Twitter vs. Facebook: Which Is Better for Your Business?
- Tara Malone
Ah, social media marketing. You’ve heard all the hype about how important it is, and you’re downright sick of it.
Yes, you know you need to promote your business on social media to grow your audience and connect with your following.
You’ve heard that billions of people use social media every day on mobile alone, and you know that your ideal clients are using social media too.
You know how great social media is, but you also know there are tons of platforms out there, and you haven’t the slightest idea which one to tackle first. Do you build a Facebook page, or a Twitter profile, or share your products on Instagram or Pinterest?
There’s so much choice when it comes to social media platforms, and they all have a different focus.
And on top of that, you’re a brand new entrepreneur struggling to grow your business. Your budget is tight and your time is limited.
And you sure don’t want to waste it trying out social media platforms that won’t work for your business.
You need to know where to focus your valuable money and time in order to grow your business as fast as possible.
But you’re overwhelmed by all the choices and feeling stuck. You don’t want to make the wrong choice, after all. So how do you choose?
At this point, what you really need is a focused approach to social media. Since you don’t have tons of extra time to experiment, you don’t want to be on too many social media channels at once.
“It’s much better to focus your efforts on one or two social media channels to find out which one works best for your specific business.”Tweet Me
But which one to try first?
Well, no matter what industry you’re in, Facebook and Twitter continue to top the list of the best social media platforms for marketing your business. So if you’re just starting out with social media marketing, trying out Facebook or Twitter is a great place to begin.
But as you know, these platforms are very different from one another. You know that Facebook is all about connecting with friends and loved ones and sharing photos and life updates. And you know that Twitter is all about the latest trending news, updates, and of course, celebrity feuds.
So how do you know if Facebook or Twitter is better for your business?
I’m so glad you asked. The truth is, the answer isn’t that simple. That’s why in this post, we’re going to do a deep dive into both of these social media platforms and lay out a step-by-step process to help you uncover which one is best for marketing your business.
Are you ready? Then let’s get started!
Facebook vs. Twitter: What Makes Them So Great Anyway?
Let’s start by answering these questions: What makes Facebook and Twitter so great in the first place?
And why should you launch your social media marketing efforts with one of these platforms?
One of the best ways to approach these questions is by considering the statistics:
- Facebook is the most widely used social media platform in the world. As I mentioned above, it has an incredible 2.3 billion active monthly users.
- This means that 22 percent of the world’s population is on Facebook.
- Almost 70 percent of adults in the U.S. are on Facebook.
- Close to 70 percent of B2C marketers have acquired customers by using Facebook.
- 24 percent of U.S. adults are Twitter users.
On the surface, it might appear that Facebook is the better platform for entrepreneurs and marketers. After all, there are way more Facebook than Twitter users.
And yes, because so many people are on Facebook, practically anyone can find their target demographic there and market to them through the platform.
But don’t write Twitter off so quickly. Resist the urge to make a decision based on the total number of users alone.
There are many factors to consider, such as which platform your target audience actually uses.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at who hangs out on Facebook and Twitter.
Twitter Users vs. Facebook Users: What You Need to Know
Before choosing your platform, it’s essential to do plenty of research to discover where your target customer spends their time.
This consideration is extremely important when deciding which platform to use. After designing your customer avatar and doing market research, you should have a pretty good idea of the kinds of people you’re trying to attract. It makes sense to choose the platform where these folks hang out the most.
Once you’ve done your research and know exactly who you want to reach, you can then use your data to determine whether you’re better suited to Facebook or Twitter.
But who hangs out on Facebook and who hangs out on Twitter anyway? Let’s go over some demographic data for each platform.
Facebook Demographic Basics
As I mentioned above, almost 70 percent of American adults use Facebook. That said, Facebook has started appealing more to an older demographic in recent years.
In fact, 90 percent of U.S. adults over 65 are on Facebook, and 65 percent of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 have Facebook accounts.
Although Facebook is hugely popular with adults aged 50 and over, it’s gradually declining in popularity with younger generations and is not as trendy as platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. So if you’re target audience falls into the Generation Z category, this is an important consideration when choosing your social media platform.
Facebook typically works best if you’re a B2C business with a target audience between the ages of 25 and 55+, and are in one of these industries: Fashion, Auto, E-commerce, Retail, Entertainment, Real Estate, Marketing, Sports, or Health and Wellness.
