Facebook vs Twitter

April 18, 2011 by Jamaal 

Facebook and TwitterFacebook and Twitter are not the same. They function differently, and they serve different audiences. There are some overlaps, but there are also very distinct differences. When using Social Media as a serious business marketing tactic, it is incumbent to have deep insights into the differences between the Social Media platforms. I see the mistake everyday of people treating all the platforms equally. This is certainly a road to failure.

For example: most folks on Facebook and LinkedIn don’t understand what “RT” is. It’s Twitter lingo for Retweet, and it’s akin to a forwarded email. If you find an interesting message on Twitter, you forward it on using the RT function. I see RTs everyday on Facebook and LinkedIn. This is the result of treating all the platforms equally. It’s just wrong. Each platform is a house. We should respect the rules and etiquette of the house. That is polite.

I caught an interesting post tackling this topic. The post quoted Tim Webster as saying:

“The temptation, I think, will be to see Twitter as smaller, and therefore less important, than Facebook. Certainly, Facebook is the gateway to the masses, since it now reaches the majority. For brands and businesses, however, the differential character of Facebook users and Twitter users means that for some products and companies, Twitter might indeed be the best channel for outreach and customer communications, while for others…it might be terrible. It’s imperative for companies to cut past the hype, do their own research, and be where their users are, not where the noise is.”

And it quoted Morgan Stewart as saying:

“Twitter appeals to a niche audience. Most people simply have no interest in the real-time, condensed form of communication Twitter facilitates. However, this does not mean that Twitter’s role is insignificant or that its’ importance is overrated.

Comparing Facebook and Twitter in this manner is like comparing shopping malls and fashion shows. Malls, like Facebook, have mass appeal and are an expression of larger culture. In contrast, while only a small subset of the population actually attend fashion shows, the interactions that happen there influence the larger culture. Twitter is where online influencers congregate and share new ideas, and that alone is significant.”

I think these are brilliant opinions. Twitter and Facebook are both useful and both incumbent, but they should not be treated the same. They are different.

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