Twitter serves as a more useful marketing site than Facebook
I am a 22-year-old recent college graduate that focused four years of college on writing, communications, and social media. So while I don’t consider myself a complete media connoisseur, I do know some. Which is why I feel confident enough to make this claim: Twitter is a more useful marketing site than Facebook.
Being a “hip” 14-year-old when Facebook became really popular, I jumped on the bandwagon and made myself a profile. Then, I did the same thing at 19 with Twitter when that was the new thing making its way through the Internet universe.
Now that I consider myself to be older and wiser, I see a huge difference between the two websites. I won’t lie – I use Facebook daily. But when I listen to music and want to share my favorite lines, have something to complain about, want to tell my friends I miss them, or just browse for news stories, I find myself on Twitter.
I use Facebook now as a photo album, just in case my phone ever breaks or gets lost. Sometimes I post funny internet memes or blog posts I find that I think would be interesting to my friends and family members. But I use Twitter for almost everything else.
Being able to follow my favorite Red Sox players, musicians, actors/actresses, TV shows, and authors is what makes Twitter so appealing to me. I can reach a much wider scope of people on Twitter than I can on other social media sites.
But – this article isn’t about me. It’s about why using Twitter to market your business, products, and services is more beneficial than you might think.
How Business Can Use Twitter to Market Users
From my own experience, I can recall being “marketed” by people and companies in a way that actually suited my needs. You’ve probably heard of the automated follow message. I’ve received those from multiple people, including one I got from a custom t-shirt developer based in Boston.
Months later, I wanted to have shirts and sweatpants custom made and had no idea where to look. Then I remembered that message I got and inquired with that company first.
Something similar happened to me after I sent out a tweet about how much I liked a Vince Flynn novel I had just read. I didn’t use any hashtags or mention anyone, but soon after my tweet sent I was followed by “VinceFlynnBooks.”
These may seem like minor points, but they served me, as a consumer, well. Twitter reaches a much larger range of people from all walks of life, while Facebook is more for the same old, same old – the friends and people you already know. Facebook tried to meet the same standards as Twitter, implementing the “follow” pages, and now even the hashtags. But I still don’t think it captures the enormity of what’s out there like Twitter does.
This is my personal opinion, and, as I said earlier, I am no expert. So, now I will turn to people who are.
Experts Explain Why Twitter is a Beneficial Marketing Website
A photographer who wrote an article on incomediary.com spoke about the direct message feature and how it works from a business perspective. He said he sends one to each of his new followers that includes a link to his personal website. In ten days, Josh Dunlap said, the message sent 92 people to his fan page.
In addition, he said that out of the 404 people that were sent the message, 92 of them clicked. This makes the conversion rate about 22% which, he says, is higher than the conversion rates for Facebook.
To back that up, Business Insider reported that even though Facebook makes up 78% of all social media traffic, and Twitter only 5%, research indicates that Facebook’s shared links average only three clicks in comparison to Twitter’s 19.
Perhaps part of the reason for this higher conversion rate is the fact that Twitter is made up of more people – but that’s not a bad thing.
An article on businessesgrow.com explained that because Twitter has more volume, it’s a good way for you to find people that are relevant to your content. So, if you are a photographer for example, trying to find other photographers, photography companies, people who need pictures taken, etc, Twitter is a great way to expand your network and market yourself.
That article went on to discuss the important of the Retweet feature. It’s kind of like the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of thing. The author said that if you find something you think is interesting from another user — especially one that is relevant to who you are — retweet it and chances are they’ll reciprocate or at the very least look at your page.
Twitter is Better for Social Proof and Social Sharing
Another reason why Twitter is good for marketing your business, the author said, is because it’s better for social proof. What does “social proof” mean? If, for instance, you look at two blog posts and one has been tweeted out ten times, and the other 100 times, which one are you more likely to look at? Probably the one with 100 shares.
While a similar phenomenon can happen on Facebook with “likes,” he said that Twitter users tend to be more diverse in what they share. Facebook users typically share things that are just relevant to friends and family.
Finally, Twitter is great for helping with SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. For your company, it’s always about SEO (I can say that – I am the SEO Content Writer at The Service Coach, after all). The author said that Google seems to be acknowledging and rewarding the validation that comes through social sharing. Content that spreads through Twitter is a sign that something good is happening, and that gets you better page rank.
On a blog titled “Ask Aaron Lee,” Aaron – a social media manager – talked about the importance of connecting with customers and how Twitter makes that incredibly easy for businesses.
I know this is a crazy example, but my brother once tweeted at American Idol and they responded to him. I think when companies do that – big or small – it’s awesome. And it definitely makes you want to come back or learn more or continue watching.
Connecting with customers on Twitter allows you – as a business owner – to see their feedback. If you have a website, you should put a link to your Twitter account on there to make it easier for them to follow you, make suggestions, and discuss what they like/didn’t like. People always go on Twitter and hashtag different things when they had a bad experience. And sometimes (like in the screenshot below) they say what company they had the bad experience with. It might hurt to see those things, but in the end it will help you improve, and reach out to your customers to ensure they will have a better experience next time.
Lee also explained how it’s almost silly to not use Twitter to market products or services because it’s free. You simply go on, find followers that you want to target, and tweet your heart out. Offer coupons or deals, or something specific for your company that benefits users, and people will listen and respond.
Even Paid Twitter Ads Are Worth It
Now, I don’t want to confuse anyone. You can market yourself all day long for absolutely free. To market WITH Twitter, however, is not free. It’s like anything else – you have to pay for ads.
The New York Times reported that Twitter recently acquired MoPub: a way to make it easier for advertisers to buy ads on Twitter. This program allows for ads to be “promoted” directly on the feeds.
I don’t follow Best Buy, but they are still showing up on my Twitter feed because they paid to have their ad promoted. These types of ads are even beneficial because say I needed something that Best Buy was offering, but didn’t know they were having a sale. I don’t follow them so I don’t get all of the latest news, but the ad (which isn’t in your face – it just shows up on your feed like any other Tweet would) fills me in.
Facebook vs. Twitter For Marketing
So, going back to my original claim — that Twitter is better for marketing your business than Facebook — I find it necessary to provide some last Twitter pros, and Facebook cons.
First, entrepreneur.com reported, it’s harder for businesses to get recognized on Facebook. I like the “Coca Cola” page on Facebook because, well, I like diet coke. I don’t think about it too much further than that. Facebook is also used as place for people to “bare their souls.” It’s not a very good outlet to sell something.
On the flip side, in addition to all of the above reasons, Twitter has 165 million users sending 100 million messages a day. Twitter is also pretty idiot-proof because they make it easy for almost anyone to use. Finally, you don’t have to constantly be on Twitter itself to monitor it. There are websites like Hootsuite that allow you schedule posts ahead of time.
The article said about Twitter: “[It] offers more return on investment, less time for more exposure, a quick-hit approach to conversations, a more savvy population, and few distractions from the endless streams of information.”
Chances are, if you sold a product or service that interested me and marketed yourself via my twitter feed, this 22-year-old kind-of, wannabe expert would pay attention. Now think of how many others like me are out there. What do you have to lose?
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