Social media advertising has become a staple for any business which wants to be successful and maintain a continuous traffic and sales funnel with an affordable investment. Indeed, even large corporations which can afford all kinds of advertising (outdoor billboards, TV and radio commercials, direct mail) are setting aside larger and larger chunks of their advertising budgets for social media ads.
Among the most popular social media platforms, Facebook™ and Twitter stand out as the most frequently used for paid ad campaigns. Although Twitter joined the advertising game a bit later than other platforms, it has gained momentum and is now seen as a relevant adversary for Facebook™ ads. Since many entrepreneurs are curious to know how the two social media giants would fare in a face-to-face showdown, we have decided to set up this match for you and see what results we can get. Here we go:
Facebook™: with nearly 970 million daily active users, Facebook™ is the strongest social media platform in terms of potential reach. The figures are even more interesting when we get to the analysis by device: out of a total 1.49 billion monthly active users, 1.31 billion users access Facebook™ from their smartphone.
Twitter: this platform has 316 million monthly users, out of which 80% use the mobile app. However, they are quite active users, the average number of monthly tweets being around 500 million.
In this category, Facebook™ is the obvious winner. If you are looking for a large and diversified audience for your online business, you get it on Facebook™.
Facebook™: the average number of interactions (Likes, shares) was estimated at 382 thousand per minute. These interactions include promoted (boosted) content.
Twitter: following close behind, Twitter reports 350 thousand likes and/or retweets per minute.
In this category, there is no clear winner. Because of the way Twitter works, a retweet by an industry leader has greater potential to make your content go viral than a Facebook™ like or comment. The downside to this is that Twitter content is very ephemeral – the speed with which new tweets appear on the average user’s Timeline makes your own tweet move down the page and out of the visibility range within less than one minute.
3. Setting Up Ad Campaigns
Facebook™: this mature social media has continually polished and improved its advertising platform. Entrepreneurs and marketers have a wide range of campaigns to choose from and great freedom in setting up their bidding method and targeted audience. However, despite its complexity in terms of functionalities, the Facebook™ advertising platform is very user friendly and anyone can learn how to set up their campaigns in a very short amount of time.
Twitter: Twitter is still working on its advertising platform and so, for the moment there are a couple of issues we found disconcerting, such as the extra steps which you need to make in order to set up your keywords for targeting. On the other hand, in terms of campaign goals, Twitter offers the same wide range of options like Facebook™.
We have to declare Facebook™ the winner in this category, based on its complex and easy-to-use platform and data-rich insights feature.
Facebook™: the various options for bidding (cost per click, cost per thousand impressions, cost per action), the flexibility offered in setting up the precise time intervals in hours when you want your campaigns to run and your ads to show up to target audience makes Facebook™ a very cost-effective advertising platform. After you learn the mechanics of bidding and reaching the most qualified users, you will be able to get a very good ROI for your campaigns.
Twitter: various experiments conducted by marketers have demonstrated that Twitter campaigns are quite expensive. For every US dollar spent on Facebook™ on a click, you pay $5 on Twitter.
Again, Facebook™ wins in this category as well.
This little showdown should not discourage you from investing in Twitter ads, though. Our long experience has found that, with a balanced and clever combination of advertising on multiple social media platforms, businesses can reap higher benefits than by sticking to only one platform.