Facebook and Twitter are clearly two very different social media platforms. For advocacy professionals in particular, building a community on Facebook is very different than building an engaged following on Twitter. The Twitter-Facebook divide is best explained by an analogy to two Inside the Beltway publications that represent different but equally important audiences: Politico and National Journal.
Facebook is to Politico…
Although its coverage is focused exclusively on one topic, Politico maintains a broad and diverse audience. It is read by Inside the Beltway professionals and political junkies everywhere, from D.C. to the South to the Midwest. In 2009, Politico reportedly had a circulation of 32,000, with 6.7 million unique visitors to its web site per month.
Similarly, Facebook is used by a wide variety of the American public. Your neighbor, your co-worker, even your mother is increasingly likely to be a Facebook user. According to Facebook, the site now has more than 500 million active users. Fifty percent of those users log in to Facebook on a daily basis. The sheer volume of activity on the site makes it a no-brainer for advocacy professionals looking to build a large and active following. Facebook’s mainstream appeal also makes it an easier sell to management: because executives are also likely to know friends and family members who use the website regularly, it is easier for them to recognize the value of building a presence on the site.