If you had to choose one social media marketing platform, would you choose Facebook or Twitter? Obviously you'll want to say "both" but what if you had to make that choice? It’s an interesting question with a variety of different answers. It’s kind of like asking someone to choose between Apple and arch nemesis Microsoft. It certainly varies with a brand’s specific approach. Facebook and Twitter are both great for brand promotion, marketing your content, and other sales strategies. As with all social media, they’re both used to build relationships, educate consumers, and engage fans (that is, if you have budget for such type of activities). Both these platforms require a great amount of time, devotion and strategy to successfully leverage them for business. When it comes to analytics, tracking and management, marketers wish to squeeze as much as possible out of both the platforms. To carefully monitor the organic reach of an advertised post, brands have to invest time and money to know which campaigns are most effective.
Network Reach Through Numbers
Facebook has labeled itself as the primary source of social media advertising through sheer numbers. Because of this, small businesses feel obligated to create a Facebook page to engage with their audience. However, numbers isn’t everything if you’re not achieving the engagement you require. Many businesses struggle to just reach about 1-2% of their page audience organically but also have difficulty paying for consistently costly Facebook Ads. And what if your targeted audiences spend the majority of their time on Twitter? So even if Twitter lacks the number of overall users compared to Facebook, it makes it up in the other areas important for business. About 49% of Twitter users follow brands or companies, compared to the average of 16% for other social networks.
Storytelling or Pointed Information
Depending on the content you want to share, this can be a deciding factor. If you intend to post large pieces of content with a lot of pictures, Facebook works better to achieve that goal. Twitter has a 140 limit to a character count, so most businesses normally post links to their pages outside of Twitter. Both formats have pros and cons. While you can potentially get more opportunity and freedom in Facebook, some busy people just scroll right on by without reading, so Twitter is relevant here for to the pointed information. Most people these days have a very short attention span after all. On the flip side, some people do not click on outsourced links if a tweet is directing them somewhere else, so that information is lost as well. It all depends on your business niche and what sort of audience you wish to target.
Following Friends vs. Following Strangers
It’s never an issue who you follow on Twitter. Most of us use Facebook to connect with our family and friends and it’s great to look up people we've lost contact with. As we discussed before, it’s pretty well established that most people have a Facebook account. Almost everyone has people they know in real life added to their Facebook profile. On Twitter, it’s considered perfectly normal to connect with strangers and blocks or (forced unfollows with program like SocialOomph for example) after follows are usually rare. It’s much less about real life friendships and more about sharing views or information. Because of this, Twitter is a great platform to build relationships with Influencers and other companies, and that’s what many social media strategies aim for.
Business Pages vs. Personal Accounts
This is an important point. Following the previous point, there is a major difference in your business or personal account on Facebook. Though Facebook has the better numbers, vast reach and increased opportunities or space to broadcast, companies have been witnessing a significant decline in their organic reaches their posts get. The problem is that Facebook requires payment to boost a post to require the reach you’re hoping for. Research from Social at Ogilvy presented that the organic reach for a content posted on Facebook declined by 49% in less than six months. With Facebook, the issue is that your business page can’t actively connect with any individual who owns a personal profile. Each person has to first “like” your page and message you first. You can invite people to your business page with your personal page but that tactic mostly just helps to get the ball rolling. This is not the case with Twitter. Twitter allows all accounts to mingle. You can follow almost anyone except people who’ve blocked you or vice versa, or if you own a protected / private account.
Engagement Timings: Evergreen vs. Real-Time Content
People mostly go on Twitter to see what’s currently going on and trending. It’s used for real-time content and it depends whether you are online at the time a new Tweet is posted to view it. Because of the vast number of tweets generated or depending on your number of followers, many tweets are easily buried. If you have a budget, you can boost your tweet to stay at the top. Or use a tweet scheduling platform like HootSuite for better consistent posts to stay on top of mind. Otherwise, you’d risk it getting lost in the shuffle. Because of this, most of the direct communication taking place is in Twitter Chats.
Facebook meanwhile has a multitude of community pages which push users to connect with each other and interact. You’ll see a plethora of different discussions taking place in the comments sections alone of groups, business pages, events, profiles, and more. That being said, over the past several months Facebook has made big strides to promote their new Trending section of the home news feed and their new "Facebook Live" feature. Facebook is going for the jugular to compete against Twitter in nearly all areas.
Above all, it's important for publicists, advertisers, and advocates to enter social media advertising on Facebook and Twitter with an open mind, clear strategies, quantifiable goals, and be ready to modify tactics if needed. These are just some of the differences between Facebook and Twitter to consider when planning your social media marketing strategy. Both their unique capabilities make them equally appealing to different people and businesses depending on their interests. Use both platforms to the best of their abilities if you have the time and money to maximize positive results and minimize liability.
Author Bio Kate Pike is a well-known and senior essay writer and has experience on working and marketing through social media. She loves to help others and speak about social issues. Apart from work, she is also an aspiring novelist.
I hope you enjoyed this post on Twitter vs Facebook for social media marketing mastery.
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Michael J. Schiemer of Schiemer Consulting
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