Recently I’ve been hearing lots of people saying that Facebook has become their preferred choice of social network for promoting their business. Lots of people seem to be making use of Facebook, but are reluctant to start using Twitter or feel it’s not the right social network for them.
So I thought I would share my top four reasons why Twitter is better than Facebook for marketing your business, to give you the inspiration to start using Twitter, or to re-ignite your passion if you’ve started feeling a bit “meh” about it recently.
So, in no particular order:
Image credit: mkhmarketing on Flickr.
Now I know to the newbie Twitter user, the first time you realise just how fast moving it is, you can feel a bit like you’ve suddenly found yourself at Victoria Station at 8am on a weekday!
But the pace of Twitter opens up plenty of opportunities for you to get in front of your ideal clients.
Because it moves so quickly, most people don’t screen what they tweet in the way they do when posting on Facebook. Twitter users are much more likely to “brain dump” into a tweet — which means you get access to lots more detail on people than you ever will on Facebook.
On Twitter you’re more likely to post the minutiae about your day; the train is delayed, the fact that you stopped for coffee en route, your immediate thoughts after the meeting, the quick whizz around the shops, the people on the train and so on.
So think about what your ideal client might be tweeting about during their day — and search for it on Twitter. They’re right there.
It is actually miles easier to learn how to use Twitter than it is Facebook.
The reason is that Facebook changes the blooming rules every other day; so just when you think you know what you’re doing, it all changes.
I can only think of two changes Twitter has made in the past six months, and one of those was about the way you report (and they deal with) abusive tweets. The other was the introduction of a new feature that allows you to accept direct messages from anyone who follows you — regardless of whether you follow them.
Both of those changes will make very little difference to how the majority of us use Twitter.
Conversely, Facebook have made about 98,516 changes to their platform in the last month — slight exaggeration but something changes in Facebook at least once a week. Grrr!
This week we’ve needed to find three types of businesses, and as we’re new to the Isle of Wight, we don’t have many contacts in the offline world. So instead of faffing around skimming through the Yellow Pages, Google etc, we decided to do what any Twitter fan would do — we waited for the IOW Twitter Chat.
So on Monday night , we hit #WightHour to look for the people we needed. By 9.30pm, we had sourced an electrician, IT person, and a cleaning company. Job done, easy.
Are you participating in your local Twitter Chat? Or in all the Twitter chats your ideal clients are? If not, you’re very likely losing business.
I like to compare the social media world to a shopping mall; Facebook is the shops around the edge of the mall where they set out their window display, then have to wait for customers to come inside.
Twitter is the row of stands that sit down the aisles of the mall. The advantage the stands have over the shops is that they are right in the middle of the crowds of shoppers. So they can easily move into the crowds and talk to people to get their attention.
And that’s exactly what you can do on Twitter. You don’t have to wait for people to come and find your page; you can get yourself into the crowd and initiate conversations yourself. Who do you want to tweet with? Just do it.
Veronica Pullen is a social media expert and small business coach. She is the author of the free ebook, Unlock the 3 Best Kept Secrets to Skyrocket your Sales from Twitter.
Facebook is the slightly less refined older brother of Twitter. They share a few of the same ideas, but with Facebook you can delve deeper into the conversation with your contemporaries and clients.
Here are some tips for using Facebook as a business tool:
You may have talked about it, some think they already do it, but what actually is social media marketing?
As Sherlock would say, “the clues, dear Holmes, are in the name”.
Media is content that is published online and, to be compelling, it’s usually developed from a solid strategic marketing perspective and has a social component that allows it to be shared, discussed or even added to in some way.
Think of social media as an online meeting room where people can share and discuss ideas anywhere and at anytime.
One of the great things about social media marketing is that it supports the inbound marketing methodology. By taking part in social media you can help your business by:
It’s quite simple. It’s just like entering a room where there are lots of people that don’t know each other. Just make the effort to get to know them — it’s far easier than doing it face to face where people can make snap judgements about you.
You can meet a lot of people online and start your own conversations about topics that are important to the people in your market.
It’s not about advertising your products or services — answering questions and helping others will get you noticed.
Be open to asking questions and listening to what others have to say and to what they recommend. Take it on board, investigate and share your results with others.
Just like the simple steps outlined above, it’s all about give and take and the more you give the more you can take, in a positive and creative way of course.
Anyone can publish, share and network, including you, so don’t be shy. The internet enables you to leverage assets that were never before possible.
Everything you have can now be published to any place that allows it, so collect and release as much as you can — including videos, pictures, blogs, articles, e-books, white-papers, slide-shares, bookmarks, and tweets.
See what others in your immediate market or complementary markets are creating, publishing and sharing and promote what they’re doing.
Empower your stakeholders to do the same.
Use marketing technology that helps you to promote and measure the efforts of your social media marketing activity as simply and effectively as possible.
Read our content on social media marketing.
I regularly give talks for entrepreneurial businesses on how to make their marketing pay. Top of my list for most is to try social media as part of their marketing toolkit. And within that, I almost always recommend Twitter.
Particularly if the business in question is one where authentic one-to-one relationships count (which is most).
