The short answer is both.

They are both important social media for writers who are looking to build a platform, but each one is vastly different in it’s reach and the types of interactions it generates.

Here are some things to think about:

  • Facebook has 800 million users and reaches 44.6% of the US population.  Twitter has 100 million users and reaches 9.1% of the US population.
  • Facebook tends to generate more sales (a short term benefit), where Twitter engages more interest and encourages more followers (a long term benefit).
  • Paid ads on Facebook can select a highly specific segment of the Facebook population to target. Paid ads on Twitter don’t have targeting options as honed as Facebook (they are also not available to the general public yet).
  • Twitter generates real time conversations and enables rapid response more than Facebook.
  • Facebook provides a static page to provide a lot of information in one place. Twitter provides instant communication and a stronger influence on opinions and attitudes.
  • There is a much higher expectation on Twitter for real conversation as opposed to obvious advertising. To keep the respect and attention of Twitter followers it can be exhausting and time consuming.
Asking whether you should use either Facebook or Twitter, is like asking whether you should have either pens or pencils in your desk drawer. Each has benefits the other does not and each creates a different kind of online presence for you. To make the most out of social media you need to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in each, and learn to integrate the benefits of each in the way that will be most helpful to building your writer’s platform.
Remember however that you are a writer first and a social media maven somewhere after that.  You need to reserve enough time in your day for writing and not spend it all marketing on social media sites.  If you are going to use Facebook, Twitter and other similar sites always make them one of the last things you do in your day.

©2012 Amanda June Hagarty. Go Do Some Twitter