As a business owner, you’ve certainly heard that being active on social media is a terrific marketing tool. But which social media platforms should you use?

It makes sense to start with the two big guns of the social media world; the behemoth, Facebook, and the younger challenger, Twitter.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Twitter

Advantages:

  • Easy to make new contacts and extend your social circle beyond your friends.
  • Simple, uncomplicated user interface.
  • Highly interactive. Allows you to communicate directly with your customers and address their comments or concerns.
  • Posts, or “tweets,” enjoyed by your followers are often rebroadcast as re-tweets.
  • You can search all posts on Twitter for key words relevant to your business.
  • Twitter users are usually open to making connections with people they don’t know.

Disadvantages:

  • Tweets are a moment in time, then lost in a user’s Twitter feed.
  • Can only post links to one photo at a time.
  • Limited to 140 characters for a post.
  • Smaller user base, although it is growing rapidly.
  • Direct messages can only be sent to one user at a time.
  • Can’t post videos, but can add links to YouTube videos.
  • You are unsure of how much your tweets are being read.

Facebook

Advantages:

  • Photo albums and older posts remain on your wall long after initially made.
  • Can post multiple photos.
  • Not limited to 140 characters for status updates. Can be as wordy as you wish.
  • Some businesses are even using their Facebook Page as their blogging platform.
  • Large user base.
  • Can send a direct Facebook mail to all of your fans at once.
  • Can add videos to your page.
  • Facebook provides detailed insights on the users of your Page.

Disadvantages:

  • Difficult to attract new fans. Requires the fan to initiate contact.
  • Initial setup of a Facebook Page is more labor intensive, especially if you want it to be successful.
  • Can be difficult to get fan interaction on your Pages. Feedback levels are commonly found at 2% or less on any given post.
  • Although fans can “share” your posts, it doesn’t occur as freely.
  • Cannot search Facebook users’ posts. In fact, users’ status updates are usually not visible unless they are a “friend.”
  • Facebook users tend to be looking to make connections with people or groups they already know.

Which one should you use?

The simple answer: Both.

With my chiropractic clinic, we tend to use Twitter to reach out and connect to individuals we don’t know and use Facebook to keep in contact with our existing patients.

This method seems to work well for us, but it’s not the only way of doing things. You’ll need to find which social media platform(s) work best for you and your business. Please leave a comment below and let me know which social media platform you prefer, if any, and why.