On Quora, this question was asked:
What is more effective, the Facebook “Like” button, or the Twitter “Tweet” button?
It’s a great question and if you read the responses you’ll find that most of them agree in a certain sense. It depends on a number of factors.
It’s important to note the difference between the two websites, the nature of followers (on Twitter) vs. the nature of friends (on Facebook), and the nature of a Like as well as the nature of the tweet. These are the primary factors that drive your readers’ decision on whether to Like something or tweet it.
Let’s look at these factors:
- Facebook – Facebook allows friends to connect with friends. You likely have a good core group of your real world friends that you connect with on Facebook. Maybe you also have a connection with people you don’t know in the real world, but definitely have that core group of friends you would call your inner circle. Your readers do too.
- Twitter – On Twitter, most of your followers are people you don’t know. Your core followers are likely people you don’t know. If you do know them in the real world, chances are you met them online.
- Nature of Facebook friends – Most people see their Facebook connections as mutual connections. You wouldn’t want to impose or take that for granted.
- Nature of Twitter followers – This is a one-sided relationship. People on Twitter follow you to see what you’ll have to say. They found you through your blog or another social network and are interested in your tweets. You may not be interested in theirs.
- Nature of Facebook’s Like button – People Like something on Facebook because they really like it. They aren’t intending to share it with their friends. They do, of course, share it with their friends on Facebook as a consequence of Liking it, but the sharing is not the reason for Liking the content.
- Nature of the Tweet – When a reader tweets something it’s because they want to share it with their Twitter followers. They may or may not like the content themselves, but if they see value in it for their followers on Twitter, then they’ll tweet it.
You see the differences? The motivations for Liking something and tweeting it are completely different. Furthermore, your relationship with your followers on Facebook is different than your relationship with your Twitter followers. Because of these two facts, it is difficult to say which is more effective. You have to know your blog readers and that takes some time.
I’d recommend that you do some testing. Try both the Like button and the Twitter Tweet button over a period of time. Try each by itself and try them together. See what kind of responses you get. And never stop testing.