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Are Twitter Followers Better than Facebook Likes?

Social media marketers have long recognized (in social networking terms) that social friends and followers are more inclined to recommend and purchase from brands they are fans of. But with the premise that social networking sites are the place to be, we now consider which of the top sites are most effective for turning a fan or follower into a customer.

Customer Loyalty on Facebook vs. Twitter

A recent eMarketer study compared the influence of customer loyalty between Facebook and Twitter. The study was based on a series of previous findings about motivations for “liking” or “following” a brand, as well as different patterns of engagement, and reports the social media benefits of Twitter to produce a more profitable ROI.

With the appeal of staying up to date and in the know about all the latest happenings of a brand, Twitter attracts an audience much more receptive to marketing messages than with Facebook. The study reported that 37% of participants were more likely to purchase from a brand after following them on Twitter. Only 17% agreed that “liking” a brand on Facebook would make them more likely to become a customer.

Similar numbers were reported when the study asked participants about the likeliness of recommending a brand after following them on Twitter or Facebook.

Though there are various assumptions as to why this is, it seems clear that Facebook is not ideal for consumers wanting up to date information. This is partly because of Facebook’s default homepage only displaying messages they determine most relevant to the user.  By not showing users every post from the their network, consumers actually interested in knowing more about the brand and potentially making a purchase from the brand turn to Twitter.

While both build an authoritative online presence for the brand, Twitter followers more receptive to marketing messages tend to be of higher quality (from a marketing perspective) than the less-likely-to-buy Facebook “fans.”  By no means does this suggest that Facebook is unworthy of your social marketing attention. This study just brings to question whether or not you are utilizing Twitter as an integral part of your social media strategy. And if you’re not, as indicated by the eMarketer study, you are cutting you brand’s online success short.

While both Facebook and Twitter are incredibly important platforms for delivering marketing information, it is simply vital that you understand the value of quality versus quantity (and vice-versa) in the game of social media marketing.

Do you buy it? Are Twitter followers actually better than Facebook fans? What do you think? Add a comment below!

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