Small Business Social Showdown: Facebook vs. Twitter

When growing your small business’ presence on social media, it can be hard to know where to concentrate your efforts. The social media giants Facebook and Twitter are two platforms you should consider. But it’s good to know which one will yield the best results for the time you have available to post on the sites. Here are the key differences between Facebook and Twitter, and how each can help your small business grow in its own way. shutterstock_327349124

Recognizing the Big Differences

Size is one key factor that differentiates Facebook from Twitter. Facebook has nearly double the number of users that Twitter has, meaning you’ll get your posts in front of more people with Facebook. The sheer size of Facebook will allow you to interact with more users and potential customers. You will have your content seen by more people, as well as shared with more people who will potentially turn into customers for your small business, growing your revenue.

The processes by which users get information from Facebook and Twitter also differ between the two sites. Facebook puts content and posts that are gaining in popularity in a user’s newsfeed frequently, allowing a post for which your small business is getting a lot of attention to be seen multiple times. Twitter, on the other hand, adds your tweet to a user’s feed as soon as you post it, relying on the user to scroll through long lists of tweets to see your small business’ post.

While your post will almost certainly be seen on Facebook by its multitude of users, Twitter is relying on the fact that you will post a series of tweets that will run throughout a user’s feed, creating interest that way.

In terms of time investment, Facebook allows you to post less frequently and still make a big impact on its users. Posts that get a lot of attention by being liked or shared will be viewed over and over again in a user’s newsfeed. Twitter requires constant and frequent posts to the site to stay at the top of a user’s newsfeed, requiring additional time and resources in order to approach the results that you might get more easily with Facebook.

Spending your Time Wisely

Since finding the time to post on social media sites is a big challenge for a small business, it is important to get the most out of the posts to which you are able to commit your time. For a small business, Facebook can allow you to promote your business less frequently and still get results through the shares and likes that your post generates. From one post you may garner several new likes for your small business’ page and watch as your presence grows without very much time investment.

Twitter, however, requires much more time and dedication, as users expect frequent posts and updates from you to stay interested—and some of these they might not even see in their feed. By using Twitter, you are committing to more frequent use of the site and a constant flow of updates to keep your followers engaged.

Business vs. Personal Pages

Unlike Facebook, Twitter makes business pages and personal pages the same. There is nothing that differentiates you as a business from a personal user. All posts on the site are mingled together, so nothing stands out, giving your small business less prominence on the site. Facebook, on the other hand, uses business pages for companies, which allow for different types of interaction than personal pages. You have the recognition as a business on Facebook and collect followers, rather than friends.

Another benefit of a business page on Facebook is the further ability to have this page appear in search engine results, which allows you to rank through keyword searches related to your small business. This added benefit allows your customers to find your Facebook business page more easily, whereas on Twitter they must figure out your handle to find you.

Look for Staying Power

While social media seems like an instant medium for content, it’s also important to consider staying power—and there is more of this with Facebook. Your posts last as long as they are being interacted with, allowing them to come up in newsfeeds time and again—even to the point where very old posts may rise to the top of users’ feeds. Twitter is more of an instant medium, where what you share is immediate. There is no way to get your Twitter post to the top of feeds without paying for it to be promoted, which makes it hard to compete with the hundreds or thousands of tweets already present in a person’s feed.

An even bigger difference between the platforms is in the restrictions on what you can post. Twitter’s 140-character limit makes it difficult to convey a lot of information. It’s good for sound bites or providing a short answer to someone’s question. Facebook’s format, however, is more geared toward longer posts, videos and pictures. You can really tell the full story with Facebook and relay a lot of information. If, for example, you wanted to tell your followers about the features and benefits of one of your products, you wouldn’t be limited in how much content you could provide or how many photos you upload. On Twitter, you would need to be concise and post several times to convey the same amount of information. This would take more time, and the different tweets would likely not appear uninterrupted in users’ feeds anyway.

Your engagement level with Facebook will most likely be higher, as users typically use it as a way to communicate by posting comments. This is a good way to interact with your customers and see what they have to say about your business. Twitter is used more for information seeking, as users check it to see what the headlines are. Your post may get lost in the clutter of Twitter, which is why you have to post more frequently to be heard.

As a small business, it would be best to concentrate your social media efforts on Facebook, at least as you’re getting started with social media. It is a less time consuming social media platform and will yield you better results through interaction with your customers and increased likes for your small business, thanks to the fact that your posts are simply more likely to be seen. Naturally, this will help to keep your existing customers engaged and draw new customers into your small business’ orbit.

About Lexi St. Laurent
Lexi joined BizIQ in March of 2015. She brings over eight years of experience in social media, content marketing, and community management to the team, and has a passion for helping small businesses grow through online marketing.
More from Lexi | LinkedIn 

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