Facebook Versus Twitter Marketing: What Works [Chart & Research]

7 Ways to Improve Social Media Effectiveness By Platform

Social media isn’t one size fits all. As recent research shows, strategies that work on one platform aren’t effective on other ones. This is particularly true for Facebook and Twitter.

To improve the effectiveness of your Facebook and Twitter marketing, here’s a comparison of the two networks. It’s based on research by Buddy Media and Booz & Company on Twitter and by Sotrender on Facebook. (Here are 11 other tips to improve your Facebook effectiveness.)

How Facebook and Twitter Marketing Compare

Category Facebook Twitter
Promotions (such as Call-to-action) Avoid any form of promotion; Keep prospects on Facebook Can ask to retweet message
Use of links Avoid use of links since reduce response Include as long as they work
Photographs Improves results Improves results
Communications timing During personal time During work time

Source: http://HeidiCohen.com – All rights reserved

7 Social media recommendations

So what’s a marketer to do with this information? Here are seven easy-to-follow tips to get your social media on track when using Facebook and Twitter.

  1. Skip the promotion across social media platforms. Participants have radar that can smell a promotion a mile away. Sotender’s Facebook research revealed that a call-to-action by any other word is still marketing and has no impact on interaction. Specifically, the words ‘watch”, “like”, “look” and “click” were used a lot on Facebook but didn’t yield better results. In general, limit promotion on social media platforms. Instead provide useful information that answers prospects questions and enhances product usage.  Use of promotional words does not increase Facebook response
  2. Show emotion on Facebook. Sotrender’s research suggests that it’s important to know your target audience. (For help, here’s how to create a social media persona.) Since many participants view Facebook as a personal tool and way of engaging family and friends. It’s a platform where we’re interacting with those closest to us.
  3. Keep messages short especially on Twitter. Buddy Media found that Twitter messages under 100 characters performed 17% better. This makes sense since there’s room left for others to add their comments and share the tweet. (Here’s how to make every tweet count!)
  4. Link to sources outside of Twitter.  Roughly half of the tweets examined in the Buddy Media research contained a link. These tweets were shared 86% more than those without links. These messages drove more traffic and expanded the audience for the message. Of course, it’s critical that the link contained in the tweet works. If not, then there’s no traffic from the link. Buddy Media research found that 92% of linking errors was attributable to not have a space before the link. By contrast, use of links on Facebook suppresses response based on Sotrender’s research. Facebook marketing is most effective when it keeps prospects on the social media platform.
  5. Ask Twitter followers to share your content. Twitter enables marketers to extend the reach of their message by more directly engaging with your followers. Ask them to retweet your content (spell it out for them!) Also, incorporate hashtags but be discrete. Buddy Media research showed that two hashtags improved response. (Of course, it helps if you show some Twitter etiquette.)
  6. Snap a photo. When you have a choice, share photographs across social media platforms. People are visual and react to images. Further, photographs are easy to take and share even with a basic mobile phone. On Twitter, tweets with a photo link have engagement rates that are two times higher than tweets without a photo according to Buddy Media’s findings.  Sotrender found that Facebook posts with photographs attracted 57% more likes and seven times more comments.  Use of photos on Facebook increases engagment
  7. Time your communications to maximize engagement. On Twitter, this means tweet four times a day or less. Roughly one fifth of tweets occur on Saturday and Sunday despite the fact that Twitter engagement rate is 17% higher on weekdays. Communicating on Twitter tends to do best during the business day while engagement on Facebook does best during personal time.  Maximize twitter effectiveness

As a marketer, it’s not a matter of choosing between Facebook or Twitter to support your plans but rather to use each platform to effectively achieve your goals.

Have you encountered any issues using Facebook or Twitter based on these recommendations? If so, what happened?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Here are some related articles about Facebook and Twitter

Photo credit: http://all-free-download.com/free-icon/icons-sets/web_20_icons_icons_pack_120816.html

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  • http://www.audiomind.us/blog AUDIOMIND

    Most everything I’ve ever read has said that asking fans/followers to like or share your page/post/tweets increases engagement and interaction among users.  Not finding a detailed analysis of how they came to these conclusions that say otherwise.

    • http://twitter.com/RivkaK Rivka Kawano

       In general I have seen posts asking people to ‘like’ or ‘RT’ do better as well. It is all about keeping it short and snappy though, and appealing to the bottom line reason they ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ your brand in the first place.

  • startupdiaryonline

    Awesome article. Have started a new experiment to explore how this works in practice. Check it out and let me know your thoughts http://startupdiaryonline.com/twitter-marketing-ep-1/?utm_source=Blog%2BDiscussion&utm_medium=blog%2Bdiscussion&utm_campaign=Blog%2BDiscussion