Fast Company offers an interesting comparison of Facebook and Twitter for small businesses.
“Consider the latest figures from StatCounter. They show that, when it comes to generating traffic to other Web sites via social media, Biz Stone and Evan Williams’ little bird comes a distant third behind both Facebook and StumbleUpon. (At Fast Company, StumbleUpon just beats Facebook to fifth place, with Twitter coming in seventh.)
But take a look at this case study on using Twitter for your business, however. The Kogi Korean BBQ mobile restaurant uses it to tell potential customers where in L.A. each of its four barbecue trucks are parked. Sign up to its Twitter feed and you can find out the times and locations, where the (BB)queues are and aren’t, and so and and so forth. Result: 61,000 followers–and, probably, a couple more trucks on order. And it’s not just small businesses that can capitalize on their Tweets: both Comcast and Zappos use Twitter to great effect as a marketing and information tool.
Unlike, say, Facebook, a company that communicates its core messages via Twitter will find that its tweets are not hidden away amongst other, more distracting, messages–YouTube videos, or links to other sites. Facebook shut down its Facebook Lite site earlier this week, for precisely the opposite reason. Facebook users want the ephemera, and the distracting personal stuff. For many Twitter followers, that’s not so important.” [Emphasis mine]
It’s no secret I’ve long been a fan of Twitter for small business (also see here and here) – and I’m increasingly less fond of Facebook due to their potential future (and past) privacy lapses. So, it’s no surprise that businesses are having success with Twitter, too.
Still, in practice, either can help you grow your business. Just remember:
- Ensure your customers are on the social network you’re trying out. If you’re a B2B company, for instance, you’ll likely have more luck on LinkedIn than MySpace.
- Target the message the to the medium. Clearly, a Fan Page on Facebook gives you different options than a tweet on Twitter. Make sure you’re using each for what they offer.
- Test your messages. There’s no reason not to try more than one message on the social network of your choice.
- Be a good friend. Remember, it’s social and social means people, not prospects. Your customers are there to engage with people they like. Don’t be like the salesperson who attend a party and opens with, “Here’s my card. You should buy my stuff.”
Are you having success using Facebook? Twitter? Some other social site? What’s working for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Or drop me an email and let me know.
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