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Facebook vs. Twitter – Which is Better for Marketing?

social-marketing-twitter-vs-facebookBusinesses of all kinds are jumping onto social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter these days.  Even funeral homes!  (Not really sure what they would be posting about – don’t think I want to know.)  It makes sense though because social sites are where we spend a lot of our online time these days.

If you’re a business, you need to think of your marketing goals and objectives first before choosing a platform.  Some may be better for your organizations needs than others regardless of how many potential consumers are found on them.  This is because they all have their advantages and disadvantages.  Regarding Facebook and Twitter specifically, you’ll see that many of Facebook’s advantages are Twitter’s disadvantages and vice versa.

Facebook’s Advantages and Twitters Disadvantages

There are 4 main advantages to using Facebook for marketing.  First, Facebook’s sheer number of users.  Facebook has 901 million monthly active users where Twitter only has 140 million monthly active users (“active” being the key word here).  Facebook can obviously give a company access to more potential customers.  Also, the more people a company can access through a sharing system like Facebook, the more potential word-of-mouth about the brand.

Second, Facebook is now the most popular social networking site in the world.  Based on an annual study of 136 countries regarding social network usage, Facebook is the dominant social network in 127 of them.  Facebook’s 901 million active users aren’t solely in the U.S. and a few other countries; they are in 127 different countries!  This may not matter for many small to medium sized businesses who may only work locally but for those international companies, Facebook can be a one stop shop for reaching all their markets.  Twitter doesn’t have the international reach that Facebook does.

Where social networks are used in the world

Third, the frequency with which Facebook’s user’s login.  Forty-one percent of Facebook users log in daily where only 27% of Twitter users do.  The more often a user logs in, the more potential they have to be exposed to your brands message.  The more often they’re exposed to your brands message, the more likely they are to take action on it (buy, donate, volunteer etc.)

The fourth main advantage of Facebook for marketing and Twitter’s fourth disadvantage is based in Facebook’s unrivaled ability to increase interactivity with consumers.  Both Facebook and Twitter offer the ability to include videos and photos in ones posts but Facebook also offers quizzes, polls, games and other means of interactivity.  Interactivity increases the time that a user spends with a brand and their brand message.  Many of these tools can also be very sharable which can make them viral and push the brand message further than the brand could by itself.

Twitter’s Advantages and Facebook’s Disadvantages

There are also 4 main advantages to using Twitter for marketingFirst, Twitter followers are more likely to buy from the brands they follow.  Sixty-seven percent of Twitter followers will buy from the brands they follow where only 51% of Facebook fans will.  Isn’t this one of the main reason a company would use social networks? – To have people buy their offerings?  Twitter gets things sold it seems.

Second, Twitter followers are more willing to recommend the brands they follow.  Thirty-three percent of Twitter followers regularly recommend the brands they follow to friends where only 21% of Facebook fans do.  There’s nothing better for a brand than having perpetual access to a large group of active brand advocates who actually sought your brand out (more on this next).

Third, Twitter is more of a “pull” medium where a brands followers are the ones that are likely to seek them out and initiate a conversation.  Brands on Facebook on the other hand usually have to use “push” marketing tactics where they make third-party offers to obtain fans.  An example of this is when Bing employed Zynga to offer “Farm Cash” rewards to “FarmVille” fans to entice them to become Bing’s fans.  Pull is always better than push as pull means the consumer sought your company or brand out on their own.  This means they’re already interested.  Push marketing requires the brand to “push” an offer or ad in front of the consumer to get them interested.  This can degrade the value of that base, since the offer is disconnected from the brand.

The fourth main advantage of Twitter for marketing and Facebook’s fourth disadvantage is that tweets get more clicks.  Tweets with embedded links get 19 clicks on average while Facebook’s shared links only get 3 clicks on average.  Clicking is interactivity; clicking can lead to viral sharing; clicking can lead to sales.

Privacy Issues

There are many ways that Facebook and Twitter can infringe on one’s privacy.  Here are 2 main ones.  First, a branded message can be imposed on you unwillingly.  On Facebook, not only are we forced to see ads in the sidebar but at times, a friend who may be a fan of a brand will respond to one of the brands posts which will then be shown on your wall.  The same happens on Twitter.

