Business Networking: Is Facebook or Twitter Best?

If you’re trying to get new clients to your business, should you use Facebook or Twitter?

I use both and judging by my Facebook friends and Twitter followers I’m not alone! So it’s not really a question of which is best, it’s more about using both effectively.

I started using Facebook to connect with family, friends and old work colleagues and it’s been great for that. It’s an amazing way to get keep up to date with people, especially those you only see every few years. I started out with Twitter just over a year ago and I loved it. I still do. I’ve used it mainly to connect with mums in business and to spread the word about Business Plus Baby.

I didn’t want to bore the pants off friends and family by talking shop…

I tried to keep Twitter for business and Facebook for friends and family, but it didn’t work. The people I met on Twitter came and found me on Facebook!  I didn’t want to bore the pants off friends and family by talking shop, so I set up a Facebook page. The Facebook page was doing pretty well, but I still kept getting the friend requests from business folk. Then it clicked – people want to connect with people.

I’ve heard it said that Twitter is better for business and Facebook is better for personal use. Broadly speaking that might be true, but social media blurs the line between business and personal. Increasingly we want to deal with an individual within a business, rather than a faceless organisation. The people you work with become your friends. And then we all end up on Facebook together!

So clearly the answer was to use Twitter and Facebook in tandem. Here’s where I’m up to so far…

I use Hootsuite so I can a) post to my Twitter account, Facebook profile and my Facebook page in one place and b) so I can keep track of what the people in my various Twitter lists are tweeting. I don’t think Twitter would be useable without Hootsuite, especially as I have over a thousand followers now. (You could use Tweetdeck or other programs instead, though).

What I love about Twitter is that you can just let the conversations drift by and then jump in on one you like. It’s simply, snappy, fast and furious. You never know who you’ll meet and where it might lead. For a long time Facebook felt heavy and clunky compared to Twitter, but using Facebook for business now is starting to click now.

I did get really frustrated with Facebook for business networking a few months back, but I persisted because everyone else seemed to be using it! Lets face it, it’s crazy to avoid a place where 400 million people hang around, isn’t it? I’m glad I did, as I’ve picked up some really useful information from Nikki Pepper and Penny Gregory to name just two fab people. As with so much of social media, it seems you just have to keep doing it and the benefits will come eventually. Last week Penny suggested I use Facebook lists to get around my ‘boring the pants off family and friends’ problem – I hadn’t realised that you can send out different status updates to different groups of people. Doh!

With a little practice it’s surprising what you can do with Twitter’s 140 characters, but eventually it has its limitations. So it can be good to use Twitter for making contact and small talk, then use Facebook to get to know people better. Of course it can go the other way – you can connect with a friend-of-a-friend on Facebook then get to know them better on Twitter.  Plus I think we all have our preferences – some of us just use Twitter better because we prefer it. To not use Twitter would mean you don’t get to connect with us, not using Facebook means you fail to connect with facebook lovers.

I’m also experimenting with Posterous, which I’m using when Twitter’s 140 characters isn’t enough – I’ll let you know how that goes!

I’m taking Natalie Lue’s advice and post different things to Twitter than I do to my Facebook page – otherwise why would people look at both? (And it cheers me up no end to hear her say that for a long time she didn’t know what to do with her Fascebook page either!). It’s hard to say what should go on Twitter and what goes on Facebook – they just seem to have a different feel, somehow.

Now I’ve just got to get my head around Linked In!

How do you use Twitter and Facebook together? Leave me a comment and let me know…

Image: Blog Spoon Graphics

10 Replies to “Business Networking: Is Facebook or Twitter Best?”

  1. I use both too! And I have multiple pages/accounts for different purposes so Hootsuite is invaluable.

    Must get my head round those lists on facebook….

    1. I love Hootsuite, I really recommend it. I still haven’t had a chance to get stuck into Facebook lists though, it’s on my to do list somewhere!

  2. I’ve just started out on Hootsuite and will not be turning back to Tweetdeck. So much easier to post things and reply to things all on one screen. It helps to see how other people do stuff though. Any handy tips on Facebook lists, please let us know – no idea what they are! Thanks

    1. I used Tweetdeck back in my first few weeks with Twitter, then someone recommended Hootsuite and I’ve stuck with it ever since. I do know some real Tweetdeck fans though! Hmmm, I’m wondering if Facebook lists could be the article in my next newsletter? Thanks for your comment!

  3. Thanks for your post – it helped make me feel better that I’m not the only one out there still unsure about what to use Twitter and Facebook for – although I would have preferred a list outlining it all for me!! Let me know if you get one together.

    Cheers! Alli

    1. Alli, I know there are a LOT of social media experts out there but I don’t think there is one ‘right’ way to use Twitter, Facebook etc. The best thing we can do is find our own way and share what works, which was my thinking behind writing this post.

  4. Well you certainly helped me so it worked! p.s. I love your site and what you do. I was going to include details of the Businessmums’ Blog Carnival you have going in my newsletter start of August so hopefully, it will get a few more Mumpreneurs involved. Cheers!

    1. Thank you, it’s always good to know I’ve helped someone :0). That would be great if you could mention the blog carnival in your newsletter, thanks!

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