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Facebook vs. Twitter in Business


									?What is the value of Facebook over Twitter? Is there a difference? When do you use
one or the other or both? In writing our book, The New Handshake: Sales Meets
Social Media, Barb Giamanco and I discovered that some businesses prefer Facebook,
some prefer Twitter, and some use neither. We decided to take a look at the two
platforms to help you distinguish which is best for you.

As we've stated many times in the book, the ultimate decision about which social
network to use lies with your company culture, goals and target customer.
Nonetheless, it's important to recognize that you cannot choose "none of the above" if
you want to survive the new digital economy. Therefore, the question is which do we
choose and how do we begin?

This article will help you begin to distinguish between the value of Facebook for
business and the value of Twitter for business.

It helps to understand the evolution of these two platforms to get an idea of what
works best for each. Facebook began as a social networking tool for college students.
Launched in 2004 in response to MySpace (which linked young people together
throughout their high school years), Facebook targeted the student entering a college
campus. In the early days, it was a highly social network, similar to MySpace.

Twitter, on the other hand, began as a way for people to communicate fast and in short
bites. The founders had no idea that the platform would take off the way it did. Begun
as a way to simply say to fellow workers, friends and colleagues what was on your
mind at any given moment, Twitter soon became a powerful communication tool.

Knowing how the two platforms began helps you understand the strengths of each and
how you might best capitalize on those strengths.

Both Facebook and Twitter effectively target the population of 35 and younger.
Facebook, however, currently boosts a significant rise in the number of boomers using
the platform. As far as consumer use goes, however, for business to consumer (B2C)
purchases, the demographics are similar. Both attract mid-to-older players, with
higher education and income.

Value of Facebook to Business:

? Primarily a social site. On Facebook, you can share as much or as little personal
information as you'd like. You can post photos of yourself and your family or of your
company and employees. Facebook gives you an opportunity to create a personal as
well as professional profile of who you are. People learn more about you as a person.
In sales we talk about the know, like, and trust factor before a sale is made.
Businesses that focus on other businesses (B2B) as clients understand this factor.
Facebook gives you a great opportunity to let down some barriers and help your
business customer learn more about you.
? Versatility. Facebook allows you to set up a personal profile, a professional profile, a
business page or a fan page. You have all kinds of choices for putting yourself and
your business in front of your customers. People like to feel part of a business. You
can enable that by setting up a fan page for your business or for a unique product that
you offer.
? Facebook ads. For business, Facebook gives you the opportunity to purchase a
pay-for-click ad to target a unique niche.

Value of Twitter

? Speed and real time. Twitter's biggest strength is its speed. When you Tweet
something, it goes out to masses of people immediately and in the moment. That is
why it has become the world's roving reporter. When things happen around the world,
Tweets start pouring in. To get a message out quickly to lots of people, Twitter reigns
? Information and Research. On Twitter, you get fast information and links to blogs all
the time. If you are curious about what is happening in your industry, Twitter will
keep you up-to-date quickly. If you're curious about what people are saying about
your industry or your business, Twitter will tell you.
? Versatility of response. Both Facebook and Twitter give you a versatility of response.
You can respond to the entire population in Twitterville when you post a Tweet. On
Facebook, your status updates go to all your friends. People can see what you are up
to or what is going on in your life all at once. Both Twitter and Facebook give you the
option to send a private message that goes directly to that person. On Twitter, however,
messages are more public than they are on Facebook. Wall posts on Facebook go to
all your friends and all the friends whose wall you posted on.

There are many more value differences between Twitter, Facebook and the other
social networks. Ultimately, you must look at each platform and decide how you can
create a social media strategy for your business.

The New Handshake will give you lots of tips and ideas as well as a guide for creating
a social media sales strategy for your business. Watch for its release in the coming
months. Meantime, join us on our blog.

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