New Study Reveals Facebook Better Than Twitter for Marketers

social media researchThe team at Social Media Examiner recently received a real gold mine of social media insight.  It’s a mega report recently released by MarketingProfs called, “The State of Social Media Marketing.”  This massive report highlights social media usage, strategy and predictions for 2010.  And this article will bring you a small look at some of the findings from this content-rich report.

By the way, MarketingProfs used a three-tiered approach to craft this study, including consulting with a panel of social media experts, surveying more than 5,000 MarketingProfs readers and asking comScore to mine its panel data.  This approach adds greater integrity and scope to the overall results.

#1: What’s “Normal” in Social Media Usage?

How often are marketers posting on some of the most popular social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn?  Here’s a snapshot of the frequency of posts:

  • Twitter: Half of the marketers surveyed reported updating at least once per day. Of those, 20.6% actually update several times per day.
  • Facebook:  The largest group (33.4%) of marketers are updating “weekly.” However, nearly 30% are updating at least once per day.
  • LinkedIn: Only 11.5% update daily with the overall consensus being weekly updates at 25.4%.

What’s hype and what’s fact?

Many of the findings in this report touched on some of the frequent hype-versus-fact dialogue taking place in the social media arena. “Is Twitter more popular than Facebook?” “Do companies with no money use ‘earned’ media the most?” and “Do a lot of followers mean social media success?” are some of the questions addressed in the results.

Who has higher usage stats, Facebook or Twitter?

If you look at the overall number of users, both corporate and consumer (with the exception of certain industries), Facebook comes out ahead of Twitter.

Here are some facts:

The average minutes per visitor on Facebook in 2009 was 182.8 versus only 25.6 on Twitter. According to MarketingProfs, “Part of why time spent on Twitter is so much less than time spent on Facebook has much to do with the design of these sites. Facebook encourages users to aggregate external content on Facebook to be viewed within the network, while Twitter encourages users to link externally, viewing content outside of the network.”

Also, about half of all marketers report that their employers or clients actively maintain a corporate Facebook account, while 42.8% reported their employers or clients maintain a Twitter site.

Who’s using “free” media? Based on the results of the study, “free” media, also known as “earned” media, is not just for small businesses with no money to spend. The data shows that “it takes money to build and staff earned media marketing materials. The word ‘free’ belongs in quotations for a reason,” says MarketingProfs.

This compares “earned media” usage against annual corporate revenue. Surprisingly it shows a steady usage amount across many of the “earned media” tactics, showing that annual corporate revenues are not necessarily a driving factor for “earned media” usage.

“Comparing earned media use against annual corporate revenue, we find a remarkably steady usage amount across many of these tactics. Private communities, share tools, SEO and email have nearly identical amounts of usage across all these levels of annual revenue. Those taking in less than $10 million do tend to rely more heavily on public online communities and blogs, while companies with lots of cash are more likely to invest in PR and viral videos. However, it is surprising how consistent usage is across all these categories.”

Do follower counts really matter?

According to the stats, there are three types of Twitter users, the two primary types being “those that value massive follower counts and those that want a very specific set of people to follow them.” And MarketingProfs points out that a third type of Twitter users might be those that want a lot of followers but have no clue how to get them.

This shows how the number of followers reported by corporate Twitter users is distributed. The steep curves shows that some users care about the quantity of followers while others care more about the quality of followers.

Although the report did not touch on the number of fans on corporate Facebook fan pages, it did report on corporate Facebook accounts and the number of friends associated with them.  Based on the results, only 6% of Facebook fan pages had 2,000 friends or more.

This shows the number of Facebook friends reported by corporate users. Similar to the Twitter graph above, there is a steep curve. This curve shows that very few marketers (only 6%) have been able to reach the 2,000 friend mark, meaning most marketers fall well below this mark.

#2:  Social Media Strategies: The Good, Bad & Ugly

On Twitter, the two tactics tried the most were 1) driving sales by linking to promotional web pages (72.1% tried it) and 2) driving traffic by linking to marketing web pages (54.2% tried it).

On Facebook, the two tactics tried the most were 1) driving traffic to corporate materials with status updates (55.3%) and 2) “friending” recent customers with corporate Facebook profiles (39.2%).

