Which Is Better For Business Advertising, Facebook or Twitter?

Screen shot 2015-01-28 at 1.09.15 PMIf you run a small business, you know that social media channels play an important role in your reach. But when it comes to social media advertising with the heavy hitters – Facebook and Twitter – what’s most effective, and where is your money best spent?

First, a look at Facebook:

Facebook is a behemoth when it comes to users – with more than 1 billion registered users, it has more than 30 percent of all Internet users worldwide. Facebook has been reducing its organic reach, but its paid advertising offers plenty of messaging opportunities.

Facebook ads can be put into three main categories: online sales, local businesses, and mobile apps. Within those categories, there are even more ad options. For instance, a page post ad appears in a user’s News Feed and invites users to “like” the business’s page. Both local stores and online ads can also appear in a more obviously-ad looking format on the right side of the screen. On mobile devices, ads for suggested apps or businesses appear in groups in a user’s News Feed.

Those are just a few of the format choices advertisers have on Facebook; others include sponsored place check-in stories, event RSVPs, and sponsored page post action stories. Advertisers can target audiences on Facebook based on location, gender, interests, workplace, education, and even relationship statuses. Facebook click through rates range from less than 1 percent to more than 3 percent, depending on the ad type.

Because Facebook is so visual, businesses with strong imagery to share, like photographers or online retailers, can probably benefit the most. The pros of Facebook are its huge audience, good targeting options, and the ability to use images to boost brand exposure. Cons include sometimes-cluttered appearance and sometimes-high costs.

Now a look at Twitter:

Twitter has fewer users than Facebook – it totals about 240 million users – but according to at least one study, Twitter ads generate clicks at a higher rate than Facebook.

Twitter’s ad formats don’t vary as much as Facebook’s. They include the promoted tweet, which looks just like an organic tweet with the exception of the “promoted by” label; promoted account; and promoted trend.

Promoted tweets can do everything a regular tweet can do, including use of hashtags and links to websites. Twitter also offers great targeting options, allowing advertisers to choose from criteria like gender, language, device, interests, location, existing followers or users like a brand’s followers. All of these details mean advertisers can steer messaging right into broader trends and conversations. Ads that appear in a Twitter feed tend to blend in and look less like obvious advertisements than they do on a Facebook page.

Promoted accounts and trends show up on the left side of the screen along with other suggested Twitter accounts and trends.

Twitter ads are reported to have an average click through rate of between 1 percent and 3 percent.

So which social media platform is a better choice for your advertising dollars? It depends largely on your business, and who you’re trying to reach. If you have good visual content to share, Facebook is a safe bet, and it will allow you to reach a large audience. If you’re a B2B business, you should know Twitter has a good reputation for B2B engagement and exposure. If it’s possible, try both for a period of time, and follow the results closely to learn which results in more clicks to your website, more business or sales, and more followers.

Image via pixabay.com

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