Social Media: Are Twitter and Facebook Best?

Twitter and Facebook … most often the first two words after social media. Just about every executive initiative related to social media starts with, “We need to be on Facebook and Twitter.” But are these two high visible platforms really the best channels to rally potential and existing buyers?

Last week, data was released that stated your Facebook fans and Twitters followers are twice as likely to purchase your product or service. “The survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research found that 51 per cent of fans of pages on Facebook and 67 per cent of brand followers on Twitter say they are more prone to making purchases from the companies they track.”

Pretty compelling information. But wait. What came first? The chicken or the egg? Do you purchase from a brand first, and then decide to join the brand’s Facebook fan page and follow them on Twitter, or does the social media connection happen before a purchase? We’ll debate that one for a while … at least until there is some empirical data to determine this.

While this debate continues, let me offer an alternative strategy. I am not going to suggest a substitute, but rather something more compelling that should be integrated into your (presumed) existing Twitter and Facebook activities.

If you want to develop relationships with your target audience (this is what social media is REALLY all about), go where they are hanging out as opposed to expecting them to come over to your place. Find the existing communities where they are already participating. (I am sure there are many!) Simply search blogs, portal, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. to find the existing groups. Join these communities. Start by listening to the discussions there. Then join the conversations focusing on providing information that delivers to the communities’ needs (not yours). Continue to position yourself as a subject matter expert. Over the course of time, you will build relationships. Then you can invite them to your community (Facebook fan page) or to follow you (Twitter). But do this slowly and be sincere about the relationships you look to build. DO NOT SELL!!!

Mitch Joel (one of my favorite social media thought leaders out there) suggests, “spend(ing) ten times as much time adding value to the five or ten existing communities where (your) potential members might be hanging out, reading and connecting” in his article “The One Thing About Building A Community.” This is the integrated approach I suggested in the beginning. You will have your community where your existing customers will come (Twitter and Facebook – and others). Your community is an opportunity for you to build loyal customers and advocates. Your community will also attract people who might be considering purchase of your brand. But if you proactively want to rally your target audience, build relationships to new potential customers and over time turn them into your audience, go to their existing communities and play there.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve

17 Comments

Filed under brand marketing, brands, Facebook, marketing, sales, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Twitter, Uncategorized

17 responses to “Social Media: Are Twitter and Facebook Best?

  1. It’s a good strategy Steve. Finding other communities and groups is always where I start, especially if I am not familiar with a new product/service.

    I guess in response to the ‘we need to be on facebook/twitter’ I wonder whether there is more a sense of businesses small and large feeling they have to be on these platforms without knowing if it is right for them but most importantly what they want to get from it.

    PB

    • Paul,

      I think it is matter of wanting in on something that everyone is talking about without having a strategy or understanding the ramification of the decision. Pretty close to what you said.

      Thanks,
      Social Steve

  2. Well-said, Steve. As we discussed on Wednesday, I agree completely, and I also found it interesting that the study also found that many consumers have negative views on those who aren’t using social media.

  3. I think that Facebook And Twitter are the most named, but the effectiveness really comes from the strategy you use when aproaching a Social Network.

    I suggest that before doing any moves on any Social Networks, have a clear view of your goals and think on who is your target. You can mess it all up, by approaching the wrong way.

    Web Branding Studios
    Owner/ Creative

  4. The best? Hard to figure, but right now, they are easily the largest, which makes them currently among the best at learning something.

    • Hey Rich,

      Yes, they might be best at learning something given that they are the biggest. But it is also important to go to other existing communities where your target audience is and share with them there.

      Best,
      Steve

  5. ecairn

    Thanks for your article. Fully agree on the chicken and egg analogy and on the importance of targeting.

    I also think that most consultants push brands to get as many people as possible in their Twitter follower or Facebook Fans whereas they should focus on who matters.

    It’s all a matter of strategy and relevance and metrics and the value of a follower is very different whether the person is in target or not.
    Actually I would argue that out of target followers destroy the value of twitter or facebook presence like spam destroy the value of information.

    Thanks

  6. Excellent article Steve!

    Fully agree the slow and gradual way to build relationships. This kind of approach tends to build strong and lasting relationships.

    Fully agree too the focus on provide informations that your fans or followers need. Naturally you will be a reference. The sells are consequence.

    Best regards,

    Gustavo.

