We all know Facebook and Twitter are two of the biggest digital platforms for brand promotion, but just because they're both social doesn't mean the typical consumer response is the same across the board. AYTM put together an infographic that compares the two platforms on several consumer angles, so read on if you're hoping to improve social engagement. 

To get a general idea of how consumers interact with brands on these platforms, AYTM surveyed 2,000 randomly chosen Internet users. A variety of questions were asked, including how online consumers like their updates served, where they prefer to virtually hang out, and where they're most likely to interact. 

And the Winner is... 

Both platforms have their benefits, but Facebook was the big winner in most of these categories: 

  • 85% of users are on Facebook while only 49% of users are on Twitter
  • 29% of users follow a brand on Twitter, while 58% of users have "liked" a brand on Facebook
  • 57% of Facebook users have 100+ friends, which means if you engage with one, the likelier you are to get noticed by several more. 
  • Virtual personas are clearer on Facebook for obvious reasons, making it easier to target audiences and improve engagement

But it's Not About the Platform

While Facebook users are more engaged with brands, it's a different story when it comes to B2B. Another recent study from Pardot revealed that 91% of B2B marketers are using Twitter as part of their integrated social media campaign, beating out Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging and YouTube; However, only 15% of these efforts generate leads. Does anyone else smell a huge opportunity for improvement?

The most important statistic on AYTM's infographic isn't about Twitter or Facebook, but about how people like to get brand updates in general: 32% of respondents prefer shorter, social media-y updates. E-mail came in at 27%, offline ads at 22% and everything else -- snail mail, blogs, video clips, podcasts -- at less than 10%.

“There’s no question social media can be a powerful tool for establishing community and generating leads,” said Adam Blitzer, co-founder and COO for Pardot. “But to optimize its value, social media efforts should be monitored carefully and integrated into broader content and lead nurturing programs.”

Success in 2012

Going forward into 2012, it will be less about the platform and more about the experience. Like I said in an earlier article (Social Media Marketing Success in 2012: Forget About the Sale) old school methods of marketing and advertising are fundamentally different from what customers respond to today. Like a presidential campaign, they rely on the effectiveness of blasting one single message to the masses, but what the masses are increasingly demanding is the exact opposite: personalization and palpable sincerity.

In the end, platform choice is the easy part. The experience you give is what really counts. While you marinate in that, check out AYTM's findings in picture format: