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Why Twitter Followers are Better Than Facebook Fans

An informative article in today’s eMarketer shows that Twitter followers are more likely to induce advocacy and future purchases than those on Facebook. According to their data, 37% of respondents were more likely to purchase from a brand after following them on Twitter as opposed to only 17% of those that “like” a brand on Facebook.

The numbers are also pretty similar when asked if they would be more likely to recommend a brand after following them on Twitter or Facebook.

I can’t say that I’m surprised one bit by these numbers, and I believe the reason is simple: Twitter is a platform that attracts an audience receptive to marketing messages much more than Facebook. A great quote that I wish I could say I came up with goes something like this: “Facebook is for the people you know while Twitter is for those you want to know.”

Statistics tend to show that there’s a fork in the road that many new Twitter users reach. There’s a marked drop-off by users with only a handful of tweets that abandon the service versus those that continue to embrace it. Many of those that find value in Twitter gain that value from its function as a news platform. In fact, 44% of adult internet users aged 18-29 and 45% aged 30-49 are getting their news online.

Facebook is not a good platform for delivering news. The default front page view does not show a user every post from all of those in their network but rather an abbreviated feed that Facebook feels is most relevant to them. Additionally, the function of setting up lists, which are an excellent way to segment content on Facebook and could provide value in the service as a news aggregator, is vastly underused.

Lastly, a factor that I believe plays a part in gaining more quality followers on Twitter versus Facebook is the fact that it’s generally a two-step process to follow a brand as opposed to the one-click “like” on Facebook. One that visits a brand page and sees a “follow us on Twitter” option has to click through to the Twitter profile page of that brand, and from there they can choose to actually subscribe to their stream. This multi-step process not only cuts down on the number of more casual, less-likely-to-buy followers but also gives potential subscribers a taste of one’s stream before they are convert to a follower of the brand.

From my own experiences as a marketer, I consistently see this play out time and time again. Brands that have a much greater number of Facebook fans than Twitter followers that are serving their audience with the same discount savings offers consistently showing a higher return via Twitter. This is not to say that Facebook should be ignored, because there’s definitely  value in reaching a large audience with marketing information. What I feel this says is that those brands that are late adopters to the social media game and still don’t see value in Twitter, or are not using the site to its greatest potential need to understand that from a lead generation perspective, Twitter must be a part of their social media strategy. Social media is a quality versus quantity play and nowhere is it more apparent for brands than on Twitter.

Join The Conversation

  • May 27 Posted 6 years ago Out-Smarts Marketing (not verified)

    Interesting post! For us, we've noticed that the engagement level of our client's Facebook fans and Twitter followers seems to be related to the industry the client is in. Depending on the industry, it appears that people are more comfortable interacting on certain social networks over others.

    It would be interesting to do a study on this to see whether there truly is a correlation between the engagement level of Facebook fans & Twitter followers and the industry category of the brand/business.

  • Nov 10 Posted 6 years ago Frank Herold (not verified)

    We agree. ;-)

  • Oct 12 Posted 6 years ago Talya Queen (not verified)

    I totally agree, I see more twitter as a professional tool and fcebook a place for friends and family or other networks which can be work related or not.

  • Sep 29 Posted 6 years ago Anne (not verified)

    Well said and i totally agree that Twitter is a major lead generator. Is it a good source to launch a new product/service by a start-up company that people are not familiar with? If yes then how?

  • Sep 23 Posted 6 years ago Ben (not verified)

    The questions is worded as more likely.  I tend to "like" brands on Facebook, that I well, like.  With that said, I'm usually not more likely to buy from those brands because I'm already buying and using their products and telling my friends about them. 

  • Sep 21 Posted 6 years ago John Sun (not verified)

    Interesting statistics! But we can't say twitter is BETTER than facebook fans - simply because the nature of their subscriptions are different.

    Facebook Likes focuses on a more lighter dedication to a certain brand where as Twitter has a heavier dedication. Ask yourself this - "Would you rather Like someone or Follow someone?". It's natural to like more people than to follow them! 

    Ultimately, Facebook is trying to build on the number of fans a brand is getting as opposed to a higher of loyalty a brand gets from twitter followers


    - John Sun


  • Sep 20 Posted 6 years ago Arnold (not verified)

    I agree completely!  Facebook in many ways is just a casual meeting place, rather than the place to do business.  I have definitely experienced greater exposure and potential from my time on Twitter than in comparison to Facebook.  Thanks for the insight.  


  • Sep 19 Posted 6 years ago Gabriele Maidecchi (not verified)

    I always believed in Facebook more as a personal tool rather than a business-centered one, mainly because it has so many more ways to "entertain" casual users. Features as applications, games, photo galleries, the whole concept of adding people you know there to chat or plan events... I think it's a tremendously different approach compared to Twitter's one.

    Twitter requires far less work to setup, it's a lot more instinct-friendly, and to me it potentially offers far more serendipitous business opportunities than Facebook. Having a conversation with a celebrity, in any niche, is far easier on Twitter, and far more rewarding in the long term.

  • Sep 17 Posted 6 years ago Ryan (not verified)

    Seems counterintuitive to me and how I use Twitter & Facebook.  Twitter is totally public.  I follow all kinds of people and brands.  Facebook is more intimate.  I typically follow people that I actually know.  I probably miss 90% of the tweets from brands that I follow, whereas I probably see 90% of the posts from brands on Facebook.  All that being said, that is how I use them.  I am probably more active on Twitter than most people.  I think there is a difference in the average user more than there is a difference in the two networks.

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