Facebook and Twitter are arguably the largest and most influential social media sites of the day. As a social media markter, I use a wide variety of social media sites, and I agree that Twitter and Facebook is where I spend the majority of my time and efforts. I do this because the first rule of marketing is, “Go where your customers are”.
Seventy-eight percent of all social media traffic goes through Facebook, while Twitter is a measly 5%. Although, despite the market share, a study by Social Twist says the better bet is to use Twitter for marketing and NOT Facebook.After analyzing more than one million links on both Facebook and Twitter, researchers found that Facebook’s shared links average only 3 clicks, while on the other hand, Twitter generates an average 19 click-throughs every time a link is embedded into a tweet.Click-through rates should not be the only thing on a marketer’s mind when he or she is choosing a social media platform . If you are deciding between Facebook and Twitter, consider the following pros and cons of each, compiled by PC World:
PROS OF USING TWITTER
- Twitter has 165 million registered users and 100 million tweets sent in an average day, according to Bloomberg.
- The new Twitter layout is very good for marketing because it has a split-screen and view pane that allows users to share videos from 16 different media providers; businesses can effectively share updated videos on their Twitter profiles, instead of just repeatedly tweeting messages.
- The audience that uses Twitter is generally more sophisticated and knowledgeable in terms of using technology and social media. Social media professionals inhabit the Twitter world, and the level of user-sophistication only continues to get better with each tweet.
- Twitter is easy to use on third-party applications through features such as scheduled tweets and searches.
- With only 140 characters, a lot of tweets leave readers hanging. They have more questions about what they’ve just read; this suspense factor taps into their desire to click on more links.
CONS OF USING TWITTER
- The Twitter universe is comparable to a cocktail party, where people lightly take part in numerous conversations, skipping from one to the next. Twitter party attendees are always looking for instant satisfaction, a buzz that’s more appealing than the one they just encountered. Needless to say, conversations have gaping holes in the middle, often leaving Twitter users hanging with just bits and pieces of conversations, and leaving them with more questions than information. This is as much a con as it is a pro.
- Twitter’s security is unreliable. Malwares are easily spread when users click on URL’s loaded with viruses.
- Twitter has the “Fail Whale” (right) that has become annoyingly familiar to users. Businesses must take into account the frequent moments when the server is down or over capacity.
PROS OF USING FACEBOOK
- There are 600 million Facebook users compared to the 165 million Twitter users.
- Facebook is considerably more reliable than Twitter; outages are very rare.
- There are a number of multimedia tools available on Facebook that can be good for your business, including videos, links, and photo albums, etc.
CONS OF USING FACEBOOK
- The fact that there are so many Facebook users can be a positive point, but it can be a negative one as well. Many of the users are not target consumers, and businesses must plan their strategies accordingly. Since Facebook is a less-focused medium than Twitter, businesses have to put more effort into their outreach to ensure clicks.
- If Twitter is a cocktail party, then Facebook is like a college dorm. Masses of people mill about and become familiar with one another’s faces; they don’t actually get to know one another until months pass. As such, Facebook may not be the right environment for your business to sell a product.
While Twitter may have a significantly smaller user-base than Facebook, it still requires less time for actionable exposure, offers more return on investment, and usually reaches a more specific audience and consumer base. The amount of distraction on Twitter is generally far less than the amount of distraction on Facebook, where businesses can end up lost at sea.
If you agree or disagree with me, I’d love to hear it. I’d also love to hear your social media success/failure stories of using Twitter and Facebook.