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Agent to Agent: Twitter vs. Facebook for Your Agency

By Scott Purves
Purves & Associates Insurance Agency

The initial phase of adapting your agency to social media can be a challenge. With so many different platforms out there, it can be difficult to understand which one is actually best for your agency. On the surface, many of them look relatively similar: LinkedIn and Facebook both utilize the “profile page” concept and make it possible to “friend” or “connect” to people you know.

Twitter, like Facebook, has the ability to share locations and express thoughts by sending photos, videos, and various links to your followers. Although the goal of social media platforms is relatively consistent — to connect with others — exactly how that is accomplished is what sets each platform apart from one another. Looking at Facebook and Twitter, two of the most popular social media platforms, one can easily get confused as to how to spread awareness about an agency. Because Twitter has less functionality than Facebook, it’s pretty simple to use. However, using it effectively can be a challenge.

The chief difference between Facebook and Twitter is the amount of content you can include and how you use it. Facebook, from a business standpoint, attempts to create awareness by urging people to become fans and “liking” a page. Additionally, whenever something is posted on your agency’s Facebook page (whether it’s a photo, video, link, etc.) it is added to your “wall.” Your Facebook fans and friends are then able to “Like” the post or comment on it. This is how you get people to notice your page without directly letting them know.

Twitter, on the other hand, is different in that it takes a minimalist approach to social media. At first glance, Twitter seems like a less ideal platform to spread awareness about your company. The inability to post en masse can be a turn off to those new to the service. However, Twitter extracts a certain social trait that Facebook and its users have not seemed to latch onto: sharing information. While Facebook’s significant concern is sharing photos, creating events and more, Twitter is more concerned with supplying its users with valuable information they wouldn’t normally get any place else. Because each post is limited to 140 characters, Twitter is useful for posting links to articles, announcements, short updates, or even a blog post – all which can drive traffic back to your site. Although the range of things you can do with Facebook as opposed to Twitter are great, Twitter’s importance cannot be understated.

Ideally, you want your agency’s Facebook profile and Twitter feed to be marginally different, that way you are not repeating yourself over and over again and your social media marketing tactics are running well together. You want the content and information you spread to be unique and interesting.

Scott Purves, CIC is the President of Purves & Associates Insurance Agency. Scott has focused on Group Benefits for businesses, including group medical, vision, disability. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Health Underwriters Association and is currently serving on the boards of the Insurance Brokers & Agents of Sacramento and the Davis Downtown Business Association.