Here’s what you really need to know from the report:  The least-tried tactics often seem to work the best (something to consider next time you plan a social media campaign!).

Here are some interesting factoids revealed when marketers were asked the following:

  • Monitoring Twitter for PR problems in real time? While only 50.8% actually tried it, 74.8% reported it “worked great” or “worked a little.”
  • Inviting Twitter users with positive brand tweets to do something? 33.2% tried it, 72.1% reported it “worked great” or “worked a little.”
  • Contacting Twitter users tweeting negatively about the brand? 22.4% tried it, 72.3% reported it “worked great” or “worked a little.”
  • Creating an in-person event using only Twitter invites? 13.5% tried it, 71.8% reported it “worked great” or “worked a little.”
  • Using Facebook user data to profile your customers’ demos or interests? 25% tried it, 73.1% reported it “worked great” or “worked a little.”
  • Creating a Facebook application around a brand? 24.6% tried it, 73.3% reported it “worked great” or “worked a little.”

Counterproductive Social Media Tactics

MarketingProfs’ expert panel weighed in on the counterproductive tactics many marketers are using today.  Below is a list of a few from the report.  Check them out and see if you or your company fell into any of these social media tactic traps:

  • Pushing data: Companies that only push out their own messages and continually dump links to their promotions are missing out on the responses of their followers and fans. When they do this, they are missing the opportunity to engage and build valuable relationships.  This is a sure-fire way to lose followers quickly.
  • Treating social media as a short-term campaign: It is easy to spot the companies that are not in it for the long haul and not interested in long-term relationships—just like the previous point, they are the ones pushing data and ignoring their followers.
  • Thinking Twitter revolves around you: Two great examples of this are Twitter auto-responders triggered by a follow and not following most people following you on Twitter. These actions speak volumes and tell your followers you are in it for you… not them.

#3:  2010 Social Media Predictions from the Expert Panel

When MarketingProfs asked their panel of experts how social media and social media usage will change in 2010 and how these changes will affect marketers, their predictions touched on the surge of Google Wave, the onset of social media integration and growing skepticism overall. Here’s a snapshot of their predictions:

The Surge of Google Wave

One expert predicts Google Wave will “rock the universe” and thus blur the lines of online communication such as blogging and IM. “Efforts to make it easy for people to ‘take their network with them’ across sites will play an important role in the disruption of user loyalty to various sites and services.”

Social Media Integration

According to Jason Baer, president of Convince & Convert, we’ll begin to see more case studies showing the integration of social media with other prominent marketing initiatives. For example, we’ll see more examples of how social media integrates with email, banner ads, direct mail and customer service.

Social Media Growth and Skepticism

Heidi Cool, an Internet marketing strategist, predicts that social media will continue to grow and more consumers and marketers will get in the game.  And with this continued growth will come social media newbies who will introduce more “missteps along the way” (e.g., increase in Twitter spamming) that could negatively affect how we choose to use the platforms. She notes how thought leader Robert Scoble changed the way he uses Twitter due to the spamming issues and many may follow his lead as more missteps surface.  Cool points out that if “too many new marketers abuse the systems by using auto-following services, only pushing content without listening, etc., it will make users more skeptical of business usage.”

More Opportunity to Capture Market Share

David Alston, vice president of marketing & community for Radian6, predicts that more people will continue to use social media platforms to express their needs and challenges with companies (instead of calling or writing in their grievances). Alston notes that businesses that embrace this form of communication will have the opportunity to capture market share from those who don’t. Marketers that make listening and engaging the core of how they market will begin to grow in numbers because it is how word of mouth is powered and it is much more effective.

The report goes into much more detail and is definitely worth a read.  To check it out, go here.

So now it’s your turn.  What do you think of the findings? Have you or your company been victim to the “counterproductive” social media tactics mentioned above?

