Social media is a must in any successful internet marketing plan – but which platform is better, Twitter or Facebook? There are many conflicting responses to that question. The truth is, the best social media network will depend on you, your business, and your customers.

Twitter vs. Facebook: User Demographics

Only 5% of social media traffic comes from Twitter, while more than three-quarters of online social networking activity takes place on Facebook. These statistics really have no influence in determining which platform is best for marketing. One study by Social Twist found that clickthrough rates on Twitter were six times higher than that of Facebook, but the two communities represent two very different audiences. Twitter users are often more tech-savvy and is the preferred platform for many online entrepreneurs. The Facebook community, on the other hand, is highly dominated by female consumers and is also preferred by many older users.

Twitter vs. Facebook: Potential Reach

While there are more than three times as many Facebook users as Twitterers, many online business owners find it easier to connect with their target audience via Twitter. The methods used to connect with others are different on each platform. Twitter has a more open atmosphere and it is easy to network with almost anyone, while Facebook adds security features to discourage spam or unwanted solicitations. The likelihood of a post or link being shared on Facebook is much slimmer than the chance of a retweet on Twitter, which is a plus for many Twitter marketers. Naturally, businesses who share on the social network preferred by the majority of their customer base always have an advantage.

Twitter vs. Facebook: Features and Usability

While Twitter users tend to click more and to share more, Facebook is often preferred by business owners because it is easier to use and offers business-friendly features. Twitter is a quick, fast-paced stream of brief messages and open conversations, while Facebook is more relaxed and conversations are organized as comments within the relevant post. Crafting an effective marketing message in 140 characters or less also poses a challenge to many Twitter marketers, but Facebook posts can be much longer. Facebook pages are another advantage of this platform. Businesses can promote their company, facilitate discussions among consumers, and announce special events much easier with Facebook.

The Bottom Line

Both Twitter and Facebook have advantages for marketing. They also each have their downfalls. Depending on your target audience and business scope, a combination of the two may provide the best results. Twitter is excellent for companies who deal with net-savvy clientele and is a particular favorite for businesses in the internet marketing industry, including developers, SEO professionals, and MLM entrepreneurs. Facebook, on the other hand, is an excellent online marketing platform for businesses that operate primarily offline, such as retailers, companies in the hospitality industry, and local small businesses.

Learn which social networks your customers use most before making the decision to use Twitter vs. Facebook for marketing. Consider developing a marketing plan that includes Twitter and Facebook to make the biggest impact. Also remember that there are other social networks and sharing sites that your customers may frequent, including LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.

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