The current debate over the value of FaceBook for brands has opened a direct comparison between FaceBook and alternatives. B.L. Ochman is president of whatsnextonline.com and has a new essay with Advertising Age about why Twitter is better and will continue to grow long after FaceBook has begun its decline. Before listing her reasons, she has a slight snapshot of the current state. FaceBook is making news for losing advertising partners, whereas Twitter is making news for enlisting new partnerships with ESPN and also with Pepsi.
The main difference between the two is about intrusiveness. FaceBook users are there to have fun with friends and to have conversations, so the ads are automatically considered intrusive and off-purpose. Twitter, however, is about disparate conversations being pooled together. Twitter is also less intimate, so an ad is not seen as intrusive. Twitter is, according to Ochman, a truly curated news feed. People subscribe to journalists and taste makers and seek out experts.
For the brand Twitter is also for functions besides non-intrusive ads. It is also a good customer service channel. Customers can reach out to a brand without having to subscribe to their feed. Replies can be done publicly, which build trust with other customers that may be on the fence about the brand. The 140 character limit is seen by Ochman as a benefit. It forces crisp and clear writing, whereas FaceBook posts can meander and create more ambiguity when dealing with potential customers.
Ochman argues that the social media agency ought to focus on Twitter. Even though it’s numbers are dwarfed by FaceBook’s it is on the uptick. More and more people are using Twitter and 60% of users also tweet. Twitter is a more valuable future resource for the brand than FaceBook will be.