Facebook does what it’s supposed to do very well. It has very robust capabilities as a platform. It has a decently intuitive user interface. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s the most popular social network on Earth.
But what Facebook doesn’t do well is Twitter. The company chose to have a presence on other social media networks (primarily Twitter and Google+), but it fails to actually use those platforms to effectively market to the users.
The reality that Facebook is likely aware of is that people wanting to engage with their brand will probably go to Facebook.com. It’s household enough for that. But there is such a large number of users on these other sites that they just may be missing out on an important marketing (or at least community engagement) opportunity. To better understand what Facebook is doing wrong on Twitter, let’s compare the account to Twitter’s own on the Facebook platform.
Facebook on Twitter vs. Twitter on Facebook
Let’s start by looking at Twitter’s presence on Facebook. First of all, there’s a nice blend of update, instruction, and entertainment available on the page. Second, there’s a relevant cover photo, as well as engaging visuals throughout the content. The page has 12 million likes.
Facebook’s Twitter account actually has over 13 million followers, so at least by the numbers it’s ahead. But when you take a look at the content, it leaves quite a bit to be desired. Facebook hasn’t moved out of the broadcasting phase, meaning its feed is just a continuous stream of updates from the blog and announcements about Zuckerberg-related events. There are rarely any accompanying visuals, and the background (a pair of what seem to be some kind of military jets) makes little sense contextually.
Facebook’s Twitter Campaign Basically Just Gave Up
Let’s get one thing straight: the people at Facebook are smart. They know that most people are not going to look at one social network’s account on a competing social network to gain insights or receive updates when those same pieces of information are available on their own, more popular site. They assumed no one would be looking, and they may be right. We may be the first people to ever notice a fault here (probably not). But that doesn’t mean that Facebook’s Twitter Campaign can be viewed as a marketing success, or even a marketing draw.
No, Facebook’s Twitter campaign is a marketing failure, and here’s why.
The average audience member for Twitter is vastly different from that of Facebook. In fact, there are many people on Twitter who don’t have Facebook accounts. And with Facebook trying so hard these days to continue to grow their audiences to be more attractive to advertisers, those users should be pursued wholeheartedly. The number of people who follow the account indicate a vast number of users who want more engaging content from the brand. After all, a follow on Twitter is a lot harder to obtain than a like on Facebook. You would think Facebook would take a cue from their 13 million followers and step up their game.
But instead of creating a highly targeted, highly engaging Twitter campaign — instead of learning the competition — Facebook seems to just give up. They simply smile at their follower count, publish headlines and tidbits from preexisting content (both on their blog and their own Facebook page), Retweet a few relevant announcements, and call it a day. Unacceptable.
Facebook is missing out on an opportunity, but they’re too pessimistic and intimidated by the competition to see it through. It would be better for Facebook not to have a Twitter account at all than to half-ass it like they currently are.
Don’t Be Like Facebook: Have a Robust Presence on All Your Networks
Clearly, Twitter is the company to emulate in this scenario. Here are three things you can take away from the Twitter/Facebook comparison:
- Broadcasting is not marketing; it’s advertising. Marketing in the digital age involves intentionally building a community of followers who will advocate for your brand.
- Create a vibrant mix of content appropriate to your desired audience. Be intentional by targeting the fans that will really be interested in your product or service, and then deliver what those fans are expecting. Be sure to publish entertaining and instructional content in addition to updates and insights.
- Visually represent your brand in an engaging and appropriate way. Facebook’s visuals are irrelevant and un-engaging, while Twitter’s are relevant and fun.
Remember, social media marketing should mean that all of your audiences across multiple platforms are being given the same level of attention and engagement. Facebook fails to do this on Twitter, despite the number of loyal followers it has. Twitter, on the other hand, shows a firm grasp of social media marketing form by being equally as engaging on Facebook as it is on its own platform. By taking notes from these brands and creating visually interesting, varied content, you can grow your own brand and stand above the competition.