Microblogging versus Social Networking: Twitter vs Facebook

Not too long ago I have blogged about the 17 types of social media marketing channels. Since then Facebook has acquired FriendFeed [more here], which should enhance the real-time social search on Facebook, making things significantly better than they currently are on Twitter Search. Another reason behind it may be the latest trend of “friends” being replaced by “followers”. Yesterday, eMarketer.com has published some interesting Burson-Marsteller‘s research data which suggests that Twitter is, in fact, a more popular marketing tool than Facebook.

Out of all Fortune 100 companies who have Twitter, Facebook or blog presence:

  • 54% are on Twitter
  • 32% run their own corporate blog
  • 29% have a Facebook fan page
  • 20% use only one of the above social media channels

Twitter is being used for the announcement of news and customer-geared promos (i.e. broadcasting), customer service (i.e. as a two-way communication channel), and for employee recruitment. You may read more on this Burson-Marsteller’s research at eMarketer.com.

2 thoughts on “Microblogging versus Social Networking: Twitter vs Facebook”

  1. I’m still “new” to social networking (having previously dropped my time-wasting Facebook account shortly after ThinkTank 2007), but I think I’m starting to “get it” now.

    Twitter is for sharing information, ideas, and some marketing messages, but it is a transitory and uncertain medium: now that I’m following 800+ people, I only “sample the stream,” so the mere fact that I follow someone doesn’t guarantee that I’ll read their tweets. Twitter sharply limits my ability to post information that is “persistent” (a short profile text, and an image that might embed text).

    Facebook is more about “maintaining connections.” As you mention, the terminology does matter: I’m much less likely to ask someone to “be my friend,” than I am to choose to “follow” someone — and I really am baffled by the idea that on Facebook, you can EITHER have friends OR fans, but not both.

    I’m still viewing Facebook (and LinkedIn) as mostly a waste of time, but I’m trying to keep an open mind.

    I am not sure about Twitter as a tool for “employee recruitment.” I think Facebook or LinkedIn are more plausible tools for that.

    Finally: It’s critically important that we, as internet marketers, recognize that Social Media is much more popular among our colleagues (other online marketers) than among most other groups, including “consumers” and “prospective clients.” As such, it’s still a waste to allocate disproportionately more resources to maintaining Social Media “cred” than on other marketing strategies.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Mark.

    Yes, I agree, Social Media is becoming extremely hot among online marketers; but its popularity is also gaining momentum among wider audiences, including those that embrace “consumers”/”prospective clients”. Dell, for example, is claiming to reap millions of dollars in sales from Twitter alone [more here].

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