Twitter versus Facebook: The War

Should you use Twitter or Facebook ?

Twitter vs Facebook

That’s the question I get asked all the time.

The whole social media experience is just plain old networking on steroids. People do business with people they know, like and trust.  Being transparent and authentic online is key.  The more you share and show you care – the more of the friends, fans and followers you’ll get.

Twitter and Facebook are the most popular social networking sites. If you see one, you see the other. Just about every business card, email signature or store signage have them both displayed proudly.

Sharing is what makes social media SOCIAL. And most people don’t really understand if they should share and participate in Facebook or Twitter or both. Should they share the same message on Twitter as on Facebook, just shorter?

Should they friend/follow the same people in both platforms? Should they try to the push approach and just broadcast on Twitter and engage on Facebook? Or how about the way to “brand” on Facebook – should the Twitter profile be exactly the same?

Twitter VS Facebook: How and Why to Use Twitter

Twitter is more than instant updates from your friends, experts and celebrities online. It’s really more than “what’s happening.” It has set the standard for “microblogging.”  Facebook tries – but Twitter does.

That’s all it does. It’s just 140 characters of brevity and simplicity – with punch.  Twitter is fast and furious – but is also fun.

Facebook on the other hand is more traditional – a lot slower.  Some status updates stay in folks timelines  for hours; twitter streams move on and out of site typically in minutes (and seconds if you have a lot of Twitter followers).

Facebook is the place where you upload photos, videos, write notes, instant message, create event invites and host of other “add-ons” that allow you to express yourself and promote your business.

Twitter on the other hand, lets you speak to thousands at one time via a quick tweet to enlighten them.

Think of Twitter as a newspaper headline and think of Facebook as the newspaper.  More can be said, shared and displayed on Facebook and the pace is a lot slower so it can be absorbed.  (That’s probably why you find a lot of grandparents hanging out on Facebook and staying clear away from Twitter).

Another major difference is that you can update Twitter every few minutes and not “annoy” your twitter followers; but if you do that on Facebook, your “friends” may unfriend you or block you from their newsfeed.  No one likes too much chatter from the same person over and over in their newsfeed on Facebook, but on Twitter that’s the nature of it.  Twitter chatter is fine. Facebook is show and tell – at a much slower pace.

Now who uses Facebook and who loves Twitter?

Well, it’s pretty much a given that everyone and their mother uses Facebook. With more than 750 million people registered users – it’s now as common as a phone number or email address for sure.

Twitter seems to be catching up, last count in January 2011 – there were 200 million people who have Twitter accounts.  But are they using them?

A typical Twitter is a person who has a blog. And they use Twitter to promote their blog.  (Twitter is a micro-blogging platform).

Twitter has been used by TV shows and Teleseminars/Webinars hosts to get feedback from their audience while Facebook is used to get people to go “like” them on their page and leave comments.

A Twitter user will be a little more astute with who they engage with based on interests, which is really easy to find out on Twitter vs. Facebook.  This is really the beauty of Twitter.  Isolated conversations with people all over the world (who may or may not be followers) but you can jump in the conversation and add value.

By using the feature, Twitter becomes the research tool most marketing research scientists dreamed about years ago. With one click, you can find out what people are talking about. If you want to know what the current conversation is on, “social media,” just type that in the bar. Immediately your Twitter stream will fill up with those who have just mentioned the topic.  You would then elect to respond or just lurk and listen.

Just a like a Focus Group – but in real time.

Facebook does have a search feature – but “isolated” conversation is not how you use Facebook. You could find out more detail information and investigate the various “Fan/Like” pages and become part of that community. Facebook is more about community – people join network, groups and pages.

Twitter is also more promotional than a typical personal profile page on Facebook.  Those who engage on Twitter tend to integrate business more than Facebook. People also create lists of clients or even competitors on Twitter.  Think of this as a big virtual water cooler at work. You communicate, network and get to know people here. The whole point would be to take the conversation off line – and do business.

You don’t find folks searching for old high school friends or trying to keep up with relatives on Twitter. Twitter has carved a niche to be more about business, customer services and branding over Facebook.

Tweeting is a means to an end: to build relationships and brand equity.

Next post, the world of Pinterest!

  • Wow, I didn’t know that. I have been using facebook to get the word out regarding my book. I will take another look at twitter. And try to find the people who will be interested in my book.

    Once again, Pam, you are a fountain of information.

  • Pam,
    Great post on how to strategize Twitter to make it WORK in real time. Thank you.

  • Pam Perry says:

    Renee, you are so welcomed. Yes, as we add more and more to our social media tool kit, we must know how each one works and why.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Pam Perry says:

    Thanks Karen…….. yes, those tweets make a difference.

  • Diana says:

    thanks alot for your post…… but i prefer facebook why? because they respond…… with twitter if you comment on someone they never respond or you have but so much characters to type it isn’t worth the time. But I truly need to get the word out on TWSP Biblical University which is an accredited Christian-based university that offer basically the same subjects of other top colleges but because it is for Christians Only people think it is just another fly by night..but actually it is not. We been around since 200 and growing strong and developing leaders and preparing people for their ministry. Or even enhancing their career. Any suggestion for me?

    • Pam Perry says:

      Sure, Diana. First thanks for your comment. Yes, the 140 Character issue can be a problem. But remember, Twitter is micro-blogging. Do you have a blog? If not, let’s talk about how we can strategically position you and your school a blog that will attract your ideal customer. Just click the link and schedule a free strategy session with us. Love to help you brainstorm some ideas and help you get a robust blog going.

  • >