Twitter and Facebook share a lot of similarities- A blue and white colour scheme, an abundance of cute animal pictures, the apparent ability to topple governments. For many of us they seem to be two sides of the same coin, so the temptation is to share identical content on both, copying and pasting from one to the other and assuming that this will double the visibility.
- Don’t post the same content to separate channels
The problem with this is that the two sites are more different than they first appear. Facebook is built around personal connections- you choose your friends and they choose their friends.
Twitter, on the other hand, actively encourages the forging of friendships with complete strangers. Being followed by a stranger on Twitter is far less sinister than the terminology suggests, and is something that most Twitter users actively seek out. If your only Twitter followers are your real-world friends, your account is seen as something of a failure. It’s the social media equivalent of having your parents show up at your band’s first gig.
- Facebook is a dinner party, Twitter is a street party
Facebook allows information to be transmitted in a relatively contained way between people who already know each other, whereas Twitter allows the rapid sharing of information between strangers. Facebook is a dinner party with invited guests and their plus-ones. Twitter is a street party where everyone has a bottle of tequila and a megaphone.
- So what does this mean for promoting an event on both platforms?
A Facebook share is arguably more desirable because it comes with an inbuilt sense of trustworthiness. If somebody shares an event you create on Facebook, the people who see it will tend to know the sharer well enough to trust their judgement. This is not to say that Twitter is useless. What it loses in trustworthiness and peer pressure, it gains in potential reach. With Facebook, it’s very hard to get people outside of your immediate circle interested in an event. Twitter, on the other hand, allows you to bellow the details indiscriminately from a rooftop. This creates a different challenge- you often need to refine the audience rather than expand it. It’s no good telling 1000 people about your event if it has no relevance to any of their interests. A good strategy is to look for similar events to your own on Twitter, follow the people who retweeted them or commented on them, and try to connect with them. In this way you can make Twitter more personal. It’s the equivalent of spotting the best people at the street party and inviting them to your dinner party.
- How tone of voice differs across both channels
Twitter, by definition, requires punchier copy than Facebook. With a strict character limit it can be very hard to sell your business directly through a tweet. You can, however, include a link to your website where there is no character limit and where you can talk up the business to your heart’s content.
In short, allow each platform to play to its own strengths. Facebook can win over groups who trust each other and want to spend time together, whilst Twitter can bring in a whole host of new people who would otherwise be strangers. Let the two compliment each other.
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