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About the Author, Amy Porterfield

Amy is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-In One for Dummies and a social media trainer and speaker. Check out her latest webinar, 7 Simple Strategies to Profit From Facebook. check. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

    Thanks Amy. Great summary of a timely, interesting report, and I appreciate you pulling out my prediction for integration in 2010. I put a different spin on it with my post “Crushing the Myth of B2B Social Media” http://bit.ly/7bLWM2 – as the report shows that B2C and B2B companies are using the same tools/tactics within social media – including Facebook and Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/Synthesio_FR Synthesio

    Great post, Amy. I think what is important is the way companies use these networks, beit for B2B or B2C operations; Twitterers and Facebookers both have information or conversations they may not be aware that they are sharing, so marketers should take caution when approaching anyone to talk about their brand. As you pointed out – it doesn’t revolve around the marketer! Finding out what is important to who you are trying to engage is what makes people want to keep talking to you.
    Thanks again, Amy.

    Best,
    Michelle
    @Synthesio

  • http://phylliskhare.com/ Phyllis Khare

    Thanks Amy – excellent timing for this post to come out – thank you! This helps answer the biggest questions my clients have about social media and marketing.

  • jessicasimpson1981

    I have to agree that I really think Twitter is less of a branding tool. Facebook is where its at as far as social media and branding are concerned. Great post! Love you guys.

  • http://johnantonios.com John Antonios

    In terms of Branding – Facebook is definitely the place to be – but the more I get into Twitter, the more I understand the hidden benefits – I think Twitter humanizes the interaction between the followers – true there are a lot of spammers out there on twitterland but if played right, tweets can generate trust among followers – if you don’t use it to sell and think of it as a tool to build trust, twitter can serve as your main traffic driver!
    In the Middle East region, the number of users on Twitter versus those on Facebook are insignificant – but still the latter is being used on the personal level with profiles not business and fan pages. I think a lot of people don’t yet understand the use of twitter – and i think to profit from twitter you have to use it along the great tools out there so you can track your progress better.
    thanks for a great post and for sharing valuable insight from MarketingProfs.

  • http://twitter.com/teasastips LaTease Rikard

    Definitely the design and the depth of user integration on Twitter is the reason for minutes spent on Twitter versus those on Facebook. Actually this difference is good as opposed to bad. Here’s why: Twitter allows you to say it with purpose and then get off. Facebook allows you to say it with purpose and offer an explanation. Excellent post.

  • http://www.mac-live.com Shane Mac

    I agree on a few things. Great Post btw.

    1st – After a few months on twitter I believe that Facebook and Twitter have somewhat different purposes. On Twitter I find my self talking directly with people, conversation style, whereas on Facebook I find myself posting things for people to look at. I believe you can have a better personal connection on Twitter than through a Facebook Fan Page. It is more about the time it takes to @reply your entire audience and talk with them while also reaching out to customers beyond these Social Networks. It takes time, lot’s of it if you want to build a following that will listen when you post.

    2nd- As for the types of followers, I believe there is one more. There is the person who doesn’t care about how many followers he/she has but since they have something of great value to others they find themselves with a mass audience. Those are the true game changers.

    Thanks again for your post. Feel free to connect on twitter @shanemacsays. Look forward to reading more from you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.chinappi Anna Chinappi

    This is very interesting: social media wars.

  • Sara

    Not sure how marketers view this, but I think of Twitter as being a fantastic place to eavesdrop on people to find out what they are saying about your competitors, yourself, and your industry in general, information which can be fed into your own promotional efforts. Facebook is more of a place to attract followers and let the already-converted help you spread the love to their friends by letting them become fans, complete quizzes, etc., all things that’ll show up on their own FB pages and in their friends’ news feeds.

    The new Domino’s pizza ads seem to me like they could be the direct result of Twitter research.

  • http://www.mybusinesspresence.com/ Karen Clark

    Thanks for your insights in interpreting this data! It is very enlightening and supports what I’ve been feeling and seeing in my own businesses. I linked to this in my Examiner.com article: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-35335-SF-Online-Marketing-Examiner~y2010m1d18-Facebook-overpowers-Twitter-for-marketing

  • Nik Souris

    Thanks for the insights and sharing elements of the reports. Agreed that Facebook is a better place to augment a website or create some personality to a brand – but the reality of the platforms is that running a promotion on both platofrms – Twitter outperforms Facebook in terms of transactons 3 or 4 times to that of Facebook for straigh web-based deals and with respect to location based based random events/promotions – its even greater. I believe there is something related to the urgency and proximity of a tweet that is engaging and as someone mentioned earlier “more personable” than Facebook tends to be more broadcast and matter of fact. Facebook is more amiciable for flocking on a post or event but at the same time FB’s premise and frameworks create barriers to open converstaions. I say its Facebook for show – Twitter for DOUGH!

