Facebook vs. Twitter – Differences & Similarities

A friend posed a questions the other day: Is Weibo for nurturing relationship and you translate these relationship to sales on WeChat? You’re probably wondering what Weibo and WeChat are? These are the most popular social media platforms in China. Weibo is an equivalent of twitter. WeChat is a quite unique platform. First off, it’s mostly used on mobile phone as an app. Second, it’s similar to Whatapp and Viber in the sense that it allows users to send free messages and make free calls. If that’s not unique, then what differentiates WeChat from other social media is it offers a “Moment” section which is similar to Facebook’s news feed. You can view photos and videos that your friends posted. On top of all these, you can also subscribe to Moments by celebrities, or what we called Public Accounts. In lights of all these benefits, WeChat has become the most well-received app in China. Almost everyone that I know that has smartphone has a WeChat account, regardless of their age, what smartphone they use.

Anyhow, my friend posed an interesting question in marketing. Are different social media channel suitable for different purposes? Should companies select social media based on their marketing or PR objectives? With these questions, I decided to take a look at Facebook and twitter. In a later post, I’ll write about Weibo and WeChat.

Facebook vs. twitter: #1 Reach

More than 1.3 billion people use Facebook to connect with what it matters to them, be it their family, friends, or even brands! 64% of them use it everyday. (Source: Facebook)

Twitter, on the other hand, have 300 million monthly active users. 500 tweets were sent every day. (Source: twitter)

So Facebook has a wider reach than twitter in terms of active users.

Twitter for Promoting App Download and Usage

twitter users are more likely to try a new app and they have on average more apps on average smartphone users. So you’re looking to promote your app, twitter is a good channel. It can help encourage a download, or an upgrade of the app.

Twitter for Customer Service

73% of SMB twitter users said Twitter provided them with a quicker way to respond to a customer service issue. Due to the feature of Twitter, lots of small medium business use twitter to converse with customers and discover issues in real time. You will see people make complains and raise customer service issues on Facebook as well, but I think Twitter is a more natural fit for that.

Facebook: Remarket to Your Audience

This is a powerful tool. What it means you can target specifically Facebook users who have already shown interest in your business. People who have visited your website, or engaged with your business in other ways. This raises a higher chance of conversion since you’re laser focus on consumers who have prior experience with you.

Facebook and Twitter: Track and Optimize

This is an advantage they share: the ability to track the progress of the campaign and optimize as needed. This is a common feature shared by other digital media like Google Ads. Unlike traditional media such as TV ads, Facebook and Twitter allow you to modify your campaign based on real time results. For instance, certain keywords work better for others, or your business is catching much attention and traction among certain demographics over others. You don’t have to wait till the campaign is over to tweak your tactics. This helps improve efficiency of your marketing efforts.

Brand Building Tool or Call-to-Action Channel?

I think social media is great for call-to-action. You can quick results when you run short term campaigns. You can measure the result by the amount of download incurred due to the campaign, page views, coupon redemption, etc. But what about building the brand equity? My opinion is that it’s limited and restricted. It’s hard to communicate the story of a brand using 140 characters or a short Facebook post. TV is still a more effective way to tell a brand story. Nowadays with videos on youtube, brands started to do some brand building through minutes long videos.

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