Many entrepreneurs and small business owners are confused whether they should use Twitter or Facebook for business. The world’s largest social networks deliver information in very different ways and serve different marketing needs. Which one is best from a purely business standpoint? Choosing the best social network for your business depends entirely on your target market, as well as on your long term goals. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each:
Facebook Pros and Cons
More than 42 percent of marketers say that Facebook is essential for their business. Approximately 77 percent of companies have acquired customers from this social network. Additionally, they have gained more exposure, traffic and leads. Recent studies indicate that 80 percent of social network users prefer to connect to their favorite brands through Facebook.
Many users claim that Facebook is more personal than Twitter. It also gives users marketers the opportunity to buy ads targeting very specific niches. With over 750 million users, this social site is ideal for brand promotion. If you have a fan page, you can easily track user activity. Users can send direct massages to all of their fans, post multiple photos, and add videos on their pages. Your status updates can be as long as you want.
The drawback is that setting up a Facebook fan page requires more time and effort than creating a Twitter account. It can also be difficult to attract fans. Most users are looking to make connections with people or groups they already know. Some of them use Facebook only to connect with their friends and colleagues. On the other hand, Facebook offers a more user-friendly environment that encourages user engagement through fan pages, threaded conversations, and hundreds of apps, while Twitter is more focus on real time information sharing than customer engagement.
Twitter Strengths and Weaknesses
Twitter’s biggest advantage is speed. Users can easily get real-time information by using the search feature. Markets can find out what people are talking about their brand and products. The most interesting tweets go viral easily. One tweet can get you tons of page views. This social network is excellent for creating communities around events by use of hashtags.
The main disadvantage of using Twitter is that your messages are limited to 140 characters. The platform itself is not as versatile and flexible as Facebook. In addition, measuring how much traffic Twitter is generating can be difficult.
Both social networks have pros and cons. Start by creating accounts on each of them, and play around with the tools and features. The best way to take advantage of social networking is to use both platforms. If you can only choose one, do proper research to find out which is used more frequently by your target audience.
Image credit: Stuart Miles