Facebook vs. Twitter – it’s a common question that marketers have. People have good reasons on both sides of the aisle. That truth is that the Facebook vs. Twitter debate isn’t really about which social networking site is better. No, rather it’s about which one is best for your business goals.
Facebook and Twitter are the premier social networks, they have withstood the test of time while other older social networks have gone by the wayside or have declined. We know you want to know though, which social site marketers should focus their attention on.
Facebook has, by far, the most users in their social media network. It’s not really possible for any other site to come close to Facebook in sheer numbers of users. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should completely keep Twitter out of your social media campaigns.
Facebook has over a billion users worldwide. Many of them are active on the site. A wide majority of Facebook users access the application on mobile phones and a good number of Facebook users are outside the US and Canada. Twitter, on the hand, has less than half the number of active users that Facebook has. The vast majority are also active on mobile, just like on Facebook. Millions and millions of tweets are sent every day.
What Twitter doesn’t have in overall users compared to Facebook, it makes up for in other areas that are very important for businesses. For example, more than half of Twitter users follow brands or companies compared to about 20% less on other social networks.
Facebook vs. Twitter – Audience
For companies that want to start their social media marketing, Facebook is typically the first site they set up a profile on. Why? Well, it has the biggest audience. Despite the popular idea that every person has a Facebook profile, it could be that your target demographic may be spending more time on Twitter. Here are some Facebook stats to consider are:
- More women than men use Facebook.
- The majority of Facebook users are between the ages of 18-29.
- Urban and suburban Facebook users far outrank rural users.
- College graduates use Facebook more often than other types of users.
- Income levels are relatively high for Facebook users.
Some similar Twitter stats include:
- More men than women use Twitter.
- All other stats are similar except that the numbers are smaller.
Now, it’s important to note that Facebook’s numbers are shifting somewhat. Its audience is sliding away from millennials and the younger generation, who seem to be moving towards different social media networks. The older demographic of 50 plus is coming to Facebook more and more. The majority of Twitter users are still under 40. Twitter is primarily used by people who live in cities. Basically, you should do some research on who your target customers are and then decide which platform is best for your product or service offerings.
Facebook vs. Twitter – Engagement
Engagement alone might be the deciding factor on whether to use Facebook or Twitter. Over the past few years, many companies have reported that there is a decrease in the number of organic reach posts receive on Facebook. The main complaint is that, unless you pay to boost a post, your content won’t get its maximum exposure. Twitter content may get more engagement initially, but it ‘disappears’ from sight more quickly. Facebook content has a longer ‘shelf-life.’ Brands seem to have to post to Twitter more often to avoid getting lost in all the ‘noise.’ On Facebook, you can post less often and get just as much, if not more, engagement over the life of a post. Experts often recommend that you post to Twitter more than once a day while you can post to Facebook just a few times a week for the same level of engagement. If your time is limited, you may be better off with Facebook.
Facebook vs. Twitter – Functionality
Facebook and Twitter serve different purposes. Most people go on Twitter to see what’s currently going on, connect with new people and to discover new content. Facebook, on the other hand, is used to communicate with friends and family. Many Facebook posts have lots of comments and are similar to a conversation. The only time you’ll see a ‘conversation’ on Twitter is when there’s a Twitter chat. Facebook also has apps, games, and community pages that push users to connect and interact. Twitter has real-time content and information. Twitter moves very quickly and your tweets can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
Both social media networks are moving towards video content which is great for businesses. Short clips work best on Twitter while longer videos can work on Facebook. If you understand how users actually interact with content and use these social media platforms, this will go a long way towards helping you decide which platform to use.
We know that we didn’t resolve the Facebook vs Twitter debate for you. However, we hope we gave you some food for thought. You need to know your audience and a little bit about how they behave before you decide which social media platform to choose. Of course, you don’t have to choose. Many companies use both Facebook and Twitter effectively. It’s really up to you.
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