Facebook vs. Twitter

A website is only as good as the traffic it receives, and one good way to get traffic to your site is through social media. Like anything nowadays, though, there is more than one social network to join, which raises the question: Which one is right for you? Well, we've done a little research of our own to try to find an answer to this increasingly important question.

Disclaimer: The following data was conducted on a relatively small dataset, therefore your results may very.


Facebook

First, we're going to cover the largest social network in existence: Facebook. Facebook is a particularly hard network to understand, at least from a web traffic perspective, but one of the first things that jumped out at us in our research is that people on Facebook tend to be less "intimate." One of the side effects of this is that people are more likely to casually "Like" large numbers of pages just to Like them, not necessarily because they really like them. This means that people may like hundreds or even thousands of pages. Now that might not be a bad thing except that Facebook curates users timelines. This is to prevent you from getting flooded with updates from all of your Liked pages. That makes it hard, as a business, to consistently reach your audience. On average, a single post reaches roughly 10% of your audience, sometimes less. One way to get around that is to "boost" your post, but this costs money and still might not return the results you had hoped.

The most important thing as a business is to turn your followers into money. We like to call these "conversions." Whether you have a physical location or an online store, the goal is to get people to buy or use your product. Luckily Facebook has a nice "insights" section to let us track how our posts are doing. With these tools, we can learn which posts are getting clicked. The people that click through on links are what we consider a "social media conversion." This means we successfully got that user to click through and look at our product. As you can see from the image, the conversion rate of playnwa is extremely low. Out of 443 followers, they're averaging 28 people reached. That's roughly 6.3% of the audience. On top of that, out of the 10 posts listed in the picture, they got 22 clicks and 4 likes/shares.

 


Twitter

Twitter, unlike Facebook, is extremely easy to use, with both individuals and businesses treated the same. This means that Twitter does not curate your timeline based on account type, allowing you to reach more of your audience. Also, unlike Facebook, the users on Twitter tend to put more thought into who they follow. This can have positive and negative effects. On one hand, this means they really care about your business if they follow it and are more likely to click on your post. On the other hand, this usually means they follow fewer and it is harder to get them to follow you.

After looking at the image below, we can easily see that Twitter interactions occur at a much higher rate. We credit this to what we covered earlier, whether it's "favorites" (orange), "retweets" (green), or replies (purple). Despite only having 52% as many followers as Facebook, Twitter is still managing to generate 68% as many conversions. Therefore, based on these conversion rates, one Twitter follower is roughly equivalent to 1.3 Facebook followers.




Conclusion

Based on the research we've been doing over the past months, we have found Twitter to be the better platform for converting users. The numbers we have listed in this article are only a small portion of the research we've been doing, but they are typical of the trends we've been tracking. So, if we had to point you in one direction or the other, we would suggest that focusing on interactions with followers on Twitter will provide a better return on your time and effort.

David Wilson

David Wilson

Web Developer at Mill Creek Software