Facebook vs. Twitter: An Epic Battle

Everyone who knows even the tiniest bit about social media knows about the hot shots in town: Facebook and Twitter. There are, what seems like, zillions of other competitors but those two are the most recognizable for the average person. These days I am sure there are even pet fish who have Facebook pages.*

For so many reasons, Facebook has long been my favourite of the two. I can share pictures with my friends and family on the other side of the country, I can like other people’s posts, I can read news articles my friends have shared and discuss them, and I can comment on the crazy new tattoo my sister just got. I joined the site a long time ago when I first moved to Calgary and was away from family for the first time. It was such an easy way to connect with the people I no longer saw on a regular basis. Now it has become so much more.

Despite my love for the F-B, if you have been to my website’s page lately (I won’t even link to it here because it’s embarrassing) the place is a desert. Even the tumbleweeds have abandoned it for greener pastures.

Why? I find it impossible to both keep up with my personal Facebook page and my blog Facebook page. I’ve tried all the handy tools that automatically share blog posts but none of them seem to work properly. I spent more time troubleshooting than I did actually communicating with people. So I gave up. All but deleted the bloody thing.

When it comes to utilizing social media on behalf of this site, I far prefer Twitter. While I don’t actually have any friends or family who “tweet”, I have found it a simple and fun way to connect with other bloggers and meet new people. It’s quick – I can check it on the fly- and I’ve never had to spend hours searching the help section. Also, I can easily update my Twitter status using my Blackberry, something I haven’t figured out how to do for my website’s Facebook page.

Unfortunately, Twitter isn’t nearly as versatile as Facebook. Not only are users limited in how much they can say but they are limited in how many of their followers they can reach at one time. No one is going to scroll through their Twitter updates to read something posted a few hours ago, no matter how cheeky or witty a comment it was, or how much they care about you. In that sense Facebook is much better at reaching a large group of people.

If only I could figure out how to make it work for me.

Do you have a preference? Which social media platform has given you the most success? And if you have any Facebook wrangling advice, I’d love to hear it!

*The jury is still out. But I did find a number of fish blogs, including this fish training blog. Proof there really is a niche for everyone!

46 thoughts on “Facebook vs. Twitter: An Epic Battle

  1. Believe it or not Kristine I have a draft called My Love/Hate Affair with Facebook. I cannot figure out how to link my blog to the blog’s fan page, haven’t spent nearly enough time customizing the fan page and am continually frustrated with the ever changing facebook. But I still don’t utilize Twitter like I could because I’m not sure how it works. 😦

    There is however tweetlonger and twitter pics which help, but you are right, I can’t scroll through all the tweets so I miss things.

    It’s a condundrum for sure.

    And I did want to congratualate you on your new staff position at BTC, you will be a great contributor!

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    • So glad to know I am not alone! It’s so bad that my FB page is such a ghost town but I can’t bring myself to go over there again and try to make something of it. Ugh. It makes me want to beat my head against the wall. If only someone could just do it for me. 😛

      I like Twitter a lot though I am not sure I optimize it properly either. I certainly haven’t done any customizing. But it is just so simple and doesn’t give me headaches, so it wins.

      Thank you so much! I am still so honoured to be a small part of such an important group!

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  2. I find FB easier because of the ability to share pictures and to have an ongoing conversation with several people at once. But, for one on one conversations and for sharing, Twitter is great. I have met so many awesome people via Twitter.

    Like you Kristine and Jodi, I struggle with managing it all. How in the hell do you do FB, Twitter, read everyone’s posts and write your own and work a full-time job and exercise your dogs? Yup. Overwhelming.

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    • I agree. I really enjoy FB for all of those things and have had a lot of fun on my personal page. But I think one of the things holding me back is that there doesn’t seem to be a way for me to update my blog page from my phone. Since I do most of my social media-ing while on the bus, that makes it really hard. Stupid Blackberry. *kicks it*

      You don’t? I’ve given up trying to do it all and just do what I can and what I enjoy. I haven’t made a cent off blogging so there is no point forcing myself to do things I don’t like. Right?

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  3. I am learning to use both on a regular basis, however I find twitter to be a little inefficient for communicating my message. With twitter, it depends too much on the time of the day and sometimes tweets never even get seen by the people you want seeing it. Facebook on the other hand allows an actual conversation and I find it a lot better once the technical difficulties are out of the way. Just my opinion.

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    • I agree completely. FB is a lot better than Twitter at reaching everyone. Though I have met a lot of people on Twitter, I find when I add them on FB I develop a better relationship.

      However the technical difficulties are killing me. It doesn’t seem worth it.Am I just doing it wrong? Am I Facebook inept?

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  4. Hi Kristine, I like FB. Alot of the bloggers who come to visit my blog are also on FB. I can keep up to date with what’s happening in their lives and I can share photographs, comments and “chat” about new things or old things. I have a FB account, shouldn’t Shiva have one?

