Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Writing's On the Wall [Facebook vs Twitter, Pt 2]

In part one of this article, I showed you how much more effective Facebook was than Twitter at generating click throughs for my blog. But why is Facebook is such a powerful PR tool for bloggers? How can bloggers take advantage of its unique community building qualities?

Why is Facebook so powerful?
Even my not-so-computer-savvy baby boomer relatives call Facebook addictive, and with good reason. Remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs from sociology class? FB taps in to a user's basic social need to feel like part of a larger community. Its ability to fulfill (even on a superficial level) this need to "belong" points to why up to a half million users sign up for Facebook per day, adding to a total of more than 91 million users in the United States alone (source). Facebook is here to stay. That's not to say that Twitter isn't, however. When it comes to marketing, Facebook and Twitter are just different.

Fundamental Differences
In her article, Social Media Smackdown: Facebook vs. Twitter, travel writer Wendy Perrin asks travel industry execs whose (huge) corporations use both Facebook and Twitter the question, "Which is a better tool for talking to customers: Facebook or Twitter?" Boiled down, here's what they said:

Facebook is better for
Developing "brand zealots"
Long term engagement
Creating dialogue
Fostering communication between users

Twitter is better for
Addressing immediate customer service issues
Conflict resolution
Getting the word out about time-sensitive issues
Generating "short term, intense buzz"

MTV Digital VP and general manager Dan Hunt notes in the March CNET article Facebook vs. Twitter: How do You Stream Your World? that part of Facebook's effectiveness for marketers lies in its ability to deliver appealing multimedia content like photos and videos, something Twitter can't do.

Finally, what kind of fan page content is most likely to generate that engagement and dialogue? Whereas you want readers who visit your blog's URL to feel like a part of your blogging community, the converse is true on Facebook. As I mentioned in the BlogCoach article, Make the Most of Your Facebook Fan Page, most readers who become your fans allow your content to become part of their streams. They're inviting you, as a blogger, to become part of their FB communities. Provide value, conversation, and fun and they won't rescind the invitation.

Become a fan of on Facebook

Recommended Reading
Make the Most of Your Facebook Fan Page @
Twitter versus Facebook: Should you Choose One? @
Mind-Blowing Facebook Stats and What to Do With Them @
5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page @ Mashable
5 Tips for Optimizing Your Brand’s Facebook Presence @ Mashable