So often I see brands and organizations copy and paste posts between Twitter and Facebook. I even fall into the trap sometimes of thinking that something I’ve posted somewhere should be posted everywhere. A little over two years ago after stepping into my role as a Social Media Manager, I was excited to get going and didn’t really have much of a strategy. After I stepped back and examined demographics, posts from other organizations, and other factors, I realized that the truth is, not every post is meant for every platform. Every post should be strategically worded, timed, and targeted for certain platforms. Some people are reading this saying “Yes, I know Kyle,” (I would probably be one of those people) but when we get into the hustle and bustle of a busy day, we fail to step back and examine ourselves to see if we’re sticking to that strategy. I’ll give you three differences between Twitter and Facebook that help me determine what to post where:
I think I can speak for most people who manage social media accounts when I say that Pew Research Center is the hub for everything data-wise. I check Pew’s research on social media probably once a week on average to remind myself of how platforms are different and how different people respond to them. This Fact Sheet is essential to understanding the data that makes up social media. Bookmark it, print it out, read over it, do whatever you need to do to understand it. For now, however, I will cover some noticeable differences between Twitter and Facebook.
This chart shows the percentage of adults in the United States who use each social media platform. One statistic I want to highlight in this is how many people aged 30-65+ use Facebook compared to Twitter. These are the people who are most likely to have families (useful for Minor League Baseball in my case). I’ll push ticket links and merchandise deals on Facebook before I even think about Twitter. Another key statistic I want to highlight in this table is the percentage of women who use Facebook compared to men. Women, at least we’ve seen in our data, are the decision-makers in the family. Therefore, we do everything we can to target women with our posts because we know that they are going to get the family together to come out to a ballgame.
2. Volume of people
I’m reading through Harry Potter for the first time right now, and I see a strong similarity between Facebook and Voldemort. Everyone is scared to mention Facebook should they capture our Social Security Number or something if I utter the word. However, it is still (besides YouTube) the overall leader in percentage of people in the United States using it. 68% percent of adults use Facebook while only 24% use Twitter. While the 68% is nosediving as we speak, they’ve got a lot of cushion. I’m not nearly smart enough to know if it’ll recover from all the Cambridge Analytica stuff or become extinct in a year, but I do know that Facebook is still the leader by far and should not be ignored at all.
3. Real-time vs. not real-time
Twitter is by far my favorite social media platform. I know, how millennial of me, right? I just enjoy the real-time feel of it and, to be honest, my Facebook friends are way too far past the point of me going through and weeding out all of the people who have nothing but negative things to say about the country, politics, etc. As I mentioned earlier, a specific strategy should be developed and followed with both of these platforms. If we’re boiling it down to a few words, Twitter is real-time and Facebook is not. Facebook is more of the longer, link to an article, type platform where Twitter is more social, bang-bang, and witty. If you blink while managing an organization’s Twitter account, you could miss something. I enjoy the witty responses from Wendy’s, the Atlanta Hawks, and Taco Bell. If I want to know something about a menu item, a roster move, or information like that, I’ll head to Facebook.
All this being said, no all-encompassing article should be a go-to for everything you do. This is where your organization-specific data comes in. It’s nice to know the trends and demographics of the United States, but unless you are catering to the people who follow you, you’ll have a tough time earning impressions and engagements. For example, you might have more male Facebook fans than female. You’ll waste a lot of time and money trying to target women if you can earn more impressions/engagements with men. After you dig deep into your data, develop a strategy, apply it, and monitor it.
Kyle is the New Media Engagement and Promotions Manager for the Columbia Fireflies, a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the New York Mets. Follow him on Twitter @Kyl3Martin.