Twitter vs Facebook: The Social Media Debate

by Sarah Quinn on 24 October 2014
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An impressive 93% of marketers use social media within their business, and rightly so. With so much potential to build your brand and develop a large following of prospects, it makes me wonder how the other 7% are attracting business.

If you are in the 93% then I'm sure you have a focused strategy for both Twitter and Facebook -- after all, these are the two social giants. But which one is more successful for business growth? Does it depend on the type of business you own? Take a look at the stats to compare.....

The basics

Number of monthly active users:

1

The gap between how many people use Facebook compared to Twitter is quite surprising, but does this mean you should spend more focus on Facebook? Well that would really depend on who your audience is. If you focus on just one site ahead of the other, you could be missing out on some serious marketing potential.

Male vs female:

23

 

So it seems that the females are more active on both social sites than men, although it's interesting to note that Females seem to prefer Twitter ahead of Facebook. This could be due to the fact that content moves incredibly fast on Twitter, so there's more to look at.

Age range:

45

Again, another surprising result that these graphs show is that Facebook is dominated by 30-64 year olds, and the teens and young adults prefer to use Twitter as their favourite social platform.

(sources: MediaBistro, JeffBullas, FastCompany)

The brands

So when it comes to the different brands on twitter, who is doing what? According to these stats, 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter, and 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. (source: mediabistro)

Most followed

Facebook: Facebook for Every Phone = 518,862,342 followers

Twitter: YouTube = 45,992,087 followers

Yes that's right, the biggest brand on Facebook is...Facebook. In fact, when you look at the numbers, Facebook is significantly ahead of the second most followed brand, Coca-Cola. This may be down to the fact that 78% of people accessing Facebook are doing so from their phone. Could the app be encouraging 'likes' when users initially download it? It's possible. But when we look at Coca Cola, we can see that this much-loved brand has truly embraced the art of content marketing by sharing videos, photos, blog posts and more!

When we look at Twitter we can see that YouTube is the most popular brand. Since watching a video is better received than any other medium, this is hardly surprising. YouTube handpicks some of the best videos on their website and posts it on their Twitter feed. Not only that, this brand often links to interesting articles and images around the web.

B2B vs B2C

Your audience is the single most important thing to consider when pushing your content, so when it comes to B2B and B2C, which platform drives more sales?

Well, if you're targeting B2C then the stats show that it's best to find your audience on Facebook, with an impressive 67% of leads generated from here. The number dropped to 43% on Twitter.

Interestingly enough, Facebook still generated the higher amount of sales for B2B marketing, with 39% of sales, but Twitter wasn't far behind, with 30% of leads and sales coming through from this platform.

Engaging with your audience

Did you know that by engaging with your audience, you can boost your brand lift by over 300%? The people who follow you, love to get feedback from you. It makes them feel like you appreciate them as a follower -- and both social sites let you do this, in their own unique way...

Your profile

When setting up your profile, Facebook loves detail. This social site encourages you to give as much information as possible, so you can let your fans know who you are and what you're about. You can create a business page, track content metrics and pay to promote your posts.

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.26.32

Twitter on the other hand is the opposite and you are limited to how much you can say. For example on your bio, you are limited to 160 characters. Twitter doesn't have an option to set up a business-specific page, but you can still use it for business purposes.

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 12.25.44

Posting content

When it comes to planning your content, it's important to consider which type of content will bring in maximum engagement, and how you go about publishing it...

Which type of content works best?

Posting questions on both social sites has been found to spark better response. If you ask your fans a question on Facebook, you'll increase the amount of comments by 100%. Ask your followers a question on Twitter and 22% of users are more likely to respond. (source: mediabistro)

It would seem that links to your blog or other pieces of content around the web are much better received on Twitter than Facebook. According to a SocialTwist study, tweets with links get 19 clicks, while Facebook links only get three clicks.

And as you would expect, images create a real buzz on both social platforms with 53% more likes and 104% more comments on Facebook. And on Twitter, posting images result in 39% increase of clicks, 41% retweets and 59% increase in leads.

What time is best to post?

Timing is everything in the world of social and you need to make sure you're publishing your content at the right time. This infographic shows a similar trend between both social platforms...

Facebook:

Posting content between 1pm -- 4pm resulted in the highest average click through.
The worst time to post on Facebook is at weekends, before 8am and after 8pm

Twitter:

Monday to Thursday between 1pm -- 3pm resulted in the highest click through
The worst time to post your content on Twitter is everyday after 8pm and Friday after 3pm.

Limitations

Status length

The limitations vary on each social site. For example, you are limited to using only 140 characters on Twitter, where-as on Facebook you can be as lengthy as you like in your status. However keeping it short might not be a bad thing as this study shows, keeping your posts below 250 characters can actually get you 60% more engagement.

Reach

Reaching out to your audience is not limited on Twitter. You can post a tweet and your entire following will see it, plus other users may see it, if they search for the same keywords included in your tweet. The problem with Facebook's ever-changing algorithm is that your fans are unlikely to see your posts 100% of the time. This means that you're more likely to pay for promoted posts on Facebook, rather than on Twitter.

What the stats teach us...

When looking at the stats it may look like Facebook has won the fight, but that doesn't mean you should over-look Twitter. While Facebook may appear like it's better for driving leads, Twitter is not far behind. And it may well be that businesses invest more of their time on Facebook, because it has a larger amount of users.

You need to find out where your audience is and start building a relationship with them. Both platforms are just as valuable to B2B and B2C businesses, it's really a question of how you publish your content. So I'll leave you with some top content marketing tips....

  • Keep it short
  • Ask questions
  • Post images
  • Post content at the right time
  • Create personal, valuable content
  • Engage with your audience

Thanks for reading and remember, if you ever need help with your content marketing then come and speak to us!

Content Marketing

Sarah Quinn

Written by Sarah Quinn

I eat, sleep and breathe great content so it kinda works out for me that I get to do this as a job. But waaaaait, I'm not one dimensional..... I also LOVE peanut butter, odd socks, running, daydreaming about time and space, corgis in top hats, afternoon tea and Chandler Bing.