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    • Hmmmm… I didn’t think of that. Perhaps if I gave Shiva her own Facebook account I could update the blog’s page by using her account instead of struggling with my own? It’s something to look into anyway. Thanks for the thought!

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  5. I have a hard time juggling the two of them. It seems like I am either focused on one or the other, and whichever one I am not focusing on suffers. Twitter is easier but I think FB has more to offer in the forms of communication. Sorry I don’t have any advice to offer!

    Congrats on your position at BC , that is awesome!

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    • Thanks! It is good to know others are struggling with the same things and that I am not the only social media moron.

      Thanks also for your congratulations! I am pretty excited about it myself. 🙂

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    • I’ve heard of that before but never used it. I should see if there is an app on Blackberry I could use. That would change my life if it works as you say it does!

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    • I have tried Networked Blogs but it doesn’t work for me. I spent an entire afternoon and evening fighting with it and it just will not automatically update my page. I was probably doing something wrong but I couldn’t figure out what. So I gave up. 😛

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  6. I have a fan page for the blog on Facebook, but it’s hard for me to get people engaged there. I think people read things that I post, but I don’t get a lot of interaction, which is what I thought those pages were supposed to be all about.

    It wasn’t until I ran a couple of contests that I began to realize that a lot of people I’m connected with on Twitter are actually really aware of the blog. I figured everyone there just skimmed over the links, but a lot of people were reading, just not commenting and interacting. I try to remember that there are a lot more people who read than who comment.

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    • I found that too, during the brief period I actually used Facebook as my blog. Maybe that’s part of why I gave up my efforts. It was a lot of work and I wasn’t really getting much out of it personally. I interact a lot with my personal page and maybe that’s enough.

      That is definitely true. I never used to comment myself. I read multiple blogs for years before I ever got up the courage to actually say something!

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  7. I read your blog lots but don’t comment much (I read over 300 blogs each day) due to time. I use both, but I have more followers on Twitter. Did you know you can build groups on Twitter? I have over 10,Adopt cats, we deserve it!!! More Forever Homes More Often! Purrrr! Zip! Later! followers but I can’t keep up with that many. I have two groups, one called Real Friends and another called Rescue Folks. That makes Twitter much more manageable. Hope that helps some. Keep up the good work!

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    • I didn’t know that so thanks for the tip! I’ll have to investigate further! Twitter definitely seems to be the more user-friendly of the two.

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  8. I had a facebook Donna and the Dogs page, but I eventually took it down, because like you, I had trouble keeping up with my personal page, the blog, and the facebook page. But I know I should probably put it back up in the future…the very, very distant future….when I have more time… LOL!

    I never did figure out the whole twitter thing, and I finally gave up on it too….

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    • Famous last words. 😉 That is something I say often which usually means never for me. I have gotten better recently but I can be the worst emailer ever. “I’ll write back when I have more time…” 😛

      Meh. You do what works for you. There are enough things to feel guilty about. Social media should never be one of them.

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  9. I like them both for different reasons. FB is a great place to share the pictures while Twitter is a great place to meet other bloggers. About half of the pet bloggers that I follow, I met on Twitter. I’m really digging Pintrest right now. It works well for my blog since I have a lot of pictures on the blog.

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    • I agree, I love Twitter for that. I have found a lot of terrific resources that way as well and made some connections. Often I find myself friending them on Facebook and getting to know them better that way.

      I was using Pinterest for a little while as well and I really liked how easy it was. Maybe I should renew my efforts in that corner and put FB off a little longer.

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  10. I don’t really use FB for my blog, I have a PetDiggity page, but I am terrible about keeping up with it. I use twitter more, but honestly, I’m not good at keeping up with any of them! (thanks goodness for Triberr!!)

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    • It’s so hard to know how to concentrate your energy. I really enjoy replying to comments, for instance, but don’t always make the time to do so. These days I am trying to focus on what I enjoy doing the most and not worrying about the stuff I don’t.

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    • A lot of people say it is a great way to get new readers and connect more with those who already enjoy your website. I don’t disagree and I really like Facebook. I just can’t seem to get it to work for me. It’s frustrating!

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  11. Off late I had been using FB for developing my business but I found that I was spending more than required time on my personal FB page and this was eating a lot of my time. Twitter was something I was a bit alien to and I did not find it friendly. Hence, I decided to segregate my personal FB page from the business page. Then, I used to check my personal FB page only twice a day as I made that a goal.

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  12. I actually don’t use Facebook and am now vehemently against ever getting on it due to everybody saying “oh, you gotta get on Facebook”. (I used My Space back when, but got frustrated when people stopped using it, then the similar Facebook became the rage. I am generally anti-mainstream. LOL.)
    I started using Twitter to read the little jems of my favorite “famous” people. It’s short, to the point (you have to be with a 140 character limit), and often quirky, allowing the “real” person to come across.
    BTW, I am anal about my Twitter feed and DO scroll back to where I last read. LOL. This is why I am picky about who I actually follow.