Second, games, quizzes external widgets and other websites that allow you to sign into their site with your Facebook account, though they may notify you of the information they will be seeing, sharing and storing, they are forcing you to choose between privacy and using these entertaining and handy features.  The word “choose” is key.  We “choose” to give up our privacy but it’s the fact that we must give it up to use these features that makes privacy an issue.

Though Twitter doesn’t have games and quizzes, they still give access to their users private information if the user wants to use the tools mentioned above like Facebook does.  Facebook offers some privacy controls that may deal with this but many users don’t enable them or they’re hard to find or the wording is skewed so they don’t understand how the control works.

Social networks are gaining users by the minute, so the pressure to use one is mounting.  Although, depending on your business, you may not need to use one.  If you choose to do so, be sure to choose the right one for your needs.

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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in New Media

 

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The Science of Social Timing

This infographic provides some great insight as to when to post on Facebook and tweet on Twitter.  Timing is everything.  Post or tweet too soon or too late in the day or on the wrong days of the week and no one will be ready to read what you have to say.  Don’t waste your time and money; post when appropriate.

science of social timing part 1

Original article: The Science of Social Timing

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in New Media

 

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Mobile and Wireless Commerce + Facebook = Big Money

This just in as of 5/8/2012! – I was right – Check out this article and associated video.

In the future I see a marriage of social networking and mobile commerce through something I call “Instant social m-commerce apps.”  The “m” in m-commerce for those that don’t know stands for “mobile.”

I’ve noticed that many retailers have shopping apps for the consumers’ smartphone where the consumer can browse products, search for products, buy products and even send an email about  products they like to others or themselves.  I found a shopping app for Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and many others.  These apps are fine and dandy but lack a functionality to harness the power that influences 85% of purchase decisions today – word-of-mouth.

The instant social m-commerce app will still allow the consumer to browse, search, buy and email products they like, but will also allow them to draw on the opinions of their closest friends and family in real time to help them make an m-commerce purchase decision.

These improved shopping apps will let the consumer put the items they’re interested in into a “shopping cart” of sorts where they can then look to see which of their friends are currently on Facebook and send them a message that will include all the items they like.  This way the consumer can ask friends opinions on the items of interest in real time.  The benefit of having a feedback system of this nature is based on providing the consumer instant feedback from a trusted source that can then translate into instant gratification and instant sales.  We all know the consumer has to be convinced to buy in the shortest amount of time or risk them backing down from their purchase decision.  What better moment to seal the deal than during the impulse buy moment.  That being said, this obviously won’t work for items that have a higher involvement level, requiring more thinking on the consumers part such as luxury items.

I know what you’re saying, why not just take a picture of the item in question, add some text and send it to a friend as a picture message.  Why integrate with Facebook?  The main reason is just because a person has a mobile phone with them wherever they go doesn’t mean they’re available.  The only way to know if they are available is if you text or call them and they answer quickly.  Facebook will be integrated into shopping apps much more in the future because of how it makes people far more reachable at any one point in time.  Seventy-seven percent of people use Facebook at work.  Facebook currently has over 800 million users with over 350 million of them accessing the site from their mobile device or over 43% and rising.  Believing that most mobile commerce will occur through smartphones in the future, I feel it’s also important to point out that 49% of smartphone owners specifically use their phone for social networking.  Don’t forget the number of people accessing Facebook from home and school during the day and even the number of people accessing it from devices other than smartphones (i.e. iPod Touch).

Integrating a mobile commerce app with Facebook in this way will increase the chance of getting in touch with someone for an immediate opinion because of how many locations and devices Facebook is accessed from.  I argue that Facebook is one of the best methods for achieving constant contact and thus perfect for attempting to add a more social aspect to mobile commerce thus increasing sales.

What do you think the future of mobile and wireless technology will bring as far as advertising and e-commerce are concerned?

The video below shows how we are already halfway to accomplishing this technology.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in New Media

 

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