During a recent #MarketingMinds chat, participants spoke of the differences between engaging on Facebook compared to Twitter. Although touched upon in the chat, we feel this deserves its own dedicated post. After all, if we know how engagement differs between the two most widely used social media platforms, we know how to adapt our social media strategy to accommodate.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #1
Storytelling vs. Short bursts of Information

Facebook’s unlimited character updates make it the perfect channel for brand storytelling. Storytelling is important to feed into our social media strategy as our audience is more likely to buy if we nurture and flirt with them throughout each stage of the purchase funnel. We recently published a post on how flirting is one secret towards a successful social media strategy. When thought of like this, if we storm in and ask if a person would like to go out on a date before engaging they will find us creepy… and nobody likes a creep! The same principles apply to marketing. Facebook is so successful from a sales point of view because it’s the perfect channel for long conversations.

Twitter on the other hand is for short bursts of information. Sheena Cox, Key Account Manager at Meltwater explains, “Whilst all social media content has to tap into the here and now, Twitter is the Usain Bolt of social media channels. 140 characters is the fastest way to spread the word. Whereas Facebook content tends to keep conversations going for longer.” Due to the 140 character limit, we tend to see brands directing the audience to other sites rather than focusing communication purely on the platform. Don’t be afraid to share third party content on Twitter. The hashtag feature is often used by the audience as a social discovery mechanism to follow industry news; therefore our audience expects to see third party content to engage with.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #2
Evergreen vs. Real-time content

There’s a real weigh-up between real-time content and timeliness between the two social media channels and we must consider this in our social media strategy. Twitter is often thought of as a news outlet due to the real time nature of the platform. We tend to see shorter but more frequent posts on Twitter, with users and brands often providing a running commentary on situations (take Dunkin Donuts’s #DunkinReplay campaign for example). Consequently, the lifespan of engagement with content on Twitter is shorter. For those wanting to post evergreen content, consider Facebook as the medium as it is the outlet for on-going conversations, as Sheena Cox mentions.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #3
‘Real Life Friends’ vs. Connecting with Strangers

Our Facebooks are typically full of people we’ve met. Whether it’s an old school friend, a family member or somebody we met travelling and made a deal to keep in touch with (we all know how that turns out!). Twitter, however, is less about ‘real life’ friendships. It’s perfectly normal for users to connect with strangers. This makes Twitter a great platform to build influencer relationships. There’s a hefty list of reasons why our social media strategy should aim to connect with industry influencers. Find out more about this here, here or here.

Facebook vs. Twitter: Social Media Strategy Differences #4
Knowing the Different Peak Engagement Times

When building a social media strategy, it’s important to consider the best optimal time and day to post. As mentioned in a previous Meltwater blog, engagement for our own target audience occurs at different times. According to Fannit, Twitter engagement goes up by 30% on weekends, with the most optimised times being 1pm-3pm. For Facebook, we can use Meltwater’s Likealyzer.com to analyse whether our post timings are successful; here’s an example of Marks and Spencer.

Once we know the best time to post, we can use social media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater’s Media Intelligence platform, to schedule posts to ensure we don’t miss the best time slot for engagement and set up our social media strategy to flourish.