Why Facebook Marketing Slaps Twitter Marketing In the Face

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And beats its pants off. [Sorry we were just brainstorming linkbait titles about John Daly’s pants.]

I was asked to speak about “Capitalizing on the Twitter Revolution” at Pubcon. So I talked about Facebook.


I said: “Twitter revolution? Didn’t that happen in 2008?”

The following chart shows Twitter really taking off in 2009, but…

But Twitter was a lot cooler in 2008 when it was smaller. And the following chart shows something very interesting about Twitter for marketers:

Interest in Twitter marketing grew in the first half of 2009 but has stagnated since.

In my work with TweetROI, I’ve monitored what people tweet on phrases like “twitter marketing” and most of what I saw was the spammiest, lowest quality Internet Marketing- hypey new product cut-and-run strategies and lazy, uncreative tweet promotions.

Also look at this:

The volume is lower and the lines more volatile, but Twitter marketing is clearly losing to Facebook marketing and stagnating.

Why is this happening?

Yes,I have enjoyed Twitter’s geekiness. I have no problem with @ symbols or formulaic syntax. But not everyone in the U.S. or the World is like that.

Oh yes, the mainstream people.

That’s why the Twitter/Facebook comparison looks like this:

Facebook truly dwarfs Twitter. And yet the corporate search/social industry talks WAY more about Twitter. And there was a session devoted entirely to Twitter at Pubcon, but no session about Facebook. Alison Driscoll, to my knowledge, is the only other person who talked about Facebook.

Why Do Geeks Prefer Twitter?

Perhaps because everyone in the industry, like me, was avoiding Facebook and enraptured by Twitter. And because there weren’t as many public case studies of Facebook marketing success as there were for Twitter.

Is this fundamentally fallacious? Twitter had great synergy with writers – the press, and bloggers – so it was more scrutinized and buzzed up.

Facebook is multimedia and holistic but dare-I-say “common”. It’s easier to be condescendingly expert on Twitter’s side than Facebook’s.

So as is typical for me, I’ll buck the trend.

Here are 5 Reasons Facebook Marketing Slaps Twitter Marketing In The Face:

  1. Huge Penetration: As the search volume Insights charts show, Facebook is more popular, and Twitter marketing is stagnant.
  2. Reliable Stats: Facebook’s built-in engagement stats rock, they tell you what FB cares about, and they won’t just disappear any old day like a third party Twitter app might.
  3. Ad Integration & Targeting: Facebook ads are a powerful synergistic way to add power to your FB page, and their targeting ability ROCKS.
  4. Mainstream Appeal: Facebook is multimedia – pictures and video – and if you didn’t notice, people like TV better than books. Facebook is more engaging and intuitive for normal people. (No, geeks are not normal people)
  5. Braslow’s Hierarchy of Awesomeness (see below): This classic marketing framework I created two weeks ago demonstrates the importance of brand. It’s easier to brand with Facebook than Twitter. Branding is key in red oceans because it’s the only thing your competitors can’t copy.

In other words, right now if you ignore Facebook marketing, you’re like a 1986 Sony fan ignoring VHS. I knew a guy like that and he was an alcoholic. In other words, you’re an alcoholic geek. I’m kidding! I’m not saying Twitter is Betamax and going away, but you can’t ignore what the mainstream prefers, unless you only market to internet geeks.

Check out my whole Twitter Marketing vs Facebook Marketing presentation on Slideshare- it’s funny and it includes tips on how to get more page fans- oops I mean page likers.

Yeah I’d rather be a liker than a fan, wouldn’t you? ;-p


Brian Carter
Brian is author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook and Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook's Features For Your Marketing Campaigns, How to... Read Full Bio
Brian Carter
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  • Nah man I disagree. I think it's different strokes for different folks. If you ask John Mayer he'll tell you Tumblr is the best social media tool around. Personally I prefer LinkedIn for B2B but I use Twitter to keep abreast of everything.

    If you are a B2C marketer then Facebook makes a LOT more sense. And if you weren't giving a blanket statement and specifically talking about Business 2 Consumer connections then I would wholeheartedly agree with you.

    The truth is the landscape out there is undulating and there are various best practice solutions for different problems.

    One point I would agree with you on though is that Twitter is full of spammers and spam bots, but then again Twitter is cutting down on that quite a bit lately.

    Great article regardless of my differences in opinion.

  • You had me at the traffic stats. Everything else you said makes sense, but the sheer fact that facebook has tons and tons more traffic is reason enough to use Facebook.

  • I tend to agree with Wynne !, it's definitely worth testing various methods (FB/ stubmle/ twitter) to see which brings you the best targeted converting traffic. As they say test everything !!! Great article though.

  • I would tend to agree with Wynne that these tools can be used in different ways depending on your target market. Yes, Facebook has much higher traffic volumes as well as advertising and targeting options, so it's got to be one of the top resources to at least test, but Twitter can also work well for the right sector. And why choose one over the other – test both!

  • Facebook is amazing. I'm getting people from the past wanting to be my friend.Does it really matter who has the better marketing platform?

  • I think the lower popularity of Twitter has a lot to do with the character limit.

  • I disagree and would also go with Wynne. Each platform provides it's own benefits and can be used for specific targeted functions. LinkedIn I find best for B2B, Facebook for creating groups of fans and interactive content. Twitter is great for conversational marketing.

    My Learn German twitter account (@doubletranslate) has more interaction than it's equivilant facebook group (both pretty new) because learning a language works great in conversations. Whereas my automotive product accounts respond better in Facebook as there is more of a group aspect in that industry. My website design business will do better with LinkedIn as it is more b2b.

    Love the article anyway as it raises a important and interesting point about social marketing through different platforms.

  • Why are u even thinking of using twitter, face book for marketing grow your business with aweber this is cool i use it and soo cool.

  • I definitely agree with PeteS. Every platform utilizes different methods which then provides different benefits. It just happened that people made use of Facebook fairly well than Twitter.

  • John S Cothill

    “I think it's different strokes for different folks” – couldn't of put it any better myself. However, from a transactional POV, with the industries my clients sit in, Facebook has always been the strongest ROI.

  • Interesting article, but I don't think it is correct to compare the two side by side. They are different, although in the same category. I would rather like to see a comparison on the same level of engagement each provides. A Twitter “what's happening” vs Facebook “what's on your mind”. That would be a fair comparison.

    Yes, facebook provides better target advertising, but to be honest, I prefer twitter because is quick and simple. It is also not nearly as overwhelming as facebook.

    @gregorygunner 😉

  • It is maybe not the most important thing because first of all Facebook is a great social network but more and more companies use it as an advertising tool and I think it brings even longer future to Facebook.

  • It is maybe not the most important thing because first of all Facebook is a great social network but more and more companies use it as an advertising tool and I think it brings even longer future to Facebook.