Twitter can’t hold a candle to Facebook in Australia for marketing reach

I’ve discussed various aspects of Twitter marketing before. There’s so much being written about Twitter at the moment in marketing realms it’s not funny, and everyday I watch my inbox bloat with internal mail list discussions on how to best leverage Twitter to reach your audience. With such an enthusiastic dialogue going on, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking that everyone else’s world revolves around Twitter and everyone’s twittering away happily and we’re all tweeting / re-tweeting about your campaigns. But let’s cool our jets for a second here – we need to kick ourselves to remind us this just is not the case… (enter a nice graph – graphs are good).

Fig.1 - Twitter vs Facebook Unique User stats for Australia

Fig.1  Twitter vs Facebook Unique User stats for Australia

As you can see above, Facebook’s getting around 800,000 unique visitors a day from Australia. That’s great! Twitter, on the other hand, is (literally) flatlined in comparison, with maybe 20,000 users. This is not a twitter bashing exercise and I’m not implying Twitter won’t maybe catch up one day or that it won’t take off in Australia (we already know that it’s growth is phenomenal here). However, Twitter’s still a very young social network compared to facebook, and so is going to be a while until it gives you the potential to reach customers that Facebook does. Twitter’s ‘adoption infancy’ (I hereby coin that phrase) actually makes it’s use for marketing campaigns in Australia questionable since adoption is still low – why wouldn’t you go with, say, Bebo instead, which despite it’s declining traffic in Australia still has around 40-50,000 unique users a day in Australia.

Fig.1  Twitter vs Facebook Unique User stats Worldwide… Twitter doesn’t fair much better on a global scale either

Of course there are exceptions – first of all, your particular social media of choice for marketing should probably be largely determined by what your target segments are using – if your target segments are twittering in large numbers, then use it by all means. For example, working in the I.T. industry can be a different story. On a daily basis, I work with alpha-geek influencers (a term I use with the upmost affection ) of whom I’d estimate that at least 50% are twitterers (In fact, they’re generally your stereotypical early adopters of most technologies).

The second exception is that some would argue that because the ‘influencer’ types (journo’s, bloggers, presenters, those people on Twitter that call themselves “Social Media Mavens / Experts”) are adopting Twitter faster much than your average joe, then using Twitter can actually be a good way to magnify the reach of your message, as these people will take your message from their Twitter feeds and comment / report on them on other media. This makes Twitter akin to a PR strategy of sorts… seems fair enough.

It also depends how big your target market is – if you find that, say, 2% of a target market of 10 million people are on twitter, that’s 200,000 people you’re potentially missing out on engaging with if you aren’t twittering.

Have you used Twitter on a campaign and it showed good cut through / reach? We all know about Dell, IBM, Comcast etc, I’m more interested to hear if you’re a marketing peep from Australia who’s used it locally to good effect. And you can follow me too if you like – I’m one of those “Usually follow back” type chaps 🙂


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