a limited duration promotion then Twitter could be leveraged more effectively.  Facebook is more productive when there is a lot of images and videos that once is looking to use to connect with customers.

While the above rules could be referenced it does not should not be limited to only these. Organizations should not only look to leverage both the mediums but also the others. The method has to have some meaning to it. It cannot be a carpet bombing type of approach but more strategically thought through to ensure the business outcome!

Twitter and Facebook as tools of Social Media Marketing

“When I wrote, ‘The world is flat’, I said the world is flat. Yes, we are all connected. Facebook didn’t exist, Twitter was just a sound, LinkedIn was a prison, Cloud was in the sky, 4G was a parking spot and for most people Skype was a typo” ~ Thomas Friedman

The evolution of social media into a robust mechanism for social transformation is already visible. Despite many adamant critics who insist that tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are little more then faddish distractions useful only to exchange trivial information; these critics have been proven wrong time and again.

With this blog, I will try to compare Facebook and Twitter as the tools of social media marketing.

Facebook and Twitter deliver information in very different ways, and although there is some audience/user crossover, they serve two very different marketing needs. Twitter may have a better reach among African, American and Latino markets, as well as people between the ages of 18 and 29, while Facebook has a far better reach among seniors and women. Twitter is better for viral trends (which, even on Twitter tend to be more flukes and public interest at any given moment than the result of carefully planned marketing strategies), but Facebook is better for deeper communication and relationship branding that Twitter is.

Twitter is good for realtime communication and customer service and not good for following the Trends. Whereas, Facebook is good for Authentic Connections and Profiling and not good for mass market. Also, Facebook is more expensive than Twitter when it comes to cost of posting ads.

Power Of Facebook

Last quarter, Facebook passed 1.19 Billion monthly active users, 874 million active mobile users and 728 million daily users. The numbers speak for themselves. 3 out of 4 Internet users in the world are active on Facebook.

Power Of Twitter

Twitter celebrated its 8th birthday in 2014 and continues to show measurable growth each year. When Oprah Winfrey sent out her first tweet in 2009, she attracted more than 100,000 followers in her first hour. That’s how fast and far well-timed news and tweets can reach in the Twitter community. And today, some five years later, tweets can still go viral in minutes.

Facebook Is Reactive; Twitter Is Proactive

Facebook’s most common use is to keep people informed of what’s happening. It’s become a scrapbooking site, where people archive important moments in their lives. Twitter focuses on speeding things up, often becoming a source in and of itself.

The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street are two notable movements that had their start on Twitter. Gossip columnists have direct and unfiltered access to thoughts of celebrities and other notable people. Journalists from every vertical of every major media outlet have flocked to the site hoping to catch a hot news story happening in real time. Both corporations and governments also monitor Twitter trends, with many utilizing it as an avenue to connect with the public.

Think Of Twitter As An Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short summary used to quickly and simply define a product, service, or organization and its value. The term stems from the marketing approach when meeting a prospect in an elevator and trying to sell them on something before they reach their destination floor and exit.

One famous elevator pitch can be seen in the movie “Working Girl,” starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford. Griffith is given the chance to convince a corporate executive during a brief elevator ride that she was the originator of a business idea and not her boss. Her pitch worked.

Think of Twitter as an elevator pitch, only with one floor to sell someone on an idea (Facebook is also an elevator pitch platform only you have more “floors” to work with.)

Think Of Facebook As A Place Of Deeper Engagement

Facebook also offers a great platform to reach consumers, but it is harder to get “likes” for you business page than it is to get followers in Twitter and you will have to work to encourage and engage your audience.

But Facebook allows you to share a lot more information at a glance than Twitter does. You can imbed images, videos, and even create interactive pages. Facebook is also a great place to offer colorful coupons, article excerpts, and incentives such as “like” our page and get 10% off or we will “like” you back.

The bottom line is that, when compared, they really cannot be compared. In the end, the best way to take advantage of social networking is to use both Facebook and Twitter and treat each as a separate entity with the potential to reach markets in very different ways.

Twitter vs Facebook in Social Media Marketing

In social advertising, where is your money better spent—on Twitter, or on Facebook?

Facebook allows for some useful targeting, with a variety of expressed and implied interests available as options for targeting its users, and it has worked hard to improve its ad platform since its IPO last year.

Still, although 85% of marketers polled at the beginning of 2013 by AdAge said they use Facebook as a marketing tactic, among them just 61.5% said they have used it for advertising. Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad product gets rave reviews from some, yet less than 30% have given it a shot.