  7. But Best Buy takes data collection to the edge with this statement from an interview by Moore, “Ben Hedrington (a bestbuy.com site engineer) had the vision to develop a tool called “Spy”) that allowed people inside Best Buy to see what others were saying about Best Buy in the social world. Wow – what an eye opener. It made us painfully aware of our relative lack of a presence in these conversations….and directly led to the roll out of a connecttweet powered twitter feed” (Moore 2010 p. 3) This is a powerful tool but does it cross the line? Schneider talks about evesdropping or integrity threats, also known as active wiretapping, which exists when an unauthorized party can monitor a message stream of information. Is this invasion of policy? The answer is no, because Best Buy made it available to everyone in the world. This social media tool enables anyone to type in a key word and view a list of that word across all social mediums.

    Cite:
    Constant improvement: Best Buy’s Mentorship Program January 22, 2010 and On the floor with Twelpforce November 21, 2009 By John Moore
    Electronic Commerce, Eighth Edition ISBN: 9781423903055 Author: Gary P. Schneider copyright © 2009 Course Technology, Cengage Learning

    • EVERY brand should monitor what is being said about them!!! This is not spying. When someone say something on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, comments, etc. it is public. Evryone should know what is being said about them and react accordingly both from a customer service and PR point of view.

      Best,
      Social Steve

  8. deucegroup

    I agree Steve, that it’s not spying, people need to realize that what they say on public sites is public domain, and anyone has a right to research this. It makes perfect sense for anyone to know what is being said on the web about them or their company, it’s a great research tool to know what works and what doesn’t.

    Also I believe Twitter and Facebook, used the correct way, are two of the greatest tools I have ever come across to get more sales and business, not to mention the tons of other social networking websites that have helped as well.

    Thanks,
    Jamie

  9. Good post. I prefer Twitter and LI to FB. Actually, I have gotten traffic to my blog from FB, but I’m not wild about the site.
    I found a new site called Care2.com. It has brought a lot of folks to my site because I often write about animal welfare, and Care2.com has a big animal rights group.
    So, it’s about finding a niche.

    • Thanks Michele –

      Supports my statement

      “If you want to develop relationships with your target audience, go where they are hanging out as opposed to expecting them to come over to your place. Find the existing communities where they are already participating.”

      Best,
      Social Steve

  10. It’s interesting you should pose this question today, Steve. Yesterday I attended a webinar hosted by John Souza from Social Media Magic called “Capitalizing on the Conversation”. The speaker was Greig Wells, a social media guru. Greig postulated that while Facebook is an excellent place to build person relationships, you must first build the relationship, then send prospective clients to your site or blog. The real power behind Twitter, he explains, is as a search portal and a good way to keep an eye on the competition. Like you advised in your article, he said that a professional should never advertise on Twitter.

    These are the places where you will connect with prospective clients and customers, as opposed to professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Biznik, where you will meet colleagues. I had a personal Facebook account, but never used it for my business. I’m not sure that’s the route I want to take, although I’m still considering it. Twitter is a definite must for my business. LinkedIn is actually where I have picked up most of my business as a freelance writer, and most of that has been through referrals.

    • Trina,

      As you can tell from this article, I am of the mindset that FB and Twitter are good relationship building platforms. In another article I wrote, “Executable Game Plan for Winning Ultimate Customers with Social Media” at http://bit.ly/1LBhsG I talk about traversing customer along an “A-Path” (Attention-Attraction-Affinity-Audience-Advocate) of strong relationship building.

      On the topic of Facebook for personal and/or professional use … this is really an individual choice. But need you to make a conscious decision here … what do you do when a co-worker “friends” you. Know ahead of time how you use FB. When this happens to me, I say, “I really value our connection. I connect with all my professional friends and colleagues on LinkedIn. Let’s connect there.” To me the litmus test is, “do I want the individual to see pictures of me, my wife, and family in our bathing suits on the beach.” This defines who I friend on FB. But like I said, this is what works for me … not necessarily good for the next person, but I have made a conscious decision how to use it.

      Thanks for joining the conversation,
      Social Steve

  11. Great points Steve! Couldn’t have said it better. In these times you have to build relationships first. NO selling allowed – at least not initially.

    I’m also a big fan of Mitch Joel. Loved his book “Six Pixels of Separation” – a must read for any one in marketing or pretty much just anyone in general if they want to understand how closely we are all connected and how important the Internet is in those connections.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s