Over at TechCrunch they are reporting on a recent social networking (SocNet) study by Abrams Research which interestingly resulted in 200 social media leaders saying that if they had to, they’d pay for Facebook first and Twitter second. However, when asked which they would recommend that businesses pay for, Twitter came out on top over Facebook with almost twice the vote.
Addressing the first point, if you’d asked me a month ago which SocNet site I’d pay for, I’d have been reluctant to give you any kind of answer but probably would have said Facebook. However, since the mainstream explosion of Twitter I’m actually enjoying Twitter a lot more. I’ve been on Twitter since March 2007 but its only now that I’m seeing it really blossom into the fascinating news hub that it has become. Sure there’s the gossip spreading and voyeuristic part that nobody can really deny is fun, but it’s also the first place I go every day to get news on the latest breakthroughs in the world of technology, as just proven by Twitter being my number one source for news coming out of the Mobile World Congress. I wouldn’t be thrilled at having to pay for Twitter, but it’s now important enough to me that I would consider it and certainly ahead of paying for Facebook.
Onto the second point of which a business would choose to pay for and Twitter is the answer I give without a moments hesitation. From my own experience, advertising on Facebook was costly and ineffective, and for the most part no different than any other targeted advertising, except the targeted audience are much less likely to be in a buying frame of mind while changing their status on Facebook than searching for things on Google.
Having set up a business account for Twitter, the response so far is modest but positive, and more importantly it is free! We’ve found that the viral knock-on of a Tweet is far greater than that of a paid for advert. On Twitter people are choosing to get our updates so it’s understandable that they are more accepting and willing to talk about them. re-tweeting seems to be quite the trend these days and we have a few users who re-tweet all our tweets (try saying that after a few drinks!).
The next project for us on Twitter will be to follow in Dell’s footsteps and announce offers only on Twitter, should be a good indicator of who powerful a promotional tool it really is.
What about you, which would you pay to use from a personal and business standpoint?