Twitter vs Facebook Ads

By Mervyn Kinuthia on March 20, 2018

It’s hard to make a direct comparison between Facebook and Twitter for marketers because both have a different kind of demographic and consequently you can only achieve a particular set of objectives on each. Marketers need to view the relationship between Facebook and Twitter as being complementary rather than adversarial.

What makes these two sites ideal for marketing is that they understand the ever-changing advertising landscape and are always ready and willing to adapt to suit their users’ needs.

So now that you know that when it comes to marketing on either one it’s a matter of Twitter and Facebook, not Twitter or Facebook, let’s see how you can use them to promote your brand.

Facebook and Twitter Numbers

Facebook is the Goliath of social media networks and even though it might not be well suited for all forms of brand promotions, it is important to remember that it has a huge user base that spans all demographics.

Here are some Facebook statistics you need to keep in mind:

  • There are over 900 million daily active users
  • Over 800 million daily active users are on mobile
  • It has close to 1.5 billion monthly users
  • It has over 1.3 billion monthly active users on mobile
  • 83% of Facebook users are outside the United States and Canada

Here are the Twitter statistics you need to keep in mind when promoting your brand:

  • Has over 300 million users
  • Approximately 80 of those users are on mobile
  • More than 70% of Twitter users are outside of the United States
  • Close to half a billion tweets are sent every day on the platform

As you can see the people of people that’s informed by that use Twitter is easily dwarfed by Facebook’s huge following. Be as it may Twitter still provides value for the discerning marketer. Compared to other social media channels, Twitter’s user base follows companies or brands. At 49% that following is pretty significant especially when you consider that only 16% of users on other social networks follow either companies or brands.

Audience on Twitter vs Facebook

Most companies that are trying to establish a social media presence usually start by creating a profile page on Facebook. This, of course, is based on the notion that everyone is on Facebook. With close to 2 billion users, it is easy to see why anyone would want to take a bite from Facebook’s user base.

Unfortunately, what most people don’t understand is that their target demographic may not be on Facebook, or rather don’t engage much on Facebook as they do on other social media platforms such as Twitter. This explains why it is important to understand each platforms demographics before settling for either of them.

For instance, there has been a gradual shift in Facebook’s user base. When it first launched Facebook had a much younger demographic. However, millennials are shifting towards other social media channels that they find more engaging for instance, Instagram. On the other hand, in a bid to keep in touch with the changing times, the 50+ years demographic is engaging more on Facebook.

This does not mean that younger users no longer engage on Facebook. However, when you compare Facebook’s young demographic to Twitter’s studies show that the younger demographic on Twitter is more engaged than the demographic on Twitter.

Audience on Twitter and Facebook

Unlike Facebook, Twitter feeds its audience with bite-sized information and trending topics usually move on fast. On the other hand, an older demographic prefers the wholesome nature of information found on Facebook.

Another difference in audiences between these two social media giants is that Twitter is mostly used by demographics that are located in urban areas mostly but not by residents who live in a rural setting. Depending on your vertical, this alone is enough to determine which of the two platforms you would use.

Consider a scenario where you have two companies. One is in the computer technology vertical while the other company is in the agricultural field. The company promoting its agricultural products and or service will not do well when promoted on Twitter.

By doing your research beforehand and getting more information on a platform’s demographic you can easily determine what the best social media channel is for your promotion.

Engagement on Twitter vs Facebook

A brand’s marketing efforts can be solely determined by engagement levels on various social media platforms. In the recent past, there has been growing concern amongst marketers that their Facebook posts aren’t reaching as many people as they should.

The major complaint is that unless you pay to “boost” your content, your posts won’t have maximum audience reach.

Research conducted by Social@Ogilvy in 2014 shows that the organic reach for Facebook posts reduced by up to 49% in a 6-month period. As a result, there was a reduction in the amount of engagement that the posts were receiving.

Despite the reduced levels of reach, Facebook posts still enjoy some level of engagement. The question though is how do the levels of engagement on Facebook compare to those on Twitter.

A study conducted by Forrester in 2015 revealed that 1 million followers yielded 300 interactions. On the other hand, every 1 million followers on Facebook yielded 700 interactions.

