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.
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