Social media for small business: How Twitter and Facebook stack up [Stats]

I came across another infographic worth sharing. This one is from postling.com on how small businesses are using social media. A few things caught my eye:

1. The more a small business posts to their profile, the more comments and replies they get. This makes sense, right? But the level of comments/replies drops dramatically when a small business can only muster a few posts each week. When a small business posts 8 or more times a week, they average over 10 comments/replies a day. This number plummets to 0.3 comments/replies a day when posting 7 or fewer times during a week. When users see this active participation in social media by the small business, they engage; but if they feel the organization is “speaking TO them” rather than “speaking WITH them” they are clearly less interested.

2. More small businesses have Twitter accounts than Facebook profiles. Twitter barely has the edge, but I wasn’t expecting that.  The simplicity of the Twitter platform may be appealing to small business owners. It is easier to understand, easier to set up, and easier to use. The real advantage Twitter has over Facebook is that Twitter is much more public and open. By this I mean Twitter is easily searchable, instantly archived by search engines, and it is organized around topics, rather than people you actually know. You can only sell so many cupcakes to the people you went to school with, or work with, so Twitter’s ongoing outreach to new potential customers is very attractive.

3. I question the assertion that Facebook is a better referral tool. Twitter is all about sharing links. How often do you see a tweet without a URL and think “somebody forgot to add the link?” There may be an issue with the methodology on this stat, as the infographic only takes into consideration referrals from one type of link shortening service (bit.ly). This completely ignores organic links and all of the other URL shortening/tracking services. Most notably, it ignores owl.ly and ht.ly URL shortening services, which are coincidentally offered by one of postling.com’s chief competitors (Hootsuite). I just don’t think there is enough data here to say Facebook is THAT much of a better referral tool than Twitter, if it’s even better at all.

Here it is. Let me know what you think:

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8 Responses to “Social media for small business: How Twitter and Facebook stack up [Stats]”

  1. I also was surprised by the jump in comments after 8 or more posts. How can that be explained?? Plus were the small businesses in a large urban centre or a small community ?? A small business in a large city might be a large business in a small community I find twitter and tweet deck more useful. However I also feel that 4 square is a great tool it tells me someone I know has been there however the businesses need to include a website on the 4 sq page.

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    • The gap may be a bit exaggerated, but the more an organization puts into the tool the more response it will get from users. I think the 8+ is posts per 7 days is a good benchmark…Sometimes I post 40+ from the college in a given week.

      But I still think my comment “When users see this active participation in social media by the small business, they engage; but if they feel the organization is “speaking TO them” rather than “speaking WITH them” they are clearly less interested,” rings true. People are looking for a community not marketing messages.

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  2. Hi David,

    This was a great post, thank you very much for sharing! I am always looking for stats related to how small businesses are using Social Media and this infographic provided some excellent insight. The stats that interested me the most was the comparison between how often a company post on social networks versus the amount of daily comments the receive! Wow!

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Jason Faber

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  3. Hey David!

    A great post with some very interesting stats that really did surprise me. I hope this kind of information is being shared with Phil Jone’s program “Small and Medium Enterprise Management” Valuable information for the next great entrepreneur.

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  4. Thanks for pointing me towards this article. I am new to it all so my grasp on trafiic sources is limited. I do seem to get quite a lot of people reading my articles (on the web and on my page) from the FB page. I can’t track the Twitter traffic but the views go up soon after I Tweet a link so that must be working too.

    Personally I am trying to post on FB as much as I can without overloading people. I find it quite hard to get direct responses and comments though. Plenty of off the record feedback – which is nice, but leaves visitors thinking nobody else is reading perhaps.

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