Twitter vs. Facebook

A really interesting post today by Ezra Klein at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog: Why do journalists prefer Twitter to Facebook?

From the piece:

The fact that so many journalists are on Twitter has made Twitter incredibly professionally valuable to journalists. Tweeting your articles ensures they’re seen — and discussed, and retweeted — within a community that includes not just your friends and peers, but the people who might hire you someday. (Costa, for instance, will be coming to The Washington Post in January!) That’s much less true on Facebook. It’s readers, not colleagues, who dominate Facebook.

That’s created something of a collective-action problem in the media sphere. It makes sense for each individual journalist’s career to put the bulk of their social media effort into Twitter rather than Facebook. But it makes sense for journalism outlets to have their writers putting the bulk of their social media effort into Facebook rather than Twitter.

As I’ve used Twitter more and more after the last few years, I’ve found it to be invaluable for following breaking news and for discovering items of specific interest about a wide range of topics — items I never would have discovered through other media. (Click here to see my Twitter profile.)

I don’t tweet all that much, however — on average just slightly more than three tweets per day I guess. I’d say over half of my tweets are just the sharing of links to posts here on this blog.

However, even though I have over 1600 Twitter followers, I get far more hits on this site from posts to my Savannah Unplugged Facebook page, which has just under 1600 fans, and from other shares via Facebook.

Take a look at referrals to this site over the past 30 days:

Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 9.13.45 PM

So that’s about 80 referrals per day from Facebook, about 60 from search engines, and about 12 from Twitter.

I do have an account on Pinterest, but I put little time or effort into — I haven’t updated it in months. But, in the big scheme of things, Pinterest is now generating even more referrals than Twitter, according to the latest data from Shareaholic.

So journalists might love Twitter because of the stories they find and the ways in which they can brand themselves, but Facebook is the real driver of web traffic.