Social media has proven to be more than a passing trend and people—within several generations—expect organizations and schools to be online. People with questions about higher education are turning more and more to the Internet for answers and often start with Google, Facebook or Twitter.
Marketers are wrong if they believe social media requires just one marketing plan. Each site has its own unique qualities and the strategies for Facebook should be different from those for Twitter. Understanding these differences between these top sites will maximize the ROI.
Facebook is more personal than Twitter.
Most Facebook connections started in an offline relationship which lends to strong bonds and loyalty. But Twitter tends to be less personal. Without a user’s profile detailing job, alma mater, pictures and more personal info, Twitter users frequently follow people they haven’t met if their tweets are interesting.
Facebook is encourages conversation and Twitter is encourages action.
Because content on Facebook tends to be more personal, it drives more conversation and gets people talking. Because of the lack of intimacy, ever-rolling news feed and character limit on Twitter, conversations can’t be the goal; action is. Twitter posts are successful if users click on a link or spreading the message through re-tweeting.
Twitter is younger than Facebook.
Nearly half of Twitter users are under 34 but 65 percent of Facebook users are 35 and older. Based on data from two years ago, the age of the average Facebook user has gone up two years while the age of the average Twitter user has gone down two years. Users expect more youthful tweets but more mature Facebook posts.
Twitter is more “in the moment” than Facebook.
Because of its conversational nature, content and engagement on Facebook tends to last longer. But Twitter users are looking for breaking news and real-time communication. However, Twitter’s search capabilities like hashtags, trending topics and saved searches does allow users find past history on specific topics.
What do you think are the biggest differences between Facebook and Twitter? How do these differences affect your marketing plan?