Consider this analogy for a moment: there are two bandwagons, Facebook and Twitter. From a branding perspective, Facebook is considered to be the undisputed champion. It’s won 5 titles in a row. It’s big and it’s lean. It has a long reach (nearly a billion users). People expect it to win.
And still, even years later — years after Twitter had already won a few major battles and proven itself as a more than capable social networking tool, Facebook in a lot of regards — Twitter is still looked upon as the underdog, particularly from a branding perspective.
Tired analogy over.
But that perspective isn’t completely unwarranted. Facebook’s users outnumber those of Twitter by hundreds of millions and Facebook has perhaps the largest database of personal information ever collected.
That said, Twitter can be a far more powerful tool than Facebook for businesses that are willing to dedicate the time and energy towards making it work for their brand.
Twitter = Open
If Path is your private little get-together with friends (and if you haven’t already, check it out. It’s a truly beautiful app), and Facebook is your open-invitation cocktail party, then Twitter is the club-scene of those social networks.
Loud, chaotic and occasionally ruined by drunken nimrods (also known as trolls on the Internet), it’s a place where a lot of things are happening at one time. In one corner, there’s a couple have a quiet conversation. At the same time, an obnoxious guy shows up, shouting at the top of his lungs, pounding his chest. Everyone wants him to shut up.
But that’s what makes Twitter so great — cleverly weaved in and out of that chaos are meaningful conversations between people, between brands, between experts, etc. Because of the open nature of Twitter, the only impediment to conversations and social networking are simply time and being dedicated enough to sort through the thousands upon thousands of tweets that are constantly being flung around the massive network. Ultimately, finding the conversations that matter.
For a local deli, the conversations that might matter could be helping someone decide what sort of topping to put on a sandwich. Or for a movie theatre, helping individuals determine what sort of entertainment options they might have in their local area.
But unlike Facebook, users don’t have to first like a page and then have that page’s updates go through their newsfeed — instead, that brand simply has to give those users a reason to communicate with them.
A Follow on Twitter is Worth More
Shannon Downey, cofounder of the digital marketing agency Pivotal, labeled Twitter as, “the single greatest branding + relationship tool,” in a recent blog post on her company’s website. In it, she writes about how a recent tweet-up — that’s a meet-up among Twitter users at a specific location, basically — made her realize how exceptionally powerful Twitter is in introducing complete strangers to one another, and how important that is for branding.
Beyond that, she argues that, from a branding perspective, Twitter is much more powerful for brands than Facebook (and perhaps any other social network, for that matter). In a brief little infographic (located here), she sums it up as such: Twitter users are 37% more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a follower, and 33% more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a follower. Facebook? Only 17% and 21%, respectively.
Obviously, if users are willing to sort through the chaos on Twitter and actually seek brands out — or, better yet, if brands are willing to give those users a reason to seek them out — then in the long run, brands that are successful in leveraging both Twitter and Facebook will be far more successful than those brands that simply leverage Facebook.
But in order to get people to sift through the chaos of Twitter, brands must first figure out how to get those people to engage with their brand through social media.
How have you leveraged Twitter for success in social media?
Source: MSM DesignZ, Inc. is a Westchester NY Social Media company specializing in advertising, web and graphic design, and SEO.