Tom Webster, writing and speaking

The Easy Button

Added on by Tom Webster.

Red button, Bridgewater Place, GRThree facts, held together briefly, create a conflict:

Facebook now reaches the majority (51%) of Americans 12+ (not just online Americans)

Eight percent of those same Americans 12+ currently use Twitter

Amongst the Fortune Global 100 companies, more have Twitter accounts (77%) than Facebook accounts (61%)

Facebook is hard. I certainly won't claim to have cracked it. With most Facebook users opting for the default, Edgerank-generated newsfeed (which prioritizes content from those persons/accounts with whom you interact with most), you can poke and like your face off, and still be essentially invisible to many of your prospects and customers.

Twitter, on the other hand, is all about instant gratification. You tweet something out, and you get retweeted. You dutifully record those retweets as evidence of some form of engagement. You track the clicks, and tally the mentions. Easy. Thus, I suppose it isn't too surprising that so many of the FG100 companies are using Twitter, but still - the disparity between Facebook and Twitter users, and the difference between FG100 Facebook and Twitter accounts, is oddly high.

Certainly, if you are a consumer brand, it probably makes sense to spend five times more effort on increasing your Facebook presence as you do your Twitter presence, but the lure of Twitter and its profligate weak ties is sometimes too hard to resist. Twitter is like the marketer's great "easy button" for the Internet - but often, when you push it, you get another marketer. If that's your strategy, then you have no worries - but if you need to reach consumers directly, then statistics like those presented above are a little too vivid to ignore.

How do you divide your time between the two? How do you judge the differential quality of those efforts?