Twitter, on the other hand, offers a variety of “Promoted” products—Tweets, Accounts, and Trends—and worked hard at improving its self-serve platform in the year prior to its broad rollout in April 2013. Yet, again, results are mixed, and it seems Twitter still has a ways to go as an advertising platform.

Twitter Vs. Facebook: Network Reach

Facebook gets an A+ for network reach, with 1.15 billion active users that share 4.75 billion items daily.

Twitter has decent reach, but not nearly as large, with 232 million active users posting 500 million tweets a day.

According to the Wall Street Journal, that’s just not enough of an audience for some advertisers. This much smaller reach is probably why Twitter claims just 13% of social media advertising budgets compared to 57% for Facebook.


Twitter Vs. Facebook: Ad Performance

It’s difficult to make an exact apples-to-apples comparison of ad performance on Twitter versus Facebook, because Twitter doesn’t release all the same metrics. But here’s what we do know:

According to AdWeek, “engagement rates” for Twitter ads can be as high as 1-3%, much higher than Facebook’s average CTR of 0.119%. The benefit for Twitter is that its ads are in-stream, rather than pushed off to the side. However, average CPM (cost per impression) is significantly higher on Twitter, at up to $3.50 compared to an average CPM of $0.59 on Facebook, and Twitter does not release stats on ROI (109% for Facebook).

One exact comparison is revenue per visitor (RPV): $0.93 for Facebook compared to $0.44 for Twitter. Facebook’s RPV is double that of Twitter’s, but note that Twitter’s RPV is up 300% year over year, while Facebook’s RPV has only improved by 39% YoY. (Facebook’s first click revenue per visitor is also double that of Twitter: $1.63 and $0.82, respectively.) Further, share of social referred visits is down for Facebook (at 62%, down 20% YoY), while Twitter’s share of social visits is just 6.8%, but growing fast, up 258% year over year).

Some further considerations:

  • Twitter claims that Promoted Trends provide a 22% lift in brand conversion, 30% lift in positive mentions and 32% lift in retweets. These promoted trends can cost more than $200,000 a day, 33% more than they cost in 2012.
  • Facebook ad marketing performance varies greatly by vertical. For example, average CPC for alcohol brand ads is 45% higher than average. Gaming ads, on the other hand, have 30% higher CTR than average and 40% lower cost per click. (PDF)
  • An AdAge survey ranked five online advertising platforms in terms of importance by ROI. Google was the clear winner, followed by Facebook, and then Twitter.


Twitter Vs. Facebook: Mobile Ad Performance

In some ways, Twitter has the advantage here – on smaller mobile screens, it’s even more important for ads to be well-designed and feel organic. Because Twitter ads show up in the timeline instead of off to the side, they’re in a better position to dominate on mobile. Facebook ads, on the other hand, are in the right rail, which doesn’t even exist on the Facebook mobile app. As such, Facebook is failing its mobile advertisers.

Note, also, that Facebook only has one native ad format in the Facebook app, the App Promotion Ad. All Twitter ads show up both on desktop and mobile.

Here’s how the two networks are doing in terms of mobile performance metrics:

While Facebook currently leads in mobile market share, expect big growth from Twitter in this area. By 2015, Twitter is expected to net $1.33 billion in worldwide ad revenue, and more than 60% of that will be from mobile ads.


Twitter Vs. Facebook: Ad Formats

Facebook cut its ad format options in half, in response to requests to simplify the system and eliminate redundancies. Facebook’s ad formats now include:

  • App ads
  • Domain ads
  • Mobile app ads
  • Offer ads
  • Page-like ads
  • Page post link ads
  • Page post photo ads
  • Page post text ads
  • Page post video ads
  • Sponsored stories

According to Robert Hof at Forbes, “rather than having to plan their campaign around which of 27 ad formats to use, advertisers instead will make choices on what they want to accomplish–such as amassing fans, getting people to install their app, or driving people to physical stores–and Facebook’s ad system will suggest the right kinds of ads to run.” My take is a little more cynical – in my view Facebook basically admitted that more than half of its ad formats didn’t work. This is generally not a great sign.

Twitter’s ad format offerings are much simpler:

  • Promoted tweets
  • Promoted accounts
  • Promoted trends

My guess is they will introduce more ad options in the next year or so. Historically Twitter is slower to release new features than, say, a Google. (Not that the recent shift to include images in timelines is probably meant to increase ad clicks.)


Infographic: Twitter vs Facebook