Twitter and Facebook are arguably the largest two social networks. Yes, Google+ is still a player, but engagement there is lower. Pinterest and Instagram are great but work best for visual businesses. And yes, Snapchat and Vine are very popular for the video stars amongst us. But…
When it comes to actually connecting with people – Facebook and Twitter win.
LinkedIn works well when used properly, but then if you’re like me and like to have fun and craft the occasional sarcastic comment, then LinkedIners won’t thank you for it.
So for me, these are the big guns.
But which is the best? Twitter or Facebook?
For me it has to be (and always has been) Twitter! It’s given me more connections, more fun, more conversation and more business. Yes, Facebook can do that and yes it certainly has – but it’s so much easier on Twitter.
Here are my 12 reasons why Twitter is better than Facebook:
1. Facebook isn’t an open book
You can only talk freely to your friends and family, and both parties must agree to be ‘friends’. You can’t see anyone that’s not your friend unless they’ve been slack with their security settings. This may suit you if you’re secretive, but when you use Twitter as a conversation tool and a research tool you soon see the failings of a closed of Facebook. Twitter is the king of social media search. (Ask me for help if you’re not sure how to find people or conversations you’re looking for.)
2. Twitter is short and sweet
Twitter is simple, which makes it fast and responsive. By limiting characters and content, Twitter gets to the point – and fast! This is key to its mobile use and indeed the best thing about Twitter. It’s live, responsive and stuff gets done – fast!
3. Twitter is smarter on mobile
On a smartphone on Twitter you can mention other people and businesses in your tweets. On Facebook it’s not so easy. It’s always been difficult to mention a business even if you already like them. And aside from writing on their wall there’s no sure fire way to contact them.
Sometimes you just want to say you’re having a great bit of service from XXX and NOT have to check-in geographically to do it. On Twitter you simply type their @name and you’re done. Simples.
4. Facebook reach is limited to friends
On Facebook your reach is very limited. If you have 253 friends then they’re pretty much the only people who will see your post if they’re online at that time. Yes they can share it, but it’s not as common practice on Facebook.
On Twitter though you can have a very limited number of followers and still reach a large audience. A simple retweet from someone with a lot more followers can really make a difference. On Twitter it’s far more common and more natural to share, and chat to the sharer too.
5. Twitter has searchable conversations
On Facebook you update your status with a status. On Twitter you share ‘Keywords’ in your updates. Twitter is the conversational search engine. Words on Twitter are searched by millions of users and when you’re talking about a subject the chances are so is someone else. The search on Twitter rocks and the advanced search is awesome! Try finding a live conversation on Facebook!
6. Tweet people you need to know, not already know
On Facebook you connect with people you’ve already met. That’s nice, but then the connection is already there, isn’t it? On Twitter you meet new people all the time. Sometimes they can help you and your business. You meet them in person after. Often you don’t know what you’re looking for and Twitter has a habit of throwing up all sorts of wonderful surprises!
7. Twitter rocks hashtags while Facebook forgets them
On Twitter, hashtags means your conversations can link up easily with others and in a second you’re thrown into huge conversation pools with 1000’s of interested and engaged users. On Facebook, although hashtags do work, few people use them. Facebook has a slower pace and it’s hard to generate fast-paced conversations.
8. Twitter’s timeline is more controllable
On Twitter you get to craft your timeline into whatever you want it to be. Follow great accounts. Create lists to filter out all the dross, and you have the perfect timeline. On Facebook though, you get your family and school friend’s gloomy updates and moans, pet photos and newborn babies all over the place. Yes, you can unfollow them, but I’d love a better way to personalise my timeline.
9. Twitter’s a cocktail party with an open invitation
Twitter has always felt like a cocktail party to me. It’s a social media conversation in your phone with an open invitation to network. Facebook just seems like an invite-only bar with only certain people allowed in.
I like networking and it’s very powerful for business, and it’s so much easier on Twitter!
10. Facebook: Where clickbait lives
Facebook has become a minefield of clickbait and memes. It used to be cool. It used to offer value. Now it seems like a battlefield of shouty updates and adverts. The ‘click here to find out what happens next’ posts are getting boring!
[Suggested reading: The Secret To Crafting Killer Memes]
11. Twitter: Tomorrow’s news, now!
Twitter breaks the news!
In 2011 people on Twitter on the East Coast of America read about an earthquake before the felt it 30 seconds later! If you want to be up-to-date then Twitter is the network for you. News reporters now follow tweets to find out what’s happening and Twitter is fast becoming the newsfeed of the 21st century.
Facebook will probably report it tomorrow… when it’s old news. In between memes of cats, and inspirational quotes.
And finally, at number 12…
12. Twitter gave me my best ever connection
(Look out – here’s the soppy ending!)
Twitter helped me find true love.
I actually met my partner on Twitter, and although we didn’t get together until years later we’re perfectly suited and we now run our online marketing business together. That would never have happened on Facebook as I didn’t meet her in real life until after we connected via Twitter and Tweetups. Facebook would have hidden her from me and my life would be a lot poorer!
There are a load more reasons why Twitter beats Facebook but I hope you agree that these are a start…
If you disagree and you think Facebook beats Twitter hands down, let’s debate it in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.