Small Businesses Favor Twitter Over Facebook: Survey

Recently, I found myself back on Facebook. Whenever people find out I don’t use Facebook, they react with great shock and disgust — and maybe just a smidge of jealousy. I’ve climbed back onto it to help grow the presence of Bike Gang -- my web series -- and it’s been interesting to acclimate myself back. I mused to my co-creator: “I forgot how ‘sticky’ Facebook is — it’s like Twitter, but you have to keep your eyes on it at all times because everyone could be talking about you.”

I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve been off Facebook or that I’m back on it now, but what’s interesting is that for as vocal as people have been about Facebook’s privacy concerns and whatnot, most people have been sticking with the platform. I’ve heard some people predict Facebook’s descent because “everyone who wants it has it already and people are starting to leave,” and while that’s probably impossible to back up, 18 percent of small businesses are saying Facebook is the hardest to maintain, according to a recent Manta survey. From the survey results: “As more social business owners increase their social media presence, they're also encountering obstacles along the way. Eighteen percent of SMBs report Facebook is the most difficult platform to maintain, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter.”

I’m not sure if there’s much correlation here, but the survey also found that 53 percent of small businesses have one employee who is dedicated to maintaining social media activities, 21 percent have between two and five and four percent has everyone on staff doing it. (There’s also 20 percent that has nobody manning social media at all. Interesting.)

Is it easier if you have more people or if you have everyone doing it? My gut, for what it’s worth, tells me you’re probably better off having a team dedicated to it. However, that runs the risk of having too many people managing the same ports of communication, which means there are that many greater opportunities for miscommunication with the public. That necessitates putting a social media strategy in place where there’s an agreed-upon protocol and approach to all this — something I feel many companies lack or don’t understand.

I say that not out of malice but out of firsthard knowledge from conversations I’ve had with companies — some people just don’t know how this stuff works. So, it’s likely they just don’t know how to manage Facebook because they don’t know how it works. So, one step at a time: learn how it works and then decide what approach makes sense for you.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as IFC’s comedy, film, and TV blogger, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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