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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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What I learned about marketing from Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)This is a guest post by Julie A. Novak, author of the blog Moving Target Media.

I just finished reading Mindy Kaling’s first book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). I had been looking forward to reading it, anxiously awaiting my turn in the library wait list. I like to read a book before I decide whether to add it to my permanent collection. Kaling’s book made the cut, if only for the back cover photo. It never gets old. But more on that in a minute.

Kaling is an Emmy-nominated writer and actress on NBC’s The Office. She is young, hip and humorous. Her comedy is self-deprecating and observant. It’s not a hard sell, really. Yet Kaling eagerly approached her book launch with smart strategy, combining social media, signings and TV appearances to create anticipation. It lived up to the humor she promised and I could have broken my library admissions rule without regret.

Here’s what she did best, and why it worked:

  1. She plays to her crowd. Kaling knows her audience and what makes them tick. She observes others for creative material and shares her comedic insights about current events, fashion and behind-the-scenes moments from The Office. Her content is fresh, updated frequently and interesting. Perhaps most importantly, she regularly responds to fans, giving them a personalized, interactive experience on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.
  2. She stays true to her personality. If you’ve ever watched The Office, you know Kaling’s funny. But she consistently leverages her unique voice and perspective across platforms in different ways. Fans identify with Kaling because she lets her true colors show on air and online.
  3. She is not afraid to laugh at herself. This is where that back cover photo comes in. It’s both a lovely and horrible reminder of the horrifying experience of childhood and adolescence. It works for Kaling. But I don’t think my dorked out seventh grade photo – braces, adolescent chub and poofy bangs included – would have the same effect on increasing the readership of my blog. You be the judge.
 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in New Media

 

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5 Things You Shouldn’t Post On Your Social Media Sites

Social Media No No Man

5 Things You Shouldn’t Post On Your Social Media Sites.

This SoshiTech.com article provides great insight into common ways we as social marketers can turn off our current followers and limit the accrual of new ones.  Below are some highlights of the article:

“Spamming someone’s Facebook wall or Twitter timeline is another massive annoying habit. This includes posting links to someone’s wall or tagging them in pictures they have nothing to do with. Just throwing things like that in people’s faces is not a good way to build a relationship or network via social media.”

“Sending out mass messages could perhaps be one of the most annoying of them all.”

We as marketers may do some of the things mentioned in this article unknowingly.  In essence, social media should be used to build sustainable relationships with customers; one’s that are as personal as possible.  Ask yourself, “Would I do these things to my closest personal friends?”  If the answer is no, which it should be, then don’t do them to your Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

Social media is the best way to make friends for your brand.  To do so, basically do the opposite of the 5 no-no’s mentioned in the article and you will do well.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 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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Facebook or Twitter for Building Brand Equity – Which Should I Use?

Twitter and Facebook logos

Every brand is valued in 2 ways: 1) by the tangible brand value it holds in the form of revenue (Coke Classic revenue vs. Diet Coke revenue vs. Coke Zero revenue etc.) and 2) the intangible brand value it holds in the mind of the consumer, also known as brand equity.  A brands equity depends on 2 things: 1) how aware the consumer is of the brand and 2) how positive the consumer is about what they know about the brand as perceived by its image.  The consumer’s level of awareness of the brand is evident by 1) how well the brand is recognized by the consumer and 2) how well the brand is recalled when the consumer needs what it does.   A consumer’s perception about the brands image is reflected in 1) the attitude they hold toward the brand and 2) how well the consumer perceives the brand to fulfill the purpose it intends to fulfill plus any other perceptions that can be scaled positive or negative.  These metrics indicate a brands equity can be high, low or anywhere in between.  It depends on the consumer.

A brands level of equity is what drives purchase, repurchase, brand loyalty etc.  A brand with high equity will have a high number of purchases, repurchases, loyalty etc.  Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are what help drive much of a brands equity these days in what marketers call “many to many” marketing.  Many people talking about brands to their many friends through social media.  The infographic below shows how Facebook and Twitter stack up against each other, which is helpful in deciphering how each can be used to build brand equity.

Branding and Social Media Statistics – How People Are Interacting With Brands Online
Source: AYTM Market Research

Based on the infographic, Facebook is the better platform for building a brands equity.  Seventy-four percent of Facebook’s 845 million active users use the site daily where only 35% of Twitter’s 100 million active users do.  Fifty-eight percent of Facebook’s users have “liked” a brand where only 29% of Twitter users are “following” a brand (for those who don’t know, “liking” and “following” are synonymous).  And though Facebook and Twitter are close in their number of users who mention brands in their posts (42% of Facebook users and 39% of Twitter users respectively), Facebook users are more likely to share someone else’s post about a brand than Twitter users are (41% vs. 29% respectively).

How does all this relate to building brand equity?  Facebook has more users who use the site more often, are posting more messages about the brands they like and recirculating messages about the brands their friends like more often.  Because of this, Facebook users are exposed more often to a brands messages, logos, positive press, customer success stories, promotions, discounts, events and of course what one’s friends feel about the brand which all influence the consumers knowledge of and perception of the brand.  This frequency and depth of brand engagement compounded with the persuasiveness of one’s social contacts is what creates brand recognition, stimulates brand recall, promotes a positive brand attitude and a positive perception of how the brand is fulfilling on its promises.

As a side note, according to the infographic, the majority of posts about brands on both Facebook and Twitter are positive rather than negative and positive information spread by friends is remembered better than negative information.  The sheer number of users Facebook has and their level of activity on the site mean that those positive posts cover more ground, making Facebook an essential tool for building brand equity.

If your company doesn’t have a Facebook account, consider getting one.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in New Media

 

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