Twitter versus Facebook: The Debate Continues

From a marketing perspective many social media marketers have debated which social networking site is more effective – Twitter or Facebook? To answer this question, marketers first need to understand how these two audiences differ and what causes each audience to connect with brands.

It’s important to recognize that social networking sites that seem similar can actually differ greatly from a marketing stand point, depending on the differences in the users, particularly their needs and motivations.

Two recent surveys have been conducted that seem to indicate that Twitter users express more brand loyalty than Facebook users.  Exact Target’s Subscribers, Fans and Followers report noted that Facebook and Twitter have different influences on customer loyalty.

The report compared daily Twitter users who ‘followed’ a brand and daily Facebook users who ‘liked’ a brand.  The report found that Twitter users were more than twice as likely to purchase from the brand that they followed over their Facebook counterparts.

A February 2010 survey conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey found similar results, noting that Twitter followers were more likely than Facebook fans to say they had an increased chance of buying or recommending the brands that they were following.

The results of these two surveys clearly indicate that Twitter users are more likely to display brand loyalty than Facebook users, which would seem to make Twitter users more attractive to marketers.  However, marketers must keep in mind that Twitter has a much smaller user base than Facebook and that only 3% of internet users follow a brand through Twitter.

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