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Facebook and Twitter – The main differences for publishers

December 12, 2010

We know that Facebook and Twitter have emergered as the two major social media websites for publishers to reach their audience, but it would be foolish not to note the key differences between the two.

For me, Twitter is a more professional platform for publishers to engage with and reach out to their audience online.

While Facebook and Twitter have many similarities, it strikes me that people who are your friends on Facebook are often not your followers on Twitter – the two lists are often completely different.

The reasons for this perhaps stem from Twitter being a public platform, while much of what happens on Facebook goes on behind closed doors, which are only open to your friends.

As editor of The Sport Review, I have discovered that, in general, people are more receptive to our articles and links to them via Twitter, rather than on Facebook.

People are often more responsive to news and features we publish on Twitter – and largely I believe this is down to the fact that people who follow organisations on Twitter do so to be kept up-to-date with the latest news/articles whereas people on Facebook who ‘like’ a publisher do it to add something extra to their profile.

The two terms ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ in themselves set the two platforms apart. Facebook ‘friends’ suggest the platform is for personal relationships and connections you already have with people, whereas ‘followers’ hints as more professional connections.

For publishers, this potentially means that a brand’s Facebook page will often have less ‘likes’ than Twitter followers, but that Facebook is more a reflection of brand image, rather than Twitter – which is more a source of news in itself.

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