As a new business, you may not have the resources to advertise across every medium, so how do you choose the best place to invest in ads?
If you want to maximise your reach and engagement at the attract stage of your customer’s journey, we would recommend using social media advertising. However, this just leads to more questions - namely, what platform and what medium should you be using?
I’m going to jump off the fence here and say that Facebook is the stronger platform when compared to Twitter - though arguably, both lag behind Google search (and soon Amazon) in terms of direct response advertising. Read on as we compare the two social platforms.
This comparison is pretty clear cut. Facebook is the more popular platform with a wider global reach than Twitter, so if you have ambitions of world domination then do bear this in mind. Only 7% of Western market users use Twitter on a regular basis, compared with 41% who use Facebook. That’s nearly 6 times the audience size!
However, Twitter beats Facebook for variety. Twitter seems to have taken less of a targeting hit since GDPR came into force, and obviously wasn’t affected by the Cambridge analytical scandal. As a result, the platform has plenty of targeting options, including keywords, events, conversation topics, movies and shows, follower lookalikes and behaviours. If you are targeting a US audience and are very particular (savvy) about who you are aiming to reach, then Twitter is a good option. You will be able to slice and dice your targeting options and produce something as beautiful as well-crafted sashimi (big sushi fans here).
Facebook has been forced to retire many similar targeting options post-analytica. However, in our humble opinion, the power of its lookalike tools paired with its network size still make it the stronger player overall. To continue the food analogy, if you are targeting using Facebook you are less sushi and more pasta. Not quite as delicate, but far more satisfying.
In our mind, the main consideration for these two platforms should not just be targeting, but a combination of factors including user intent and audience size.
With regards to intent, Twitter offers great connections between brands and highly engaged followers. However, so does Facebook-owned Instagram, which is a common targeting option for ad campaigns.
Nevertheless, both platforms lag behind Google Search in terms of intent to purchase (and Google is quickly losing ground to Amazon). Overall though, Facebook’s huge user base can provide better results than Twitter when combined with a strong data set.
The Cost Per Million (CPM) is significantly higher on Twitter, at up to $3.50 compared to an average CPM of $0.59 on Facebook. CPM refers to the price of ad impressions – so in other words, it will cost you 5-6 times more to advertise on Twitter than on Facebook.
We’ve all been there, when an innocuous social post causes offence for reasons we don’t fully understand. The main difference is that when this happens on Twitter, it can snowball far more rapidly that on Facebook. As a result, one wrong post can cause issues for any brand. On the flip side, it can also create a conversation that spreads much more rapidly than on other social channels.
Again, in our experience Facebook is much more user-friendly in regards to moderating posts, recently updating its moderation tool to make this process even easier than before. However, if you are trying to start a conversation or generate some brand awareness (i.e. the Greggs vegan sausage roll strategy) then Twitter is the clear winner on this front.
Thanks to the size and accessibility of the network and interface, Facebook has done a really good job of making advertising easy for the user. You can have a campaign up and running within minutes, with a whole host of campaign and design wizards on hand to help.
Twitter on the other hand is similar to Minecraft. You can do a lot of cool stuff, but it’s blocky as hell. Unless you have quite a bit of time on your hands to wade through the targeting and set up options, it can be difficult to commit the necessary time and energy.
In conclusion, depending on the aims and context of each marketing campaign, Facebook is more often than not a firm winner both for us as agency and for our clients. If you want to try and create a viral conversation or brand awareness push, Twitter is a great place to go, but other than that Facebook is currently leading across all aspects.
However, you don’t need to stick to social media advertising in isolation or even one platform. We often pair it up with search, display and even Amazon advertising to create a more holistic strategy. It really is all about the bigger picture!