A separate study by Shareaholic sought to determine the quality of referrals from various social media platforms. One of the metrics used was to find out the number of time visitors stayed on a page as well as the average number of pages visited.

The study revealed that Twitter traffic visited more pages while Facebook visitors spent more time on the site.

When it comes to engagement levels, Facebook has a leg up on Twitter in the sense that the content posted on Facebook has a longer lifespan compared to a tweet. In fact, in order to prevent their message from disappearing and to keep it relevant, brands have to tweet multiple times during the course of the day.

If you are a small business and your direct competitors are active on Twitter, we recommend that you tweet as frequently as you can as that is likely to work to your benefit. Our recommendation as far as tweeting is concerned is that you should tweet anywhere between 5 to 10 times daily while posting at least thrice a week on Facebook.

To find out what schedule works best for your brand/vertical do some tests.

Functionality on Facebook and Twitter

Though both Facebook and Twitter tend to be popular with the same demographics, their functionality couldn’t be more different. A big portion of Twitter’s demographic use the platform to catch up on what’s going on, discover new content, as well as connect with new people.

Engagement on Twitter and Facebook

On the other hand, Facebook is used as a primary means of communication between family and friends. This explains why Facebook posts feature conversations within the comments section while conversations on Twitter are usually conducted in a Twitter chat.

Another major difference between Facebook and Twitter is the fact that Facebook features community pages, games, and apps which ultimately lead to greater levels of engagement.

On the other hand, Twitter users head to the platform when looking for real-time content. A practical scenario would be where a company is attending or hosting an event. Followers and other people that might be interested in the event can use Twitter to follow along. As soon as they’re updated they can proceed with finding out what’s happening in other dimensions of the Twittersphere.

Facebook, however, is where people go to find out what their friends and family are up to. This demographic is not necessarily interested in valuable content such as company news.

Twitter makes it easy for people to meet and connect with complete strangers, which makes it the perfect platform for social media marketers. Twitter is one of the best social media channels to meet and connect with influencers, which cannot be said of Facebook.

It is not as easy as it sounds though. Twitter is a very competitive platform due to the amount of content that is produced by its user base.

Even though these two channels are different in many respects, they both have made a shift towards video content, making them perfect for social media marketing. They do differ though on how they present the videos. For instance, Twitter uses short video clips.

Some time ago Twitter purchased Vine and integrated it into their feed, you can view short video clips that are within a tweet.

Another acquisition made by Twitter is Periscope which allows users to stream live video. It’s not hard to see how that can be of great benefit to social media marketers.

On the other hand, Facebook as a platform allows users to upload their own videos which takes it head to head with YouTube just as much as it does with Twitter. Numerous studies have revealed that video is the most popular type of content on Facebook.

As a marketer, when you understand how users interact with each of these platforms, you are better placed to decide what type of content will perform better on either one of them.

As a summary, if you are trying to push traffic from social media to your website in a bid to promote a new service or product, Facebook is your best bet. However, if you would quickly like to get some information out there, then Twitter will be your best bet.

How Running Campaigns on Facebook Compares To Twitter

Twitter and Facebook both make it easy to create as well as track campaigns. Depending on what you want to achieve, track non-paid campaigns, or run paid advertisements both platforms are fairly easy to use.

Both Twitter and Facebook native ad platforms offer plenty of information on how your ads are performing.

When compared side by side, Facebook has the better advertising platform as it allows better targeting than any other social media channel. This doesn’t mean that Twitter’s own advertising platform is no good but is still evolving. There are some things that Twitter does to make it easy for marketers to reach their audience as well as generate leads.

Lead generation on Twitter used to be an issue but not anymore. Ever since it introduced Twitter cards especially the lead generation card, companies are now able to collect emails and generate leads. In addition, Twitter makes it easier for marketers to track their return on investment from Twitter ads as well as access data from any campaigns they might be running.

In summary, most brands use a combination of Facebook and Twitter in their marketing efforts since they get better results that way. Use the information provided in this blog as well as running your own tests to determine which is the best social media platform for your brand.

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