We all know Facebook reigns supreme and is the favorite for keeping connected to your friends despite it also being a conduit to old highshool boy/girlfriends stalking you again. The question that begs to be asked however…is Facebook really the most INFLUENTIAL medium in the social media world? Especially for a manufacturer selling a product or an artist/DJ/Producer trying to sell their art?
As all of you know… I Karl Detken, am a Twitter おたく / オタク “otaku” a Japanese term referring to people that have abnormal obsessive interests. I’m a fanatic and in my gut, I’ve always known that twitter is a stronger medium for promotion. Now, studies are finding that Twitter comes ahead in connecting with fans/customers and influencing their loyalty and buying habits. How can that be considering the membership is 800 million vs 200 million? If you’re a music artist you need to know which is a stronger connection to your fans so you can formulate your marketing resources and time properly. Below is some info I found on “The Guardian” that attests to my belief.
Well when you speak with grown-ups and young adults who used to be Facebook enthusiasts, you hear the following:
- Facebook’s interface and features have become overly complicated. The result is it takes more time to do the same old things.
- Managing friends leaves you with two choices: spending a lot of time delicately pruning lists, circles and groups, or being swamped.
- Constant and insidious changes in Facebook’s privacy features keep taking people off-guard: all of a sudden, you find many things about your digital life, mostly mundane stuff such as what you read and listen, being broadly available outside your initial circle. Quasi-paranoid caution has become a must. And again, since “open” is the default setting on Facebook, recovering your own privacy gets increasingly complicated.
- A rise in the advertising presence, which reinforces the impression of being tracked down: users don’t have the slightest idea of the breadth and depth of Facebook’s mining of their personal activities.
It now seems Facebook’s usage is undergoing a split. Active Facebookers become increasingly engaged, spend more time doing more stuff, while “reasonable” users (over 25) become more reluctant and careful.
Who benefits from such shift? Twitter, primarily. Globally, Twitter’s microblogging/social network is much smaller than Facebook, with a reported 200 million users, only a fraction of which are really active. Business-wise, Facebook is 30 times larger than Twitter and is expected to gross $4.27bn this year, according to eMarketer ultra-precise estimates; that’s more than twice last year’s revenue. As for Twitter, its advertising strategy is gaining traction: again, eMarketer expects Twitter to make $139.5m, up 210% from the previous year.
Given the differences in size and reach, does it make sense to compare the two?
Let’s consider the news media sector. From a pure quantitative standpoint, Facebook remains a solid referral for news sites as people “Like” and link to stories. But Facebook encourages fly-bys, ie viewers that won’t stay on the site. Twitter’s referrals to news content are of a different nature. Tweets and retweeets usually come from people who have chosen to follow a given individual, a news organisation or a specific subject. The referral is therefore much sharper, more targeted than the impulsive “throw-on-my-Facebook-wall” type.
For what it worth, let’s look at an essay published last Saturday in the Wall Street Journal. Titled Why Can’t Wall Street Handle the Truth, it is written by Mike Mayo, a long-time analyst who made repeated calls to dump bank stocks.
The essay generated 795 Facebook “likes” – which is small for a story that is freely available in the WSJ Social Facebook application:
In the meantime, the same piece (and the mention of Mayo’s book) has been indexed 140,000 times in Google, thanks to only 392 tweets.
Still using the Wall Street Journal as an example, let’s have look at Walt Mossberg’s presence (he is the Journal’s world-famous tech writer). On Facebook, his page has 874 “likes”. On the WSJ Social application, where Mossberg appears as an editor, he has 252 readers and the app has been able to collect a total “23K readers”
Not very compelling.
But, on Twitter, Mossberg has 264,000 followers.
Another key element in Twitter’s favour: the mobile factor. Twitter’s 140-character format turned out to be a killer on smartphones: according to recent ComScore study, about 13.5% of Twitter users are mobile ones, vs 7% for Facebook and 5% for LinkedIn. And the microblogging service is growing faster on mobile (+75% year on year) than LinkedIn (+69%) and Facebook (+50%). That’s the privilege of simplicity and straightforwardness over feature-itis.