Facebook: Is it Your Preferred Social Network?

Facebook   LinkedIn Professional social network  Twitter social network

Curious about this ever-changing social media environment we’re in, I decided to reach out to my social networking community and ask “Do you have a preference for communicating with others via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? If so, why?”

I posted the question on all 3 social networks, which included a couple of my Facebook and LinkedIn Groups and a post on Twitter. I received feedback from friends on Facebook and professionals on LinkedIn, but no one responded to the Tweet. Perhaps 140 characters wasn’t enough for them to deliver their reply (since most of the feedback I received was longer than 140 characters).

Well, while everyone who responded is using (or has used) Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter on some level, their replies indicated that Facebook was their preferred social network of the day.

As you might expect, being the world’s largest professional social network, LinkedIn is used by most for “professional communications” and “developing business relationships.” Many respondents take advantage of LinkedIn Groups and discussions. And, Twitter is their choice for “connecting initially,” “simplicity” and “quick messages”.

However, whether communicating with personal or professional friends, most people like the ease of use and the conversational style that Facebook provides. Here are some of their comments:

  • “Facebook allows us to get to know each other on a deeper level [than Twitter].”
  • “Facebook – more directed to the group you want to communicate with.”
  • “I like FB for more detailed conversation …”
  • “Facebook: friends. Why? More personal aspects & info…”
  • “Twitter for me is a one-way street . . . for me it’s Facebook.”
  • “Facebook with chat is nice for spontaneous communicating.”
  • “Facebook does seem more personal.”
  • “Seems like Facebook works best for us.”

While the results are not statistically significant (I’m not a statistician by any means), I found it interesting to read everyone’s comments. Many of you did indicate that you sometimes start out with one network, like Twitter, but given the 140 character limitation of a tweet, move the relationship to Facebook where you can converse in more detail.

One of my favorite replies was this food analogy from Laurie Tossy in Colorado, “I think of Twitter like a cocktail party, Facebook like a barbecue and LinkedIn like a sit down meal at a restaurant.”

So what’s on your social media menu? Do you have a preference for Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Please share your comments here. I’d love to hear from you.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.

Comments

  1. Hi Debra,

    Your article is very well written and fun to follow. I am glad that I was able to take part in the brainstorming session. Look forward to the blog posts to come.

    William Chad Warford
    Owner/Operator
    Warford Designs

    • Hi William (or do you prefer Chad?). Appreciate your comments and am glad you enjoyed participating in the conversation on Facebook. The beauty of social networking is being able to reach out to colleagues who are all over the country and get their opinion. I look forward to staying in touch with you. Hope all is well in Durham. Have a great day.

  2. I certainly agree with the theme that each social network has its strengths. The differentiators are often the community of people with whom one is communicating. I use different SM platforms to touch different communities of people.

    I would add that LinkedIn has the most momentum in terms of being a place for interesting dialogue and a “go-to” place when looking for resources. I find myself increasingly coming here to stay abreast of current trends and thinking. People create intelligent and content here and reference other great resources. The curated content provided by LinkedIn Today news feature.

    Twitter is where I go for “right-now” info. When I want to find out about what is happening at this particular moment. It is a breaking-news channel. I almost always link out to more indepth content related to whatever 140 character clip grabs my attention. I do see possibilities for twitter to be used a customer service channel in ways yet untapped. It can provide near real-time response to customer questions that is designed to work on mobile (smartphones).

    Facebook is, well, a state of confusion when it comes to the business world. Organizations are still really struggling with what it is. Alot of activity is being spent on contests and other effort to build up a fanbase. However there is no compelling reason to engage with the facebook page.

    Interesting times.

    • Some great insights Colin. LinkedIn is a “go to” place for connecting with fellow business professionals. I have received many comments from colleagues within LinkedIn groups (in reply to this question and others).

      Twitter has certainly gained a reputation as a “right now” kind of medium – great for posting what is happening in the moment such as breaking news or event Tweets using the hashtag during webinars & teleseminars.

      Facebook’s growth is explosive. Determining what works best varies from one individual to another. I’ve come across many who are using FB to share and engage without hyping a product, contest, etc. I use it to post tips, pointers, poignant quotes and other information I think my friends will find worthwhile and beneficial.
      Appreciate you taking the time to share your comments here. We are experiencing interesting times.
      Have a great day.
      Best, Debra

  3. Thanks Elias. Many new tools are popping up. Will check this out. Have an awesome day.

  4. Debra,
    Interesting feedback – and I know I need to increase my usage on FB. I’m part of a business professionals group that has a very active FB page and they are seeing great results – interaction – connections and growth.

    I prefer twitter – and suggest it as an easy way for clients to start because it’s easier to get started, build a following and engage.

    A great first step for those who are social-media adverse!

    • Hi Phyllis, thanks for posting your preferences. It is a good idea to start with one network, get used to it and then “spread your wings” to others. Hope you’re having a great day in Tennessee. Keep on tweeting!

  5. Olivier Bouilliez says:

    Hi debra,
    thanks for this fresh post .
    I have one side question : does anyone has experienc in the best SM for internal use of large corporations ? I mean, private Linkedin group, Yammer, Salesforce Chatter …i am keen of any feedback on pros and cons of these various tools.
    Thks, from sunny French Alps on this saturday.

    • Bonjour Olivier,
      While large corporations like Coca Cola and Starbucks use Facebook successfully with the public, I don’t know what they do internally.
      Hope you’re having a lovely day in the sunny French Alps. I’m on the beautiful island of Kauai, HI.

  6. Nice article and info.

    Now, how about social media tools to publish content, listen to followers or clients, engage with the audience, measure effectiveness of campaigns, track and have analytics, collaborate with team members etc…what are the preferred tools out there?

    • Felix, you didn’t mention whether or not you have a preference for Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Do you?
      And, with regard to tools, Hootsuite is the one I prefer (but something tells me you already knew that – LOL).

  7. Good info, thanks! I use Facebook almost exclusively, but am paying more attention to LinkedIn. I like the Facebook mix of personal and professional, the longer character length. Facebook is the go-to network during emergencies like tidal waves, hurricanes, etc – keeps families in touch all over the world and sometimes functions as an early-warning system for us in Hawaii.

  8. Facebook wins in my book. I’ve made a few attempts at Twitter but find that, in terms of getting business, it reminds me of our local Chamber events. People are more interested in giving you their business card than in finding out about what you do. One-way. Little relationship. How can one read tweets from a bazillion followers anyway? That said, my Twitter name is CSchmeckWriter, just in case you’d like to follow me. 🙂

    Still learning LinkedIn but have heard it is the professional “go-to” portal.

    • Carrie, interesting analogy between Twitter and your Chamber of Commerce events. I have found that some of my Twitter interactions have led to conversations on Facebook, then to e-mail and finally – with some – to phone calls. For those who have a “bazillion” followers, yes, I think it’s a challenge to not only read all the tweets, but to establish a personal connection with many of them. I think you’ll enjoy LinkedIn the more you get involved with it. Let me know how it goes for you. Thanks for sharing your comments here and have a great day.

  9. Christine says:

    I prefer Facebook for the reasons you list above — the conversation is deeper. And with Twitter, I still haven’t found a way to track the people I care about. Even with lists, those that Tweet every hour or so get high visibility, even though I generally care less about what they have to say.

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