Did you read the predictions about social media use for small businesses in 2014? One of the biggest predictions states that small businesses will get more selective about their use of social media and the sites they have a presence on. So what about the top social media networks, Facebook and Twitter? If you have limited time and resources and can only devote your time to one site, which is best for your biz?
Some businesses have already found their winning platform for success. In the Facebook camp, take a look at businesses such as Talking Finger, Earthegy and Chocolate for Breakfast for inspiration. In the world of Twitter, look no further than Tacolicious, Odell Brewing and Food in Jars.
For our purposes, let’s start by looking at a head-to-head comparison of these two social media network powerhouses:
(Statistics via Statistic Brain at http://www.statisticbrain.com/facebook-statistics/)
(Statistics via Statistic Brain at http://www.statisticbrain.com/twitter-statistics/)
Now that you see how they measure up, let’s look at some key comparisons to see which of these top social networks might be the best fit for your business.
Yes, Facebook has more than double the active users of Twitter, but their algorithm determines which content you see in your news feed, and how often in a given period of time. This can make it more challenging for your audience to see your content, especially with the algorithm changes they’ve been making recently, which impacts business content even more, unless you pay to promote your posts.
Twitter, however, is composed of one consistently streaming news feed of content/tweets, no restrictions applied. As people who follow your business Twitter account follow more people and businesses, their stream also becomes noisier. It can be easy for your content to get lost in the mix.
On the upside, the search function within Twitter is more robust and is utilized more often than Facebook. If you’re tweeting information people care about, the likelihood that it will be found is much greater via Twitter.
Choose Facebook if: You have a little budget that can be put towards promoting your posts.
Choose Twitter if: You have a lot of content to share and plan to be proactive in your interaction with other accounts.
Business vs. Personal
Another key difference between the two largest networks centers around business and personal accounts. Unlike Twitter that lets all the accounts commingle, Facebook makes a definite distinction between business and personal. This can be an issue because your business page cannot proactively connect with individuals with personal profiles. Individuals have to first like your page and you still can’t reach out to them directly unless they message you first. This is not the case with Twitter, as you can follow pretty much anyone as long as they haven’t blocked you or have a protected account.
Choose Facebook if: You have a large follower base on your personal profile that you can leverage for your business page.
Choose Twitter if: You have a niche product or service that people might be using Twitter search to investigate.
One of the key disadvantages of Twitter is the speed at which the information flows. Depending on how many people you follow, a tweet can literally stay in your feed for mere seconds. And there isn’t any way for the ‘good’ tweets to rise to the top, unless you pay to promote a tweet. With Facebook, if your content is really good and a lot of people interact with it via likes, comments and shares, it’s possible for your post to have a longer news feed shelf life. And if your community shares it, there’s a higher probability that it’ll be seen by people you aren’t connected with. This is true, however, with retweets on Twitter.
Choose Facebook if: You like to use a lot of photos for your products, as they tend to get a lot of interaction, which will then result in longer news feed staying power.
Choose Twitter if: You want to share great information that’s not directly tied to your company. Answering questions, retweeting, sparking up conversation, and being helpful on Twitter can lead to people investigating you more and following your account.
There are obviously some key differences between Facebook and Twitter that make them appealing to different people as well as businesses. If at all possible, you should try to leverage both networks in your marketing efforts. But time and resources often dictate the choices you have to make. If we were hard pressed to choose one of these social networks we would probably lean toward Facebook at this time. Let us tell you why:
First, with 1.3 billion active users, it’s probably a good bet that your current customers (and potential ones) are already on Facebook. Second, you probably have an active Facebook account, so you have an established network that you can utilize in your business efforts. Finally, at the current time, Facebook is still leading the pack on driving social traffic to most company’s blogs and websites.
Which social network is best for your business? Share in the comments.
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