  • http://christophercatania.com Chris Catania

    thanks Amy. good info to chew on. But in working with clients I’ve seen that it all depends on the brand and what the objectives are. Some brands and audiences are made for Facebook and others are better on Twitter. But with both it also comes down to the creativity of the brand or agency and how they use the social networks to reach the audience. I expect to see a lot more experimenting to happen in 2010 as there a lot that hasn’t been tried yet and the rules are still being written. It should be a fun year for social as we all expect — fun for those that are smart, creative and savvy, that this ;)

  • Andoni Larrucea

    Thanks Amy, that’s very inspiring. In particular we as marketers wonder about how Social Media will interfere in our daily business and how much attention we do have to pay into all those weird sites that seems will give us some lights on how to increase market share and profit. Thanks

  • http://www.djnightlife.com DJ NightLife

    I’d really like to meet someone who really drives traffic from Twitter without spamming and without following everybody. It’s so much time investment for the weak benefit I can get from it. 90% of my traffic comes from Facebook while it might be barely 1% for Twitter. I’m feeling pretty much like this guy: http://www.simplyzesty.com/twitter/twitter-bring-cold-hard-business-drive-sales

  • http://twitter.com/getbornmag get born magazine

    Thanks for this, Amy. I plan to use this report in an extensive proposal I’m refining for my marketing consulting team. Excellent data.

  • Erick Fuentes

    Great article, from ecuador i agree, even do we dont have so many person on twitter YET. I will quote your report in my own report to a client hope he listens! lol

  • correlationist

    Amy – first, thank you, for providing very useful snippets of this report. The data helps put things in perspective. I disagree with you, on your title. In my mind, Twitter is way more powerful, and flexible than Facebook will ever be.Key take aways from this article for me are:1.What Nik said above. Facebook for show, Twitter for DOUGH!!2. Twitter does not revolve around you!! (lesson for me – give up the ego trip and follow most people who follow me, unless I am one of the “game changers” per Shane Mac above).3. “Listening” and “Engaging” – use this media as a consumer lab for understanding, and integrating your email, banner ads, direct mail, and PR tactics.I predict Twitter will be bigger than Facebook much sooner than we think. Facebook is a closed network, and essentially is working against itself (it may still be useful for driving traffic for promotional and other updates, but it is preaching to the already converted (as one of your guest has suggested).This is the age where network connectivity will finally end up enabling human connectivity. This is the age of EMPOWERMENT. Making the most out of social media, will depend on the strategy, not the tactics. The strategy will depend on your objectives, which will depend on whether you are a brand, a person looking for a job, the CMO, the CEO, an information junkie, and so on.If you want to know my take on Darwin’s link to Social media, and their implications, please click here : http://correlationist.wordpress.com/Thanks once again, Amy.Cheers,

  • http://blog.wine-accessorized.com/ Joshua S. Sweeney

    Why not use both approaches? I participate actively with several people in the Twitter community who also have Facebook pages, and they inter-link and cross-promote their profiles and discussions that way. I’ll sometimes engage in 3 conversations about the same topic on Twitter, Facebook, and a blog, all three cross-referenced.

    Twitter has hardly been a drag on my time, and I’ve generated a decent amount of buzz in just a few weeks for my future web-site launch. Plus, I’ve formed a close-knit circle of contacts who all help promote each other in various media. Facebook pages do strike me as lacking in this regard. I’m publishing the Facebook page once the site goes live, in which case I’ll have more personal experience and data to compare.

  • http://www.mikestenger.com/ Mike Stenger

    I think two of the biggest reasons why more marketers are using Facebook instead of Twitter is because one, there’s more users and two, it’s easier to comprehend and get up and running. Businesses and companies simply don’t fully “get” Twitter yet and that’s part lack of knowledge and lack of getting in touch with people (and people getting in touch with them) that can educate them and get them up and running effectively.

