Posted November 7, 2013 4:24 pm by with 2 comments

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Facebook has a lot of users and that equals a huge pool of potential customers – aka reach, but it’s not always the advertising juggernaut you’d expect it to be given its popularity.

Larry Kim, the wise man of Wordstream turned his magnifying glass on the social media giant and whipped up a few charts comparing Facebook to its biggest (little) competitor, Twitter! What he discovered was. . . . (did you really think I was going to spoil the ending? Read on.)

Comparing advertising on Facebook and Twitter is a little like comparing apples to coconuts but Larry did it anyway. (Check his blog post for where he got his numbers.)


Twitter’s engagement rate is higher than Facebook, probably because Twitter’s ads appear in stream. In my personal opinion, Twitter ads are more effective because they’re informative or fun and they’re well targeted. On Facebook, I’m constantly offered ads for products that look like Shark Tank prototypes. Today I have an ad that says Women’s Half-Yearly Sale with a picture of rain boots. A closer look shows me that it’s an ad for Nordstroms! Such a high-end store – such a low-end ad. Weird.

What’s Twitter showing me this morning? Free fries with my Sonic burger. A coupon and red meat – they know me so well.

The downside to Twitter advertising is the cost, compared to Facebook, it’s way out of reach for most small businesses.

Here are a few more facts:

Twitter claims that Promoted Trends provide a 22% lift in brand conversion, 30% lift in positive mentions and 32% lift in retweets. These promoted trends can cost more than $200,000 a day, 33% more than they cost in 2012.
Facebook ad performance varies greatly by vertical. For example, average CPC for alcohol brand ads is 45% higher than average. Gaming ads, on the other hand, have 30% higher CTR than average and 40% lower cost per click. (PDF)

 Mobile Wars

Twitter is making a hard run for the mobile finish line. Larry Kim says,

By 2015, Twitter is expected to net $1.33 billion in worldwide ad revenue, and more than 60% of that will be from mobile ads.


Twitter simply works better on mobile because it’s designed to fit a long, narrow field. It’s simple and even with the addition of images and videos, it’s still very easy to skim and process the information. Facebook just doesn’t read that well on a quick mobile skim.

Twitter also has an advantage in the ad department because their ads are designed to fall into the regular flow. Facebook’s sidebar ads don’t have a home on the mobile app.

So which social network is better for marketers? Neither one, says Kim. He suggests you stick with search engine marketing.

If you’d like to see the numbers in more detail, visit The Wordstream Blog and tell him Cynthia sent you.

  • Indeed, search engine marketing is the best way to advertise your business. But we should not ignore the power of the social networks as they help us maintain the engagement with the readers and the clients. Without them, it would be a lot more difficult to interact with them. And to keep it to the point, I think Facebook is a lot more interactive than Twitter.
    Tina Chasin – Marketing Specialist for a great Stansted Shuttle company.

  • Can’t Believe It

    Sorry, I can’t follow your logic. On the one hand we have Sonic sending you a coupon for a product that lacks all nutritional value. If you’re like me, skipping the fries might not be a bad idea. On the other side, we have Nordstrom alerting you to the fact that women’s rain boots are on sale. It’s winter, you’re a woman, and unless you live in Phoenix, it’s reasonable to assume you might need a new pair.
    Two retailers: one offering to ruin your figure with junk food, the other wanting to keep your toes warm and dry, and at a great price.
    So tell me Marketing Pilgrim. Which company really has your best interests at heart?