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Facebook v. Twitter

March 16, 2009

Blogging, Brand Strategy, Interactive, Social Media


One of my facebook friends recently sent me this question:

What’s the advantage of Twitter over FB? Seems like you can twitter on FB and do so much more. What am I missing, Ms. Social Media Guru?

I’d been pondering the same thing over the past few months, and this is where I come out:

Facebook is for friends to share personal stuff about each other, and you choose with whom to share. The homepage view format resembles twitter, with its list of short status updates, but it’s much more. Sharing personal photos, sending friends whacky “gifts” among other things make Facebook fairly robust and highly social. While many people use Facebook for business contacts, that doesn’t feel quite right to me. Do I really want to see pictures of my work contact’s children, vacation places and potentially embarrassing moments?

Twitter, on the other hand is an easy way to keep up with the thoughts and goings on of people who you may not even know. That’s where it gets interesting. Follow people or organizations you admire, and you get regular exposure into what makes them successful. A great example is Barack Obama. By tweeting regularly, he’s making good on his promise of transparency and creating a great way to get buy in.

Businesses I think should tweet:

  • Wegmans, when they have new products
  • Restaurants, when they change their menu
  • Organizations when they host events
  • Growers when crops are progressing and promising good yields (okay, I’m really thinking about wine, here)
  • Any kind of business when it offers new services

That said, I wouldn’t start a twitter page unless you’re going to tweet at least a couple times a month.

Andrea Zuegel