  • http://twitter.com/HowieGoldfarb HowieG

    Amy! Thank you. I have been so jaded by all the Social Media Hype (Snake Oil Sellers) that is worthless and misguided I was expecting the same here. But that was not the case. And I do think Google Wave is very much a threat to both Twitter and Facebook when it comes to conversing because in my tests so far it eliminates so much of the clutter revolving around conversations. It is really hard to converse at length on either FB or Twitter.

  • http://www.sunshineconsultingltd.com/ Todd Weiss CFA

    Thanks Amy. Very helpful. I use FB, Twitter and Linked In as means to build relationships and share ideas. The most important concept people fail to grasp is the negative impact created by pushing a product or service. This turns people off as it it self serving. I like to read about interesting information and news that can add value to clients and friends. I also try to help others by spreading valuable information people have shared. If you contribute value to the conversation and more importantly help others , people will follow and thus you can expand your sphere of influence. Thanks for a great post.

  • http://johnmarktroyer.com/ John Mark Troyer

    I don’t understand how the headline follows from the article or study. For our usage (B2B enterprise IT + individual/developer/hobbyist markets, community-based approach) Twitter works great, moves traffic, generates conversation and community amongst our enthusiasts. Facebook connects with a different crowd, doesn’t drive nearly as much traffic or conversion.

  • http://darkbird18.wordpress.com/ Darkbird18

    Another great information type article on soical media marketing, very detail and to the point! Great job Social Media Examiner; keep it up..LOL!

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    John – Item #1 above is directly related to the title of this article

  • correlationist

    Michael, I also agree with John. Please see my response above. I would love for Amy to chime in, and provide her thoughts as well, if possible.Just having a higher user base does not necessarily mean Facebook is better than Twitter. Facebook will have its use more in Retention, and increasing loyalty levels with an existing franchise. Twitter, on the other hand has the ability to Attract. Both have their uses, and I think Twitter is more in tune with the times than Facebook is. When location sharing becomes even more ubiqutous, I have a feeling twitter will really take off. Facebook is more of a one to many communication, like traditional media. In order to use SM effectively, you have to engage in a one to one, honest conversation, listen, and then try to genuinely help out. As well, Twitter is more user friendly for the explosive rates and volumes of information flow, that today’s empowered masses demand.My 2 cents. Check out my blog about what Darwinism and Social Media have in common, and how to capitalize on it. http://correlationist.wordpress.com/Cheers,

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hey, Jay. Great blog post on “Crushing the Myth.” You say it so perfectly when you point out that so many marketers accept social media “in large measure = Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and blogs” but the real deal lies in the fact that the focus should be on the “social” aspect and move beyond just the tool or platform. I have been doing a lot of research on community engagement on Fan Pages lately, and it is almost scary to see how many companies completely miss the point by pushing out data and forgetting about the whole idea of becoming a part of the community.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your great insight!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    You are so right about finding out what is most important to your potential “fan” or “client.” As a side note, what I have noticed is that it is difficult to teach someone how to engage or listen when it is not their natural tendency…so much of social media comes down to your personality and how you build rapport–and you can tell a lot about a person’s personality or demeanor just by taking a look at their interactions (or lack there of) on these sites. Very interesting, indeed!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Thanks! The MarketingProfs report was full of outstanding content and interesting stats, and this is just a snippet! I am glad you found value in it :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Jessica, thanks for the love :-) Right back attcha!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, John. I have to agree with you as I too am a bog advocate of the power of Twitter. Even though the data above points to the power of Facebook, I have built some pretty amazing working relationships via tweets. If you don’t sell (at least not too much) and you use Twitter as a true engagement tool, it can do some pretty amazing things for your business. So I am on board with you 100%. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    LOVE your analysis, LaTease! It is so simple, yet completely brilliant. Have you ever noticed how your mood sometimes dictates what platform you choose to spend time on? When I am in a hurry, even a little stressed and frantic with work, Twitter suits me just fine. But when I am a little more relaxed and looking to reach out and connect with friends and colleagues, Facebook is perfect. Plus, it’s good to switch them up…. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Shane, great post. Your point for #2 above is so true. I had not thought of it that way, but you are right, the “game changer” is rare, but out there. The thing that makes them even more unique is that very few fall into this category…it takes a pretty incredible individual to ignore the numbers, the attention, etc. and focus only on the value. Thanks for sharing. I just sent you a tweet too :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Sara: Listening on Twitter is priceless! Twitter is that one tool that if all you did was “eavesdrop” and never posted anything, you still would gain immense value. The real test though is what you do with the info you collect. Now that can be the hard part…

