We all know that effective social media use is great for business! But there are so many platforms out there…all of which connect to different kinds of audiences and accomplish different purposes. While it may seem good to post your content to every social media site at once, in fact, this is ineffective. Every platform is different and has to be used differently. A great example of this is LinkedIn and Twitter, two very similar sites which, nonetheless, require different approaches.
Is your goal to persuade the audience and build awareness of your business via social media? Well, Twitter may not be your best bet. If you randomly scroll through a few Twitter feeds, you will soon see why.
At first, you might be tantalized by the numerous links that have been tweeted. Twitter users love posting links to interesting articles. For this reason, it’s very common for brands to try to build a following with lots of tweeted links to their website. This is a strategy for effective marketing on Twitter.
If you look closely, though, you will see that very few followers, if any, actually click on these tweeted links. This is even true for people with followers in the 7- digit range.
But what about all these data which tell us that Twitter can create massive spikes in traffic and engagement?
That’s very true. But high traffic and engagement on Twitter do not necessarily translate to optimum results for your business.
So should you choose LinkedIn instead?
Let’s take a close look at both Twitter and LinkedIn in terms of how they might suit the needs of your business.
The Strengths and Weaknesses of Twitter
Twitter is just ideal for following interesting people or topics. Users enjoy following people they don’t know personally, and they often look at hashtags to keep up with issues that interest them. Paying some attention to the type of content that you post can even make your tweets go viral.
Hashtags on Twitter are also great for creating temporary communities around events.
With only 140 characters, Twitter is ideal for those with short attention spans! Followers are able to quickly scan and decide what they want to click on to learn more about.
If you are all about pleasing others and building their trust, then Twitter is just right for you. Twitter allows you to show your true personality and to make your audience happy. You are able to reveal, not just your area of expertise but also how you interact with others. Try offering free samples, but then inviting your followers to your website to make purchases or to find out more. Remember that relationships are important, so be careful how you conduct yourself. Using any social media after drinking excessively is always a bad idea.
One of the greatest things about Twitter is that you can easily initiate contact with anyone. It makes it very easy to quickly build relationships that may blossom into real-life business connections. This is much harder with LinkedIn, which requires you either to already know the person, be in the same group, or get someone to introduce you. But on Twitter, you can follow anyone, although, Twitter lacks the handy contact database that you can access via LinkedIn.
Both sites have their advantages, but you will have to be proactive about building relationships and initiating contact with those whom you want to connect.
Too much Information
Due to the immediacy of Twitter, it’s easy to miss out, especially if you follow a lot of people. It is simply impossible to catch all the content which appears in your Twitter feed. Conversely, it’s likely that only a small percentage of your followers will see your tweets.
Because of the highly temporary nature of tweets, you can only see them for a brief moment, although, they are permanently searchable. You may need to repeat your Tweets to make them last longer, whereas the functions available in LinkedIn (status updates, group discussion, and internal messaging), makes it easy to refer back to posts.
If you are just looking for immediate feedback, Twitter is great, but for longevity, go with LinkedIn. At the same time, remember that you can make your tweets funny, punchy, and memorable.
The 140-character limit is both a blessing and a curse! Some may love it, but there are times when it’s very difficult to condense all your important information in a tweet.
Twitter has come a long way in upgrading its infrastructure to handle traffic loads and to reduce appearances of the “fail whale.” But most of the innovations that make Twitter more user-friendly seem to come from users that want to build a client base rather than within Twitter itself. Some make use of a third party service but this can be risky. When Twitter purchased Backtweet, for example, they shuttered its API.
Statistics and Analytics
If analyzing the effect of social media on your business is important, Twitter may not lend itself well to that. While you can certainly measure the effect of your own tweets, measuring how Twitter influences your business may be much more difficult. Much of Twitter’s traffic comes from desktop and mobile clients, so tracking it may be very hard.
Originally, LinkedIn was more of a professional networking database than a social media platform. Most visits were just for the purpose of looking up potential hires. But things have changed. LinkedIn has become a rich source of competitive intelligence and a driver of traffic.
You will not find any social media site that comes close to LinkedIn for information about white-collar professionals, career opportunities, and company background.
The purpose of LinkedIn interactions is professionalism. It’s a place to reveal your experience and skills for anyone that wants to know them. If you are serious about using LinkedIn for your business, just make sure that it is accessible via sharing buttons on your website. This way you can avoid having user-unfriendly websites that people actually hate.
You connections are based on your professional expertise and your ability to respond to industry-related questions. LinkedIn is a great way to keep everything necessary for professional interaction together in one place.
On LinkedIn, you are a business person, but on Twitter, you are a person who does business. Imagine that you are donning a suit and tie every time you use LinkedIn. Think about what you would say in a board room or a presentation. Twitter is a familiar event where you know a lot of people. You may be thinking about your business, but you are in touch with your human side, connecting with people on a personal level. You can talk about things like sports, weather, and your family because Twitter’s purpose is primarily a social one.
On LinkedIn, nobody cares what you had to eat today but Twitter users love hearing about food. My tweet about a meal I tried at a new restaurant got more engagement than anything else I had mentioned that day, even though I was primarily interacting with business people.
For this reason, you should avoid posting your Tweets into LinkedIn automatically. The only way this can be effective is if every single one of your tweets is about business…in which case, Twitter may not be the best option for you.
Space to Elaborate
LinkedIn allows you the freedom to expand on your posts and messages and to clarify your meaning. Even so, shorter is often better. Many people make the mistake of posting a long essay in response to a question. Just because you have the space to go on at length doesn’t mean that you should do it.
The opportunity to share niche expertise
These days, it’s all about data. Some of the most outstanding LinkedIn pages include a collection of relevant, well-organized data. There is no shortage of information available on the Internet. However, much of it is inaccurate. We have all heard that 90% of the businesses found online are made up. But the answers program at LinkedIn for Business allows you to show off your authentic niche expertise without all the work of creating your own site. The result is a genuine and affordable boost to your credibility.
Lack of Authentic Connection
You used to be able to get real information about someone’s connections from LinkedIn. You could be confident that if two people had a first-degree connection that they really knew each other. Nowadays when people connect with others, they seem to hardly know them. This makes it challenging to do any real research about social links via LinkedIn.
This site was not built for sharing content, although, it is possible to do so. There are many shortcomings to sharing via LinkedIn; for example, you cannot scroll through any of the comments made by others.
Quality investment of time
In LinkedIn, not every business professional is active. That means it may take time to form meaningful connections and conversations. You will find that you need to spend a lot of time just on introductions.
This process can be monotonous and is not always a good use of time. Getting a premium account may help control the time investment, but this represents a cost that not every small business or individual may be able to make.
While both platforms have advantages and disadvantages, you will probably find that LinkedIn is a better site for most businesses. In comparison to Twitter, LinkedIn is much more attuned to the needs of business. However, experts chose Twitter more often in 2015.
Do you use Twitter or LinkedIn for your business? Which do you prefer, and why? Please, share in the comments.