Twitter Demographic Basics
Even though it doesn’t have the number of users that Facebook has, that doesn’t mean you should ignore Twitter.
While only about 25 percent of U.S. adults are active on Twitter, this platform appeals to far younger audiences than Facebook does. Statistics show that almost 40 percent of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 20, but only 30 percent of Twitter users are 50 or older.
On top of this, Twitter has the advantage of being popular with high-profile individuals such as journalists, politicians, and celebrities, and the majority of the world’s leaders are also on Twitter. This means it’s often chock-full of up-to-date, trending news.
Like Facebook, Twitter is a social media platform that tends to work best for B2C businesses. This is especially true if you’re in one of these industries: News and Information, Retail, E-commerce, Health and Wellness, Travel and Hospitality, Telecom, Finance, Fashion, Retail, or Sports.
In contrast to Facebook, Twitter tends to be better suited to businesses whose target audience falls between the ages of 18 and 29.
Facebook vs. Twitter: How Engaged Are Their Users?
Another thing you’ll want to consider is how engaged Facebook and Twitter users really are when it comes to your industry.
You’ll need to find out how often your target audience checks in with each of these platforms and what kind of content they typically engage with. It’s also essential to look at how much time users of each platform actually spend there each day.
With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at how engagement works across both channels.
Twitter: A Look at User Engagement
Twitter users are in general quite an engaged bunch. Nearly half of them (46 percent) visit the platform every day, and engagement is even higher among millennials. An incredible 81 percent of millennials log in to their Twitter account at least once a day.
Since a lot of journalists, politicians, and other high-profile people are on Twitter, many users turn to Twitter to find out what’s trending in the news. Surveys show that about 74 percent of Twitter users get their news from this social media channel.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that trending news and other content posted on Twitter moves at an extremely fast pace.
That’s why if you’re considering using Twitter for your business it’s important to think about the kind of content you create and if it would be compatible with such a fast-paced social network.
For instance, if you intend to share quick business tips, infographics, or trending news with your audience, it may be well worth your while to join Twitter.
Still, the downside is that since new content is being generated constantly on Twitter, it’s easy for your Tweets to get lost. This means there’s a chance that few people will actually see your content, which makes it difficult to get traction on a post, especially if you’re a new business.
Facebook: A Look at User Engagement
For the majority of businesses, Facebook is the better option if you’re looking to engage your followers over the long term.
The content doesn’t move nearly as quickly as it does on Twitter, which means you have a better chance of being seen if you’re a new brand.
In addition, the average Facebook user is on the platform more often than the average Twitter user. People generally log into Facebook eight times a day on average, while they check out Twitter about five times a day.
And as your brand grows, Facebook will bring more user engagement on average than Twitter. So if you were to end up with one million Facebook followers, you would receive about 700 likes, comments and shares for each piece of content you post. But if you have one million Twitter followers, you would probably only get around 300 interactions for every piece of content you tweet.
Still, keep in mind that in many cases the size of the audience isn’t what’s most important; their engagement level is. So if you have one thousand followers that are super engaged and loyal to your business, that can often be more valuable than having ten thousand lukewarm followers.
Facebook vs.Twitter: What’s Their Role In Marketing?
When it comes to marketing, Facebook and Twitter aren’t created equal, and they play very different roles.
As I mentioned above, Twitter is extremely fast-paced and mainly lets their users uncover new content and trending news in their area of interest.
In contrast, Facebook is focused on making connections with family, friends, and people with shared interests and on engaging in a deeper and more personal way with brands.
Let’s examine in more detail the role that Facebook and Twitter play in marketing your business.
Facebook Marketing 101: Content and Organic Reach
Facebook is all about connecting with your audience, and gives you opportunities to engage your followers with each piece of content you post.
You don’t need to post quite as frequently as you do on Twitter, and there are also many options for promoting your posts after you’ve published them to display them to a larger audience.
Your followers also have the option of asking questions or commenting on your posts, which gives you the valuable opportunity to communicate and interact with your followers. If you play your cards right, this can help give them a very positive impression of your brand.
In addition, Facebook lets you create a page for your business where you can share more information about your brand, post updates, videos, and many other types of content.