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Nik: you just cracked me up! Your slogan “Facebook for show – Twitter for DOUGH!” needs to be on a t-shirt! Thanks for sharing such great insight. It is amazing how much I learn just by reading all of these great comments…

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Chris–your comment reminded me of a great article I read yesterday on a brand that is taking Twitter AND Facebook by storm…and it’s all because they are creative and have put their own voice behind their brand…which turns out to be….tacos :-) This taco franchise found a way to be successful and engaging on both platforms (something not easy to do). Here’s the article–it’s worth the read:

    http://smartblogs.com/socialmedia/2010/01/18/creating-a-social-media-voice-that-works-for-your-business/

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Fantastic! Good luck with the proposal and make sure to report back and let us know the outcome. Crossing my fingers for you :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Thanks for sharing your great insight. I have to say, I am pretty impressed by the way you took other people’s comments and summed up not only the highlights of my article, but those of the people who left comments as well. You are an ACE at blog posting…I am going to use your post as an example to some of my clients :-)

    I commented to your other post below…..

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Sometimes it seems that if companies would loosen up a bit on Twitter and actually enjoy the flow of the conversation (vs. pushing data), they would be twice as effective…and actually see some momentum from the platform. But because Twitter is still very new to many companies, it might take awhile for them to “relax” and enjoy the ride :-)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I have a different perspective to this debate. I realize that the brand and the consumer play a big part when deciding on the best communication tool for your business. But due to the nature of social media, it also really depends on the PERSON posting. I think you have to look at the “voice” of your company or business. In all honesty, some people are terrible at crafting tweets, and no matter their brand, product or who their consumer is, Twitter is just not right for them. And the same applies for Facebook as well…. You mentioned that Facebook is “more of a one to many communication” but I know many companies that do an excellent job of reaching their Facebook fans on a very intimate level. So what I am pointing to here is this: Know your communication style and choose your mode of communication wisely. Twitter, Facebook, or the next best thing really don’t matter if your rapport doesn’t feel natural.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Glad you liked it! We will keep them coming!

  • http://www.mac-live.com Shane Mac

    And I just sent one back and connected with you… :) . (Oh Twitter)

  • http://blogofvishalsharma.blogspot.com/ vishal

    Great Article about social media strategies ,It give insight knowledge about the SCO and SMO.

  • correlationist

    I am truly humbled. Thank you!!

  • correlationist

    Agreed.

    This is the era of EMPOWERMENT, OPENNESS, and TRUST!!

  • sanjaymehta

    Great article. I have shared somewhat similar thoughts, when I talked about how Facebook can be the new Email. Also mentioned why Twitter is not quite there, but Facebook is, when it comes to direct marketing.

    Link shared here: http://blog.socialwavelength.com/2009/12/31/facebooks-the-new-email-its-all-about-reach/

  • http://exponentiallistpotential.com/ Flyss

    As usual, a fascinating post especially for a newbie like me. Social Media is still something of mystery to me but the discussion above gives me much food for thought and some guidelines on where to start trying to break into this Aladdin’s Cave. However, without broadband even a daily trip to Twitter is a nightmare with each of the 140 words costing a fortune in time spent waiting, and waiting, and waiting … Father Christmas let me down – no satellite broadband connection in my stocking but I shall plod on,. I found the statistics in the Total “Earned Media” Usage table illuminating.

  • Tim

    Sara – this is a really interesting thought. So companies should do their marketing via Facebook and their marketing research via Twitter. Thanks for this lucid snapshot summary!

