Facebook vs. Twitter: A Tug O’ War Challenge?
Facebook and Twitter are both excellent social media tools for companies to spread brands, develop relationships with customers and businesses, and generate leads. But how do we know which site is best for which campaign?
eMarketer recently reported that 6x more people use Facebook thanTwitter. If this is indeed accurate, should companies pay attention to it? And what does it mean for marketing efforts?
Before we can answer these questions, let’s first consider where social media budgets land for using these tools. Zoomerang points out that companies’ use of social media is gaining momentum and creating a surefire way to get the most bang for the buck. As the chart below suggests, 44% of SMB decision-makers use social media.
They also point out that SMBs are twice as likely to use Facebook as they were Twitter. Emarketer comments on these reports:
“Though Facebook is becoming increasingly sophisticated in its product offerings and capabilities, businesses are sticking with the basics to drive performance: 51% of US SMBs found wall posts the most effective marketing tactic, even though only 16% of US consumers said they had interacted with a brand on Facebook.”
Interesting. because I’m going to argue that while this may be true now, the future of social media will grow more intricate and ask that the marketer do more— i.e not only rely on “the basics,” such as wall posts.
Let’s first look at Facebook: In my experience using Facebook, it’s great for companies to have their own fan page where the company can update company-related news, offer resourceful content related to their product/service, respond to customer questions, and highlight promotions. While all of this can be done by simply posting on the company wall, I have found that responses/engagement really only happens when you/the company give them something. When I worked for a digital app company, people “liked” wall posts or responded to wall posts when I posted promotions for free apps or gift certificates. And what do you get back? Maybe some participation. Maybe some fans. But when the promotion is over, the site grows stale. While larger companies may be able to afford promotion after promotion, small-to-medium-size companies typically cannot, especially since the end result offers little return.
Twitter, on the other hand, is organically more prone to engagement and interaction. Companies can follow customers, businesses and, for the lack of a better word, random people that might be interested in their service/product. Many tweeters reciprocate followers and, by default, anything they deem worthwhile or interesting has a chance to be retweeted and thus, exposed to their twitter audience. Companies can tweet questions, promotions, ideas, news, and links to resources that show up directly on their followers’ homepages. To gain followers, companies can simply hash tag key words they feel their target audiences might be interested in. When I worked for the app company, I tweeted @ people who I thought would be interested in using our apps, reviewing our apps, or would benefit from the resources on our site. While I was able to gain a modest number of followers that way, the real benefit was creating relationships that mattered. What cannot happen on Twitter is the visual life. Links have to be clicked on in order to bring traffic to any particular site, promotion, or blog entry. This is something that Facebook can do for you. On the app company’s site, we have a demo of one of the apps right on our fan page. It’s visually stimulating and interactive.
So, back to the question I posed at the beginning of this post: How do we know which site is best for which campaign?
To answer: While Facebook may have more traffic and Twitter may be more interactive, you can’t rely more heavily on one or the other. You must recognize their powers and use them together. Wall post what you tweet; tweet to your Facebook page, your website, your blog. Wall post your blog posts, promotions. Optimization of social media will be understanding not only your company’s relationship to Twitter and to Facebook, but the relationship between Facebook and Twitter as individual sites. They work best when dating– you know, dinners a few nights out of the week. Coffee dates. Movie dates. Keep it casual until you really know how they work and play, then you may just let them fall in love. ❤
What do you think? Join in the discussion!
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