Twitter and Facebook, world’s two most popular social networks are engaged in a vicious battle to edge each other out as the preferred network for business users. Both networks have their own pros & cons, though neither is perfect but they are as close as it gets to perfection in social media.
The popularity of a social network depends on the target audience it caters to. When it comes to teens, Facebook is understandably well ahead of Twitter in terms of popularity and there’s a good reason to that – the young generation loves the jazzy Facebook interface with images, videos and the funky apps.
However, it’s a different ball game altogether when we talk about business users. I personally prefer Twitter over Facebook as an online marketers and I’ve my reasons to believe so.
IMO, Twitter is a no-frills social network for businesses and is built on the principle of “Keep it short and sweet”. All that a business cares about is being able to reach out to a targeted set of customers and spreading the word as quickly as possible.
As compared to Facebook which lays a lot of emphasis on the “appearance” factor, Twitter is all about simplicity. You have 140 characters to get the message across – that’s it! It’s quick and has a high impact.
Twitter is world’s most ubiquitous social network. You can access it using your mobile phone, you can open Twitter’s website on your computer or use any of the thousands of third-party Twitter apps available. Facebook is all about web-based access. Though it offers a RSS feed for external access, the feature is hardly attractive. While there are mobile apps available for Facebook as well, a textual mobile app is far easier to build rather than a jazzy look and feel friend finder app like Facebook.
No Walled-Garden Approach
Twitter is far more open than Facebook and the latter has often been publicly blasted for its walled garden approach. From a business perspective, the key functionality of a social network is spreading the word as quickly as possible and as far as possible. Twitter does both – tweets are instantaneous and they can be spread to just about every other social network in a matter of seconds using Twitter’s fantastic integration capabilities. Twitter offers easy integration with Facebook & LinkedIn in order to provide an unparallel reach for a business.
Twitter is a great place for meaningful conversations. While a substantial number of Facebook users are engaged in social media games like Farmville most of the time, Twitter has a more business-minded audience. Unlike Facebook, Twitter is more about understanding the value of information and making business sense out of it.
Twitter promotes one to one dialogue between a business and a customer unlike Facebook which offers Fan Pages which can be viewed publicly.
Facebook has messed up time and again on the privacy aspect. And to make matters worse, it does not seem to be learning from its past mistakes. The latest round of changes on Facebook was meant to simplify privacy controls in Facebook. Instead, it has complicated the matter further. As a result, newcomers are often lost on Facebook. In comparison, Twitter has a simple intuitive interface and there’s no rocket science involved in using it.
All in all, Twitter makes more sense for business users as compared to Facebook. Of course, if you are a staunch loyalist of both Twitter and Facebook, I’d recommend a healthy integration of both services in order to promote your business. If not, 140 characters can create the magic word for your business.