  • http://CindyRatzlaff.com Cindy Ratzlaff

    Excellent analysis of MarketingProf’s report Amy. There are unique branding and messaging opportunities on both Twitter and Facebook and the power of both grows exponentially when the companies are genuinely engaging with their fans and followers on both and offering opportunities and reasons (rather than driving) for crossover visits by those fans. As you aptly pointed out, it’s hard to teach engagement to people or companies when that’s not part of their DNA but social media is here to stay and it’s going to become more important than ever for them to make it their business to learn how to engage on a personal and intimate level with current customers and potential customers. We’ve already moved rapidly away from broadcast marketing to attraction marketing. Thank you for the great post.

  • judybellem

    Hi Amy. Great post! What you say here, and Jay Baer also is saying, is so important to recognize as we move forward with social media programs. We have the tools now, but using these tools to “engage” our followers is key to building the relationship. Toward this end, one technique being implemented, and I believe we will see more of this in the coming year, especially with blogs, is ‘storytelling’.

  • http://twitter.com/Timisworking Tim McAtee

    So I happen to be the Research Director for MarketingProfs and the author of the report, and browsing the comments here am impressed by the general level of discourse and intelligent thought. Lots of good stuff going on here.

    This conversation caught my eye because it’s something that can be a little confusing. I totally agree with the idea of choosing the right venue for your communication style, as an individual. However, more important is figuring out in which context your target market wants to be talked to. Facebook is a much more personal experience, so it can be difficult for B2B marketers to talk business in that space. Twitter and LinkedIn tend to be a more natural fit for B2B conversations. As a B2B marketer, you want to try to avoid making your customers feel like you are spying on their personal lives. As a consumer myself, I like to interact with brands like NPR and Eurocheapo.com within Facebook, but prefer to keep Twitter more professional. Twitter is where I go to talk marketing and research. The research shows that this splitting of personas is quite normal.

    So, the takeaway is give your consumer what they want, where they want it, when they want it. What every social network allows you to do is ask your customers exactly what that looks like. It’s really the asking, not the speaking, that makes social media so unique and powerful.

  • http://twtrcoach.com TwtrCoach

    Great article and great insight here Amy.

    Personally I like Chris Brogans view of some of the Social Media Channels;

    * Facebook: connect with friends and family
    * LinkedIn: share professional networks
    * Twitter: communicate in real time, and find the new good stuff
    * Google Wave: work on the future
    * Blog: think and muse and share and publish

    Now I am know this is a bit simplified, but it gives a good perspective of that each of these Social Media channels serve a different purpose.

    And I think many marketers has something to learn from Dell’s enormous success understanding how to utilize the force of Twitter.

    But I know that things will change and evolve, and we most definitive can’t put all the eggs in one basket.

    I agree that we will see a Google Wave surge this year. In away we have to follow the Wayne Gretzky strategy ; not only be a good ‘marketer’ knowing where the market is, but be a great ‘marketer’ and play where there market is going to be.

    Cheers.. Are

  • http://ariherzog.com/ Ari Herzog

    As I do not have $599 to spend for this report, I appreciate your summary, Amy. A few questions if you don’t mind:

    1. Of the 5,140 readers who were surveyed for this report, were they asked to identify their roles and the size of their firms? Surely you’d agree that a sole proprietorship is different from a mom and pop store and a Fortune 100 firm. It’s also important to understand whether the person surveyed is a C-level manager, a divisional chief, or a lowly employee on the corporate totem pole.

    2. When the report mentions updating status on the three sites, are those manual updates? Or are automated tools used, e.g. twitterfeed, ping.fm, etc?

    3. I wonder what percentage of the respondents had more than one person dedicated to social media updating and replying to customers, versus a team of people a la Dell and Comcast.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for joining the discussion here Tim!

  • http://cazort.net/ Alex Zorach

    I think you have some good insight in this reply. Overall, I have found twitter to be much more useful than Facebook if you want to actually interact with people in deep ways.

    Twitter, for example, I have found to be very useful for making contacts in various businesses, for getting well-informed people to answer questions, for keeping up on news items in related areas, and for learning about websites and other resources related to what I am doing. Also, I’ve found twitter to be a source of ideas, tipping me off on pages it would be worthwhile to create, articles it would be worthwhile to write, research it would be worthwhile to do.