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  13. I prefer Facebook – like you said, my personal page there is great for staying in touch with friends and family in far off places (and having lived lots of different places, our friends are far-flung). I also have a “fan” page for my writing life, and I use it to promote my blog. I find Twitter to be a bit lonely… but I suppose I’m not doing it right. It sometimes feels like you are tweeting into a black hole. (“hello? Is this thing on?”). Whereas w/ Facebook, even just a quick “like” lets you know people are reading. I wish there was a “like” function on Twitter – sometimes I don’t find something worth retweeting (because maybe my followers won’t be interested or whatever) but I’d still like to let the person know that I read/saw/enjoyed her tweet.

    Anyway, I’m sure I’m not using either to the best of their abilities, but there’s only so many hours in the day!

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  14. I like using FB better. It turns out that is where a lot of my fans hang out. I have pretty good interaction and a lot of people click through to my blog posts. I haven’t had the same success with Twitter. I find it better for connecting with other bloggers.
    I will say that I spend way more time on my blog Facebook page than my personal one.

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  15. I am relative newcomer to twitter, blogging and facebook. The thing I don’t like about Facebook is the constant changes. Just when I think I have something figured out, it seems to change. I have a small number of followers on twitter and even fewer likes on Facebook, but I keep trying! I keep hoping that I’ll be able to figure this stuff out.

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  16. FB is for friends, Twitter is for self-promotion; that’s how I feel about it. This is the story of how I joined fb, after years of resistance: http://www.amazingdelight.blogspot.ca/2010/12/and-wall-came-tumbling-down.html

    I don’t have a FB page for my blog; I just post links to my personal page when I write one. Also, because I blog semi-anonymously, I only share posts that are very non-personal. Even though I have my privacy settings as high as they can go, there really is no privacy on FB.

    I used Twitter for several months, then just suddenly stopped logging on. I don’t remember why but it was probably school. I’ve had fun on Twitter, and as a member of Triberr my blog gets reposted onto several feeds automatically, but it hasn’t done me much good in terms of numbers.

    I don’t understand people who follow thousands of Twitter feeds– there’s no way you can read it all. I follow less than 100 people, on of whom is Neil deGrasse Tyson, who is the only “celebrity” I follow and tweets the best stuff. And I won’t tell you the embarrassing few who follow me.

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  17. I agree with you, I like FB personally. But both have their places.

    I used to have my blog posts automatically appear on FB as notes. That doesn’t seem to any happen anymore and it’s fine with me. If people can read it in a note on FB, they won’t come to the blog and my numbers show it.

    Here’s a tip to improve twitter for you. Go to timely.is to see when your tweets are most likely to be seen by your followers. Then use tweetdeck or hootsuite to schedule your tweets when you don’t have time to interact live (I prefer hootsuite). You can get more bang for your buck and still do the personal interactions that make it fun.

    And what about Pinterest? I’ve been invited to join by several folks but haven’t take the plunge. It just feels like one more thing to do sometimes. 🙂

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  18. I hear ya! I like them both for different reasons. I find Twitter quick and easy to connect, and the connections I’ve made there have been lasting and helpful, and have even led to stories I’ve later sold. I like FB because it is more visual and easier to go into detail, but I find I have to work hard to keep it up and keep people engaging. People seem to naturally engage on Twitter. I have many more followers on Twitter. Time management is the worst! I feel like I have to do them all and do them all well, and that’s when it all gets overwhelming and I don’t do any of them well. There is never enough time for everything.

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  19. I am also a fan of Facebook, because I can share more of my photos. But I’m starting to get rid of it because of hard time to get into the important things why I made the account, my job.

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  20. Funny you should write about this, because I just looked the other day to see if you were linking to your blog posts from your Facebook page. I’m so tired of my Google Reader – every time I open it up I feel like I’m drowning. To combat that, I set up a new group in Facebook for all my blogging friends (I’m still checking Reader for your posts, of course). I love being able to scroll through to see everyone’s new posts and it doesn’t feel like a job anymore.

    Being on the road full-time, Facebook is my lifeline to my friends and family. I spend more time posting on the GoPetFriendly page, but most of my personal friends are fans of the page, so they keep up with our adventures there. Facebook is consistently in the top 3 traffic sources to my blog, so I feel like the time I spend is worth it, and it doesn’t seem to take that much time. When I publish a post on the blog, I quick go over to my FB page, write a sentence about the post and publish the link. I find that if you want to get folks to interact on FB it’s best to personally publish the links – automated posts don’t foster the same kind of interaction. And, building the numbers on Facebook takes a lot longer than on Twitter – but those people are also a lot more engaged and loyal. Don’t get discouraged if people aren’t coming in droves! And if you ever want any help, just let me know!

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