ChompOn, a company that provides a white label group buying service, similar to Groupon, that restaurants and other businesses can provide their customers directly, recently released a report (PDF) that used its wealth of marketing data to estimate the value of tweets, Facebook shares and other social networking behavior.
What the report found was that, for their customers and buyers, every share on Facebook was worth about $14 where every tweet was worth only $5. Likewise, a Facebook like, meaning someone was following the account on Facebook, was worth $8 but every Twitter follower was worth only $2.
ChompOn, however, did acknowledge that the value of likes and followers may be much higher due to long-term loyalty.
But even if the exact figures are off, the report shows the relative value between Twitter and Facebook and it paints a very bleak picture for the value of Twitter.
But does this mean that Twitter is dead or dying for marketing? Not likely at all.
Why Facebook Friends are Worth More?
Though the ChompOn report doesn’t speculate as to why Facebook actions are much more valuable than Twitter ones, there are several probable explanations.
- Less Noise: Most people have far fewer Facebook “Friends” than Twitter followers. This keeps the noise down and makes the message more likely to come through.
- Closer Friends: People more closely monitor who they friend on Facebook and many, if not most, limit their interactions to friends and family. This makes any recommendation on Facebook much more powerful, coming from someone that the viewer probably knows and trusts.
- More Users: Though Facebook users tend to keep a smaller social circle, there are far more Facebook users than Twitter users. This makes the potential reach of Facebook much, much higher.
- More Media: Where a tweet is pretty much just 140 characters of text and link, a Facebook message can have images, video, and much more text.
- Better Demographics: As the above demographics study showed, Facebook users tend to be more brand loyal and are more likely to update their status every day.In short, they are more committed to the brand and more likely to be there to share when they are wanted.
Of course, all of this is pure speculation but these are very likely factors in the nearly 3x valuation of Facebook shares over tweets. However, this doesn’t mean that Twitter is dead, just that it has a different purpose altogether.
Why Twitter Still Matters
While all of that being said is true, what Twitter lacks in quality it can make up for in quantity. For example, where a Twitter follower might only be worth a quarter of a Facebook “Like”, one can often get 5x-10x more Twitter followers than Facebook likes.
Since Twitter is viewed as less personal, people are more inclined to follow companies and marketers, making it easier to grow an audience.
Furthermore, even if tweets are significantly less valuable than likes, they still do add value. A five dollar tweet is still five dollars that the company did not have before. It is still, most likely, very much worth the time and effort to participate in Twitter.
That being said, Twitter is clearly a game of quantity over quality for social media, where Facebook is more about building fewer, higher-quality connections.
On that note, marketers, large and small, need to be aware of these differences and learn how to use these two promotional tools to their advantage. Ignoring the nature of these two services risks making your time on them useless.
Both sites still matter but have very different cultures and goals. What’s right for one is not right for the other and, at times, a business that does well on one won’t on the other, The goal isn’t to find the “best” solution for everyone but, rather, to find the best solution for your particular needs.
That, in turn, is why demographics like OnChomp’s can be so important, helping paint a clearer picture of what the sites can provide.