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Facebook or Twitter – What is the Priority for SMEs?

Posted By Soup Digital On September 1, 2009 @ 1:06 pm In Business Development,Digital Marketing | Comments Disabled

So, you’re a SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) and you’re trying to grow your business online and have ventured into the realms of social media. But what should your priority be? Which social media application should be the number-one priority for your business and get you the most returns?

In this post I’m not going to discuss the pro’s and con’s of each offering with regards to its SEO benefits in the ever-changing realm of real-time search. I’m looking to explore what platform delivers the most return on investment (mainly an SME’s time), the most bang for your buck!

In some respects this should be a simple answer – Facebook.

Facebook – Greater Flexibility

Currently Facebook has far greater flexibility for promoting your business and, generally speaking average users, the people you want business from, don’t get Twitter.

Case in point, I was seeing one of my clients the other day and began discussing their social media options. I had mentioned Twitter to them a couple of weeks earlier (received blank looks) and thought I would leave it with them to quiz their clients about this new real-time communication tool.

The feedback was not great for Twitter because most of their loyal clients (who are within Twitter’s demographic) said they never used Twitter and did not either understand or see the point. This is not helped by the claims that40% of tweets are mere babble.

Twitter – Fun, but is it Effective?

However I do enjoy Twitter, I truly do. I have learnt many a useful fact throughout my day and even connected with some very forward thinking SMEs. But I can’t help thinking that a lot of the people I’m communicating with, and who are actively using it, are on it for the same reason I am, to eventually generate leads through providing relevant business information i.e. not constantly spamming people with useless narcissistic facts like; “I’m eating a sandwich”, “I’m looking outside, its raining”.

I want to believe Twitter has broken through into mainstream New Zealand and there are a plethora of active users out there consuming my advice and enjoying what small bits of my own personality I include in each 140 character post. But maybe the cold hard truth at the moment is that I’m communicating with the wrong crowd, making the same mistake many media folk do in forgetting about their consumers, their target audience, in light of new “gadgets”.

Twitter does not suit every business out there at the moment, however Facebook has that broader appeal, the broader knowledge of the product with everyday users.

Facebook Responds

Facebook obviously see the value in Twitter though and have made a move to go up against Twitter’s very premise it took from Facebook. Its called Facebook Lite [1] and provides the cut-down version of Facebook. Will this succeed? I hazard a guess Facebook don’t really mind as they are very much ahead of the game in all respects, heck Twitter might have even done them a favour. Pushing them to get out of their plush leather chairs and move social media innovation up a notch!

The New Zealand Digital Market

Does geography and general maturity of the New Zealand digital market play a part in the uptake and usability of Twitter? I think it does and to be honest in three years time when the market matures maybe this post could be rendered useless, stuck in the time capsule that is cyberspace. I’m not advocating that small businesses don’t dabble in Twitter. No. I would encourage setting up a Twitter account as it does have many uses outside of simply posting “what you are doing”. It can help with:

  • Networking.
  • Real-time feedback on what’s being said about your business.
  • Real-time relevant information from sources you choose.
  • Promote products, services, enhancements (if your target market is indeed on Twitter)
  • Promote products, services, enhancements (if your target market is indeed on Twitter)
  • Link creation

Facebook Wins…For Now

But, and this is a big BUT, you have to understand there are only so many hours in a day for a small to medium business owner and unless Facebook or Twitter invent a time machine, or you can afford a small army of social media monkeys, then you need to concentrate your limited time on the social media application that will generate the most results. At this moment in time in New Zealand, its Facebook.

Brought to you by: Soup Digital www.soupdigital.co.nz
Growing small to medium businesses online.


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[1] Facebook Lite: http://mashable.com/2009/08/12/facebook-lite-screenshots/

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