Which Outlet Serves a Business Better – Twitter or Facebook
If you were a business looking to social networking as a way to get a boost, which would serve you better, Twitter or Facebook? The two services just happen to serve businesses (and consumers) differently with their individual strengths.
Twitter has had a Suggested User list for several months now, the purpose of it being to help people see where the hottest action is to follow. Their list is about 400-strong, and its influence on Twitter followers seems pretty strong too – most of the companies on the list have more than a million followers. Companies that did not get to be on the list, pretty much have no chance of getting that kind of popularity; and it creates resentment among those that don’t make the cut. A business planning on getting on Twitter would have to wonder about being given the short shrift.
Twitter is a public thing, not private. Some companies forget that Twitter is not personal; they go ahead and carry out personal negotiations with their customers on Twitter, like it was a text message service. Many people balk at the idea that their personal communications are just broadcast to the whole world for no reason. Facebook on the other hand, can be personal. Your communications with a company’s fan page are mostly one-way only too.
Consider this: the most prominent companies on Facebook, happen to be food and beverage majors like Coca-Cola. And Twitter is filled with media and Internet majors like CNN. Media companies need to give their followers a heads up over major stories, and they use Twitter like an RSS feed. Followers look at the links, and head over to the main website, and this fuels advertising too. The food companies don’t need to regularly put out headlines; the more low key affair they have with their consumers, is served best on Facebook.
The multinationals seem to have the best take on how to use Twitter for now. So do major Internet properties like the New York Times. If this is how the big boys make their pick among Twitter and Facebook, perhaps the small business could take a hint.