Video content in particular has become hugely popular on Facebook in recent years. In fact, video posts are the ones that have the most engagement on Facebook by far.
If your target audience enjoys video content, Facebook gives you plenty of opportunities to include video in your marketing strategy and you should absolutely invest your time in creating video content for your audience.
In addition to videos, curated content also performs extremely well on Facebook. By curated content, we mean things like articles, videos, and resources that were created by other people but are relevant and of interest to your followers. So it’s definitely worth your while to share valuable resources with your followers on Facebook as well.
Despite all the pros of Facebook marketing, there is also a major downside to keep in mind – it’s much more difficult for your business pages to earn organic exposure on Facebook.
It’s also a lot harder to get likes on your Facebook page than to get Twitter followers, which means that you need to work much harder to engage your audience and invest more time and money on developing a marketing campaign.
Twitter Marketing 101: Content and Organic Reach
Marketing on Twitter requires a very different approach. Twitter is a very fast-paced social media platform, and is best suited to bite-sized pieces of content such as quick tips, and short blurbs linking to longer content such as long-form blog posts, whitepapers, and case studies.
This can be very appealing to many modern customers, who tend to be easily distracted and prefer to skim online content instead of reading long posts.
Since it’s home to lots of trending news, Twitter is also a good place to share current information related to your company, products, or services with your audience.
Infographics also perform extremely well on Twitter, and are 3 times more likely to be liked and shared than any other type of content. They’re also an incredible 30 times more likely to be read than text-based posts.
As with Facebook, curated content and videos are extremely popular on Twitter. When sharing curated content, make sure it’s image-based rather than text based and include link previews, GIFs, images, and videos.
In addition to posts and infographics, Twitter also gives its users the option to create live videos and stream them to clients. This provides more opportunities for brands that are active on Twitter to interact with their customers, clients, and fans.
If you decide that Twitter is the platform best suited to your brand, don’t overlook the power of live streaming to reach and engage more prospects.
Video in general is a huge deal on Twitter, and a whopping 82 percent of users watch videos on Twitter. Additionally, people who view a branded video on Twitter are 28 percent more likely to buy from that brand than other web users.
There are lots of positives to Twitter, but there are also some negatives. The downside to Twitter is that new Tweets quickly get buried other tons of other content, which means many of your customers and prospects won’t even see them.
This means that you need to post much more often to increase your chances of being seen, and if you do get traction on a post, it often ends up being short-lived.
That’s why it’s often a good idea to post the same content multiple times so that it will reach as many people as possible.
Twitter Ads vs. Facebook Ads: Which Ones Are Better?
When discussing whether Twitter or Facebook is best for your brand, we also need to talk about paid advertising on these channels.
Twitter and Facebook ads are where many businesses invest a good part of their marketing budget, and it’s more than likely that advertising on one of these networks will help your business too.
Here’s what you need to know about advertising on each of these platforms.
Advertising on Facebook
One of the big advantages of advertising on Facebook is that it gives you the opportunity to reach more people.
Facebook ads also give you lots of targeting options so you can choose to display your ads to people based on factors like age, salary, interests, purchase behavior, and Facebook groups they visit.
“These targeting options mean that you can show your ads to people who are most likely to find them relevant and to be interested in actually purchasing your products and services. This increases your chances of getting clicks and conversions.”Tweet Me
Other advantages are that it’s fairly simple to learn to navigate Facebook’s advertising interface, and that Facebook ads can be very cost-effective.
The amount you can budget for varies depending on the type of ad campaign, but in many cases you can set a daily budget of $2 to $3. This means that most businesses can opt to run Facebook ads, even if they’re brand new or have a tiny advertising budget.
Facebook ads are typically much less expensive to run than Twitter ads as well. The cost per impression is roughly $0.59 on Facebook, but Twitter will cost you about $3.50 per impression.
On the downside, Facebook ads are increasing in price, with the average price per ad increasing by 35 percent in 2017, even though ad impressions only went up by 10 percent.
This means that it’s important for businesses to consider how they can target the right people at the right time to get the most clicks and conversions and make the most of their advertising budget.
Facebook ads are also hugely popular, which means users are inundated with ads. This can make it harder and more expensive for businesses to get the attention of their target audience, and it’s important to keep this in mind when deciding where to advertise your business.
