Facebook beating Twitter at getting people to share

Facebook is significantly more effective than other social networks as a platform for sharing content, claims content distributor GoViral.

It has revealed that the number of shares and subsequent actions such as commenting is almost five times higher on Facebook than on Twitter.

GoViral said for video content it distributed in the third quarter of 2010, the average number of interactions on Facebook was 5.64 per 1,000 views, while Twitter resulted in just 0.75.

Its research found that since Facebook introduced the ’like’ button, which allows users to post links on their news feeds to content they enjoyed on third-party sites, the interactions with video content increased dramatically.

In Q1, Facebook had in 1.19 interactions per 1,000 video views, doubling to 2.27 in Q2 once the ’like’ feature was introduced.

Similarly, research by YouTube and Ipsos MORI found that 11% of consumers had watched a video or ad about a product or brand on YouTube, and a similar amount (7%) had ’liked’ a branded video on Facebook.

Nick Roveta, product director at GoViral, said the ease of interaction on Facebook encourages longer-term relationships through ’likes’.

“On Facebook and external sites, it’s one click to ’like’ something. Although on Twitter you can retweet links to encourage sharing of the video, it doesn’t invite other interactions,” he said.

This month, P&G-owned grooming brand Gillette launched a campaign across social media sites to see if the public prefer clean-shaven or bearded men, which includes video content.

James Nunn, Gillette’s brand communications manager, said the differences between the sites meant brand usage had to depend on product and campaign.

“We’re putting campaign videos on YouTube and promoting the activity across all social media channels to make it accessible. What we use depends on brands and depends on the campaign,” said Nunn.

Ben Ayers, associate director of social media at media agency Carat and former ITV social media and engagement manager, said the recent introduction of a Tweet button on third-party sites could boost Twitter’s engagement ratings.

“The Facebook ’like’ and ’recommend’ buttons are incredibly powerful for media owners and, increasingly, for commerce sites,” he said. “It’ll be interesting to see what impact the official Tweet button has on the numbers, and whether this will form the basis of the eagerly awaited Twitter enterprise tools.”

Film archive British Pathé is using social channels to spread its content to a wider consumer audience. Jack Cullen, media officer, runs its social media activity and said Facebook drives more traffic but is a much bigger site, whereas Twitter tends to be very London-centric.

“We do find that the two work together and if one day a clip has been popular and we’re getting a lot of traffic from Twitter, then our traffic from Facebook also goes up as people post clips they found on Twitter to their Facebook profiles.”

The YouTube research also found that although social networks are the main places people interact with content, increasingly they expect all sites to have social features.

According to the research, one in five users of BBC.co.uk view it as highly social and 30% would be happy to engage in a forum on the site. This is set to increase as 77% of younger web users (18-24-year-olds) described the web as social.

Sarah Everitt, head of YouTube research at Google, said, “It follows on from what we think, that no one site is social because the whole web is social. This means media owners and brands need to integrate with tweet buttons or the ’like’ button and think beyond one platform.”

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

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