Head to Head: Twitter vs. Facebook

Head to Head: Twitter vs. Facebook

Twitter and Facebook go head to head

Who will come out on top?


Social media has become one of the most used platforms for advertising. It is a relatively inexpensive, and sometimes, through user engagement, completely free, marketing option for businesses (Dehghani & Tumer, 2015). Not to mention the benefits of being able to engage with potential customers on a platform they are already connected to and that is a part of their day to day lives.

However, there are both benefits and drawbacks to advertising on different social media platforms. There are many things to consider as a business when deciding what to advertise and where and how to do it.


Round 1

Content: “Put you most important content first” (Demers, 2015)

Influence is integral to an ad’s success on social media. Influence refers to a user’s ability to market and garner interest and engagement organically, or separate from the advertiser. Cha, Haddadi, Benevenuto, and Gummadi found that “influence is not gained spontaneously or accidentally, but through concerted effort such as limiting tweets to a single topic” (2010).

Their finding that concentrated content on Twitter aids in influence is a reflection of the success and usefulness of #hashtags, something that Twitter utilizes more commonly than Facebook, and has made an integral part of their system. Hashtags are an incredibly useful way to organize content, as well as make it easier to find.

This round goes to Twitter.

Round 2

Engagement: “Rotate your ad every 1-2 weeks” (Demers, 2015)

It is important to keep your ad relevant by updating images and content to avoid “ad fatigue” to maintain your audiences’ interest and keep engagement up (Demers, 2015).

Both Facebook and Twitter use basic engagement tools such as “Like” or “Share”, and “Like” or “Retweet” respectively. These tools can give advertising a more natural, altruistic feel because the message is spread by the audience rather than the business. These messages are often referred to as consumer-generated (Dehghani & Tumer, 2015) In other words, the perception of an ad is equally as important, if not more so, than its reach.

Facebook is a network of communities made up of friends and family, or different groups and pages. This gives Facebook an advantage when it comes to consumer-generated material because users have real world relationships (most of the time) with the other users they interact with on Facebook, and have already established trust and credibility.

Facebook will take this round.

Round 3

Your audience: “Always use audience targeting” (Demers, 2015)

One myth social media advertisers often buy into is that it is better to be on more social media platforms than it is to commit to one. Demers says that “according to Insightly, ‘If you can’t keep up with your regular posts, you will lose followers and become less relevant'” (2016).

His advice? Keep your audience in mind. The best platform will depend on “your target demographics, [and] your brand personality” (Demers, 2016).

This round is a tie.


The final score: Twitter 2 Facebook 2



Both platforms have their pros and cons, but it ultimately comes down to how you use each platform to best suit your message.

Which will you choose?




Cha, M., Haddadi, H., Benevenuto, F. & Gummadi, K. (2010). Measuring user influence in Twitter: The million follower fallacyRetrieved from: http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM10/paper/viewFile/1538/1826,2011

Dehghani, M., & Tumer, M. (2015). A research on effectiveness of Facebook advertising on enhancing purchase intention of consumers. Computers in Human Behavior, 49, 597-600. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.macewan.ca/science/article/pii/S0747563215002411?

Demers, J. (2016, September 28). 9 things social media marketers get wrong [Web]. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/09/28/9-things-social-media-marketers-get-wrong/#41701a9a4b2f

Demers, J. (2015, August 20). The definitive guide to marketing your business on Facebook [Web]. Retrieved from: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2015/08/20/the-definitive-guide-to-marketing-your-business-on-facebook/#4c5709362acf







2 thoughts on “Head to Head: Twitter vs. Facebook

  1. Very interesting. Twitter wins round one but I’m not sure it’s because of the hashtag. In general, Twitter has a more useful search function than Facebook (even if you don’t search a hashtag). I’ve found that Facebook has many limitations with it’s search engine. More specifically, Facebook organizes it’s search results less effectively than Twitter.

    Also, I completely agree with the statements made in Round 3. Why have dozens or mediocre social accounts when you can have fewer stellar ones?


  2. I really like the way you formatted this post. Very creative. My question would be: Is there a difference between small-business advertisements and large-business advertisements? Should local businesses choose a different platform than larger corporations? It seems to me that Twitter would take Round 3 for the small businesses because their audience is easier to target, like we saw with EIA last week.


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