Advertising on Twitter
Like Facebook, Twitter offers businesses the opportunity to create and run targeted ads. You can choose to display your ads to people based on their purchase behavior, interests, who they follow, and many other factors.
Twitter also offers tools such as lead generation cards, which can help you to win over more leads for your campaigns. That said, the targeting capabilities of Twitter ads don’t offer users quite as many options as Facebook.
On top of this, as I mentioned above, Twitter advertising usually costs considerably more than running Facebook ads – $3.50 per impression versus $0.59 per impression.
But before you write off Twitter ads altogether, consider this. Twitter’s ad engagement rates are typically higher than engagement rates for Facebook ads. How much higher?
Well, engagement rates for Twitter ads are about 1 to 3 percent, while the engagement rate for the average Facebook ad is about 0.119 percent.
That’s a pretty dramatic difference, and can definitely offset the higher costs. This suggests that if you have the budget, it may well be worth your while to give Twitter ads a try.
Now that we’ve covered all the important things you need to know about using Facebook and Twitter to grow your business, let’s shift gears and consider which one will be the most valuable for your business.
How to Pick the Best Platform for Your Business
If you’re a new business and your time and budget is limited, it definitely makes sense to invest the bulk of your time on one of these platforms in the beginning.
So we recommend assessing the pros and cons of Twitter and Facebook and each platform’s value for your business before you commit all your time to either one.
In the end, you’ll need to decide which of these platforms is best aligned with your business goals and social media marketing strategy.
Here is a five-step process we recommend you follow to help you discover which platform is best for your business.
1. Don’t Write Off Either Platform
I know you’re itching to get started promoting your business on social media, but resist the urge to let your eagerness get in the way of making an informed decision.
You don’t want to eliminate either platform without really considering the different purposes of each and how they fit into your business model.
At its core, Twitter is about sharing trending news, helpful tips, and bite-sized bits of content. On the other hand, Facebook is more about strategically building personal connections with your audience.
So it’s important to consider what your business goals are and which platform will help you best achieve them.
Begin by asking yourself the following question:
What am I ultimately trying to achieve by promoting my business over social media?
For example, are you trying to:
- get your brand in front of as many people as possible?
- build a small but deeply engaged audience of loyal fans?
- direct people to your killer lead magnet and other resources so they’ll subscribe to your email list?
- win over as many leads as you can on a tight budget?
Once you’ve gotten clarity on what your social media marketing goals actually are, you can then start to examine in depth which platform is best for reaching your goals.
For example, if you’re looking to build an engaged audience for the long-term, Facebook is the platform that is best suited to helping you achieve that goal.
2. Go Where Your People Are
In addition to getting clear on your business goals, it’s also essential to research your target audience and where they hang out online.
A really important question to consider is how old your target demographic is. If your ideal customer falls between the ages of 18 to 29, there’s a good chance that they’re spending more time on Twitter than on Facebook.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to reach an audience of Baby Boomers, Facebook is probably where you’ll want to go.
At the same time, you don’t want to make a decision based only on general trends or assumptions. You’ll need to do some research on your target audience to find out which platform they prefer, and what kind of content appeals to them the most.
There are lots of options for conducting this research, especially if you’re already on one or both of these platforms.
For example, if you have even a small following on Facebook, you can make use of the free tool Audience Insights, which gives you valuable information on people connected to your page and people on Facebook.
Audience Insights is a tool that gives you a demographic overview of your followers, and informs you about their lifestyles, interests, and hobbies so you can create content that’s relevant to them and win over even more fans.
But what if you’re just starting out on social media and don’t have a Facebook following?
In this case, your best bet is to rely on studies and surveys that have been conducted on your target demographic and to use the data to make an informed decision on where your audience prefers to hang out.
And whether or not you have a social media following already or not, it’s also really worth your while to check out what your competitors are doing.
Which social media platforms are they on?
If they’re on both Facebook and Twitter, which one are they more successful on? Consider the number of likes, shares, and overall audience engagement. What kind of content do they produce on each platform, and which content performs the best?
Checking out your competitors is a really valuable way to find out where Facebook or Twitter is the better place to connect with your audience.
3. Consider Your Content
It’s also important to think about the kind of content you plan to create and which platform it will work best on.
