“Not only does a Facebook user share almost five times more content than their Tweeting cousins, but sharing a link on Facebook is worth almost six times the value of the same link Tweeted.” Two reports have arrived at the same conclusion: a Facebook fan is more valuable than a Twitter follower.
Knowing the nature of both social media channels, it makes sense that Twitter sharing is more fleeting and superficial, while Facebook sharing is deeper and more meaningful. It’s one of the reasons Twitter has released its new interface – an attempt to give more meaning, more depth to those fleeting Twitter interactions.
The way Facebook works, fans view your messages on their News Feed. They can view “Top News,” which is the default, or they can see the “Recent News.” The top news is filtered by the Facebook engine and makes sure that you will see postings from your top friends, those you interact with the most, or those postings who became popular.
On Twitter, you have a fast-moving timeline, and this means that even if you use lists to manage that timeline, so that you don’t view everyone’s updates but just the updates of the people you really care about, you will still miss a lot of updates. People often say that they dip in and out of Twitter throughout the day, quickly posting and scanning the timeline to see if there’s anything interesting going on.
The result of the nature of these two mediums is that Twitter works well for broadcasting, while Facebook works well for interacting.
Having said that, I would NOT automatically assume that all brands should be on Facebook and not on Twitter. If your target market uses both, you should be on both. If you’re selling a consumer product, then yes, allocate more resources to building a good Facebook following, but don’t entirely neglect Twitter. There are enough people who use Twitter to follow brands that you should still have a presence there, and you should definitely listen to any Twitter conversation that mentions your brand, so that you can retweet the good ones, and quickly resolve the bad ones.
For many B2B brands, who sell to other companies, using Facebook simply does not make sense. Even if their target market is there, they are usually there via private accounts, and they come to Facebook to play, not to work. The last thing they want is to get your business updates on their Facebook news feed. Twitter, on the other hand, works great for B2B because many industry analysts and journalists use it, as well as a growing number of decision makers such as CMOs and CIOs.
So is Facebook “better” than Twitter? It depends on who you are and on who your target market is.