    Facebook’s model for interacting with fans is monolithic and one-directional…you churn out status updates, if you’re lucky people will read them and even luckier you’ll get a bit of feedback now and then.

    On twitter, you see a constant stream of what is going on with your followers. You’re able to put out tweets on the basis of what you are reading. And if you’re answering a question, you’re infinitely more likely to have your reply read than if you were to post the same material unsolicited.

  • http://www.eurolappen.com/ fuehrerscheinpolentschechien

    I never was of any other opinion. Twitter to me is a modern toy. Facebook is really an effective marketing vehicle.

  • http://www.icum.edu.mx/ Guillermo Cardenas

    Hola Amy, hello from Mexico! Thank you for this state of the art info…
    I have been in the Higher Education Marketing for 9 years and still now i can tell that social media wave is starting to invade us. It is, in my opinion a great chance to increase sales, PR and it will be higher in the future. I will keep you updated in the results of your advices in my strategies!!
    Thanks / Gracias!
    Guillermo Cardenas

  • nanditakhan

    Amy,
    That is a very informative article.
    I do agree that Facebook is still a more popular and commonly used social media platform.(especially in Bangladesh) this is because many people in Bangladesh do not use Twitter. They find Facebook to be more user friendly and many businesses and marketers (in Bangladesh)are using Facebook for their social media strategy.This is primarily because Twitter is yet to get exposure there.

    Aside from that you have also outlined some of the negative aspects of using these platforms that users barely think of.

  • http://robertclarkmtfs.com/ Robert Clark

    Great post, thanks for all the stats

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YVTAGXRUZJD3MXRS26UPAD5XJ4 Jim

    Good work here, i can tell there was lots of research done but i think its a little skewed because twitter is a lot newer than facebook so it hasn’t had the change to take its toll and be as effective as it can be, there are a lot of people who don’t know what twitter does. As for time spent on the site, of course facebook is going to have more time spent on site because twitter users usually use their phone or another twitter management page to get tweets and updates. I think the debate of facebook vs. twitter is a lot closer than said.

  • MrGamma

    How is it better? I don’t understand.

    In any event, either or, I don’t see how it makes a difference.

    If I had to guess… Twitter is better in the sense you don’t need a password to get at half of the content. I am not facebook but the number of dead links I come across when following other marketers links into facebook is fairly big. The Url shortener services seem to have less problems.

    Twitter seems to want you to promote content outside of their network while facebook makes alot of attempts to keep you inside theirs.

  • http://www.sitezip.com Jake

    sorry to say google wave didn’t rock the universe. in reality it didn’t even rock the boat. http://www.iq4sale.com/

  • Alex Horton

    Very Interesting article, I would like to make a clear distinction between Facebook and Twitter, as the way users engage with them is distinctly different. Personally I see Twitter as more appropriate for business as it allow a steady and simple dialogue for either B2B or B2C.

    As mentioned in the article this is definitely important to maintain! Its also important to ensure that you keep it light hearted, being to serious on these mediums of communication can be a serious downfall, if you can get as many followers/likes and maintain a good dialogue with the people interested then you can sit back and let the genius of Facebook and Twitter (other social mediums included) do the rest

    I have seen many marketing campaigns sky rocket and fail on the merits of what I just said!!! Here is some interesting figures on both Facebook and Twitter, hope you find them useful! A report from Econsultancy gives some interesting statistics.

    Facebook:

    - Use of Facebook as a customer feedback loop is lower down the list, with just under a third of companies (32%) using Facebook to gather feedback, and 25% using it to react to customer service issues and enquiries.

    Twitter:

    - Micro-blogging (i.e. Twitter) is now the most widely adopted social media tactic, used by 78% of company respondents and 74% of agency clients.

    Hope this puts a different angle on things! All statistics taken from Econsultancy’s full 2010 social media report containing statistics and best practise guides: http://ecly.co/cNu4uP

  • http://twitter.com/SEOGuru4you WillyWonka

    Here is where they all learn how to market and make money

    http://www.moneymakerdiscussion.com/forum

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