Despite being on public display, Twitter is a remarkably intimate medium — in as much as people seem willing to share all sorts of personal information. Now, I don’t mean those girls who seem intent on sharing everything… that’s what the block button is for. I mean business people being willing to share that they’re having a bad day, or that their children are ill or that they’re not in the best mood, or whatever. And, vice versa, people share great news from a child winning a painting competition, to their love of the view from their window, to closing a fab new business deal. Which is why it is such a great tool for building genuine relationships with real people.
But, there’s a balance to strike. Now, this isn’t an exact science, but as a rule of thumb, if you’re using Twitter as a business tool, I suggest a mix of about 80 per cent professional and 20 per cent personal. And, of the professional tweets, I’d make at least half of that sharing content that is not your own. Of the personal, remember your audience.
I have a few rules to keep it comfortable:
So, should you show a bit of personality? Yes, definitely. People like talking to real people. Should you use it as a confessional or dating service? No, not if you’re using it as a business tool.
Whether you’re a creative type, a business owner or an experienced marketer, the proliferation of social media recently can confuse, bemuse and excite in equal measure.
It’s no longer enough to send out monthly newsletters or email campaigns to talk to potential customers – now we’re supposed to actually engage with them, talk to them, and respond to them in real-time across social media platforms.
The worst thing? You can’t escape it.
Facebook has more than 400 million users, Twitter accounts have increased by nearly 1,382 per cent in the last 12-month period alone, while Technorati currently monitors more than 133 million blogs across the Internet. To survive online, social media involvement appears to be a must-have activity. Businesses are being told to go where their customers hang out.
There are, however, some basic considerations for effective social media engagement. Here’s my Top 11 Commandments for social media:
1. Thou shall not spam
Whatever you do, don’t spam your customers or target markets. They won’t appreciate a barrage of poorly-researched, irrelevant and inbox-clogging spam emails. Spamming inboxes – whether it’s company email addresses, Twitter accounts or Facebook will win zero brownie points and alienate you from any further contact. Once credibility is lost, it’s not coming back anytime soon, if ever.
Hyperlinking and acknowledging external sources on your blog makes common sense.
2. Thou shall not steal
Stealing links to stories, news items, funky new websites and wonderful products from another source and passing them off as your own is a huge social media no-no. For example, on Twitter the re-tweet or RT function is an essential part of Twitequette, while hyperlinking and acknowledging external sources on your blog makes common sense. It engages and links you with the world.
3. Thou shall not covet your competitor’s blog
One of the most unattractive and unprofessional social media rules to break is that of taking your competitor’s content, services, products and online offerings – and copying it. And there’s a lot of it about. After all, ideas and innovation do have a commercial value. Advice? Brainstorm and generate new products and services within your own creative team instead. It’s actually good fun, too!
If you sell directly to them via your social media channels, you’ll lose them. Instantly.
4. Thou shall not sell – anything, ever
The whole point of social media is to attract and engage an audience – hopefully a significant one – who will them promote your business on your behalf. Your audience are NOT there to sell to. They are there because they value your content, insights and advice. If you sell directly to them via your social media channels, you’ll lose them. Instantly. Play it smart – give, give, give. Never sell.
5. Thou shall not kill
Nothing is quite as bad in social media-land as an account which is established and then sits there. Dead. No content. Nothing contributed. Setting up a social media space, such as a Facebook fan page, Twitter feed, or company blog, and then not adding content to it regularly is a sure-fire way of killing your social media credibility in front of a global audience. Add content. Add value. Just add!
6. Thou shall not take the name of social media in vain
Remember that despite the fact social media can seem quite light-hearted, harmless and fun, your inputs on social media networks are on the web for time immemorial. So be careful what you post. Add value, contribute to the flow of conversation. Think carefully before you post anything, anywhere, anytime, which can be viewed as an attack or negative comment in your industry.
7. Thou shall not commit adultery
Social media adultery can be committed without thinking, but the effect and long-term damage is hard to recover from. Because many social media networks operate on an informality level which standard marketing does not recognise, the rules of engagement are still the same. Remain professional, polite and polished at all times. Remember your social media content is your legacy.
Make sure you cater for your audience’s requirements, needs and wants.
8. Thou shall honour thy audience
Simple really – without an audience, your social media inputs are little more than an exercise in commercial vanity. Without followers, readers, commentators and fans of your social media content, being there is effectively a waste of your marketing budget and time. Make sure you cater for your audience’s requirements, needs and wants. It is, unfortunately, all about them. Always.
9. Thou shall not forget the Sabbath Day
So, you think social media is a Monday to Friday exercise? Afraid not. In our 24/7, always-on, on-demand culture, social media plays an essential part of the online marketing mix, and your inputs need to cover the full seven days of the week. The good news is that you can pre-schedule posts, tweets and social media content using established tools to maintain an ever-present presence.
10. Thou shall not worship any false gods
What this means, essentially, is that just because an individual or company has oodles of followers or friends on a social media network, it doesn’t make them God. Challenge them, make them think, debate their content, get involved. This adds to your credibility and also hooks you into the audiences of the big players. Think of it as a subtle way of piggy-backing for exposure. Classic tactic.
11. Thou shall not forget Commandments 1-10
Simple really, this one: be mindful of Commandments 1-10.