For example, are you planning to share lots of resources, curated news articles, and quick tips and tactics with your audience? Do you have a wide variety of infographics, images, and videos to share? Do you have the capability to post frequently, as in multiple times a day?
If this sounds like your content plan, then you might really do well spending more of your time on Twitter.
On the other hand, maybe you’re trying to foster a personal connection with your target audience and develop long-term engagement.
Does your content focus more on the human side of your brand, such as the struggles your target audience faces, their hopes and dreams, and how your brand can help them overcome their pain points and live happier, more fulfilling lives?
If your content is more like this, then Facebook may be the better platform for you to focus on.
In either case, remember that your content on social media should be designed to help you build an engaged community.
Resist the urge to post content that’s actively trying to sell to your audience, which is a real turn-off. Instead, you want your content to be helpful and relevant to your audience, and to be both human and entertaining.
You also want to design content that encourages your followers to reach out and engage with your brand. Be sure to respond promptly to these comments so that your followers have a positive impression of your brand.
The bottom line here is that you need to really consider what your content plan is, what kind of content best engages your audience, and which platform will help your content reach your target audience most effectively.
4. Conduct An Experiment
Examining the trends and where your audience hangs out online can give you lots of valuable insight as to where you should invest the bulk of your time on social media.
But nothing can beat actually getting your hands dirty and testing out both platforms to see which one works best for your business.
Yes, this takes more time and effort than just giving it your best guess and picking a platform to focus on, but it will be well worth your while to know for sure which platform helps you meet your business goals.
To begin your experiment, you’ll want to set up business profiles on Twitter and Facebook, or to optimize your existing profiles. Then you’ll need to design a content plan for each of these platforms, ideally for at least a month.
As you develop your content, tailor it for both Twitter and Facebook, keeping in mind that Twitter is better for bite-sized bits of frequent content, and Facebook is better for longer-form content that’s focused on making connections with your target audience.
Once you’ve created your content, it’s time to start posting it out on both platforms and promoting it to your target audience. If you can afford it, it’s also worthwhile to try running ads on Facebook and Twitter to see which ones result in the most engagement.
After a few weeks or a month, sit down and compare your results to see which platform was most effective for your business.
5. Pick a Platform
At this point, after doing some testing, you can really make an informed decision on what platform you should focus on.
Running an experiment is really the best way to see both platforms in action and to see which one better engages your audience, results in more clicks and conversions, and brings more leads to your business.
“When you’re a new entrepreneur with a fledgling business and limited time and resources, it makes sense to spend your time on the platform that will help you grow your business the fastest.”Tweet Me
You definitely don’t want to spread yourself too thin at the start.
That said, you don’t want to neglect every other social media platform. As you achieve success on Facebook or Twitter, think about what other social media platforms can help your social media marketing strategy and help you grow your business even more.
So don’t think of mastering one social media platform as your end goal, but as an important step on your journey to conquering social media marketing and growing your business.
Brace Yourself for Social Media Success
Whew! We’ve covered a lot, and the thought of having to make a decision about whether to focus on Facebook or Twitter probably feels pretty overwhelming at this point.
That’s why I’m going to help you zero in on a few action points to start you off on the right foot.
I want you to ask yourself the following two questions:
- Who is my ideal customer?
Since different social media platforms appeal to different demographics, the first thing you need is clarity on who your target customer actually is. If you have an ideal customer avatar, you can refer to it so you have a crystal clear image of who your target customer is. If you don’t have an ideal customer avatar, I strongly recommend that you develop one, as it can help you in every aspect of your business, including social media marketing.
- Where does my ideal customer hang out online?
Once you know who your ideal customer is, you’ll need to conduct research to find out what social media platforms they frequent the most. Looking to see where your competitors have found the most success is really important because it can give you valuable insights on where you need to be.
Getting clarity on these two questions is really the most important consideration when choosing a social media platform to focus on. Once you can answer these questions, you’ll have a really good idea of where to focus your social media marketing efforts.
From here, you can start to design a content plan for Facebook and Twitter and do some testing to uncover which platform is the one that will help your business the most.
Then pick the platform that works the best and get started growing your following!
Need some more guidance on how to use social media to engage your audience and win over more loyal followers? Download your free copy of Increase Your Traffic and Exposure to learn how to get more traffic to your site and boost your audience engagement.
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