4 Reasons Why Twitter is Better than Facebook for Music Marketing

February 18, 2013{ 22 Comments }

Twitter Vs. Facebook: Music Marketing[This post was written by guest contributor Nic Robertson of Jaden Social.]

As both a musician and the managing director of a digital marketing agency, I spend a considerable amount of time working (playing) on Facebook, Twitter, and the many other Social Media platforms that exist on today’s online landscape.

Working with more than 40 independent and major label artists on an array of different campaigns over the years, I have gained a great insight into Facebook and Twitter in a music marketing context. And while both platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses, one platform emerges as a clear winner for me every time.

Allow me to share with you four reasons why Twitter is better than Facebook for marketing your music.

1. The Cost

Cost is without a doubt the number one reason why we at Jaden Social love and swear by Twitter. This ‘open’ platform allows us to quite merrily promote our artists’ music and grow their audience all year round without spending a single cent – hell yes!!

Now combine this with a few great cheap (or free) Twitter tools and a good understanding of your target audience, and this form of promotion not only costs next to nothing, it has the potential to drive waves of traffic through to your other music pages like Soundcloud, CD Baby, or your website; while also creating those coveted long-term connections with new fans.

Yep, all-in-all, aside from some relatively loose restrictions on following and unfollowing, Twitter marketers enjoy a carefree, cost-free existence.

So what about Facebook? Love it or hate it, Facebook is a staggeringly profitable business created by some seriously savvy individuals. And it’s certainly no coincidence that we are seeing our beloved Home feeds becoming more and more cluttered by Online Casino ads and ‘sponsored stories’ about our old school chum’s affinity for the sexy strangers he finds on Zoosk.

Now, let’s say you want to grow your audience on Facebook. You’ll need to firstly get to know your way around the FB advertising platform, then spend some time writing and setting up some enticing ads to catch the attention of new potential fans. Next it’s time to fork out some cash (anywhere from 50 cents up to two bucks) to convert the coveted eyeballs that every marketer and his computer-literate dog is fighting for into fans.

But that’s not all. After spending a few hundred dollars building a nice little fanbase on Facebook, we now find out that a measly 5% of them will see each post on average (more about this in the next point).

So how do we get to the rest of them?

Yep, you guessed it – by promoting your post; a privilege which will cost you no less than $5 a pop. My my, things are starting to get quite pricey on the old ‘book of Faces’.

2. The Reach

When it comes to reach, there is one important difference between Twitter and Facebook – Facebook limits the reach of your posts; Twitter does not.

Are you familiar with a little Facebook algorithm called ‘Edgerank’?

In a nutshell, what Edgerank does is it assigns a rank to each Facebook action that occurs (updates, comments, likes, shares etc) and tries to ensure that only the most relevant and engaging content will be seen by your friends, fans and subscribers – which generally works out to be between 2-7%. This helps to keep your Home feed clean and relevant, but more importantly it means Facebook can tax you to reach the rest of your audience (check out http://www.whatisedgerank.com for a more in-depth explanation of Edgerank).

Twitter on the other hand has no such devil in the details. Each time you tweet, your post will be seen by every one of your followers viewing their Twitter feed at that particular moment (or flipping back retrospectively). Now all that’s left is to become master of the timezones and your entire Twitter audience is at your mercy!

And the news keeps getting better – each time you get a retweet on Twitter, your reach grows further to include all followers of the user who retweeted you. On Facebook, receiving a ‘like’, comment or share on your post means that a few more of your posse and a handful of your engager’s peeps will see the post.

Yep – the dreaded Edgerank strikes again!!

So having 10,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook means 200 – 700 of your fans on average are seeing each post, but 10,000 followers on Twitter means potentially all 10,000 fans are reading each tweet. Talk about breaking our balls, Zuck.

3. The Engagement

From my experience working with Social Media over the years, Twitter is undoubtedly the more engaged of the two platforms. Edgerank certainly plays a big part in this by limiting your potential audience on Facebook, but in my opinion Twitter is just a far more interactive and personal experience. When it comes to marketing your music the aim is not simply to build an army. You get the best value for your efforts by building an interpersonal relationship with each of your fans – one by one.

When stacking the two platforms up against each other, I would say that Facebook is a great way to mark the important milestones in your musical journey – a proverbial ‘pool room’ of sorts. Twitter is more of a real-time journal documenting the day to day struggles & triumphs in the life of a hungry musician; the kind of insight that allows fans to know you – not only as an artist, but as a person. It encourages and fosters that one-to-one relationship; when you follow someone on Twitter you are subscribing to every dirty little detail of their life.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I find an artist whose music really resonates with me I want to know as much as I possibly can about them. And where Facebook provides a light snack between meals, Twitter decks the halls with a 5 course banquet of medieval proportions.

4. The ‘Now’

One of the major drawbacks that goes with using Facebook is the inability to track, partake in and locate people having real-time public discussions. On Twitter, if I want to catch up on the latest music, news and trends I can do so with just a couple of keystrokes in the search field. And similarly, finding out which of my fellow hip-hoppers are talking about the new Jay Z album takes just seconds.

Twitter is a platform built around conversation, and as an artist looking to grow my audience and connect with like-minded individuals the world really is my oyster. I can not only find people based on what they are currently talking about, but also what kind of music they are into – something easily determined by which artists and accounts a user is following (on Facebook the best I can do is pay to run ads targeting people who ‘like’ a particular page or interest).

Parting Words

In a time where online privacy concerns are at an all time high, it certainly bears mention that Facebook has successfully managed to collect and stash a pirate’s booty of personal information. And I am certainly not debating that when combined with their advertising platform this data is infinitely powerful. But for your Average Joe musician, the costs associated with building and maintaining a fanbase on Facebook far outweighs any benefit that might be extracted.

As an inherently less visual platform, Twitter has had to find different ways to provide the same kind of value as the multimedia-rich Facebook. The real value on Twitter comes through the ability to connect with like-minded individuals at little or no cost. And let’s face it, I don’t think any of us got into the music game to become millionaires; the ultimate reward comes from having a real fanbase made up of real people who are sharing the same kind of real journey through life.


Nic RobertsonAbout the author: Nic is the managing director & co-founder of Jaden Social, a creative Digital marketing agency based in Sydney, Australia. If you are interested in hearing more from Nic, he runs a weekly blog on the Jaden Social website dedicated to helping musicians market their music for free using Social Media. He has also written an in-depth guide on ‘How to Market your Music on Twitter’ which you can check out here.

Connect with Nic: http://flavors.me/nicjrobertson

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  • TheHighCell

    Great post.
    I originally started off firmly on the Facebook bandwagon because of the tangible media-driven benefits that it offered over Twitter. But as Facebook began to extort page owners in order to share content with their fans, I've transitioned a little more to Twitter. It's good to see that I'm not the only one who feels this way.

  • Great article. Until recently, I was rarely on Twitter, preferring FB instead.

    I just didn't "get it", if that makes sense. The 140-char limit seemed oppressive. And I didn't know at the time about expanding to see a whole conversation, so I felt like I was getting only bits and pieces.

    But after a serious sit down with my marketing advisor, I've started using it and really engaging with people. I get it now! Now I'm on Twitter far more than FB.

  • bydavidrosen

    1. 2 and 4 I can reluctantly agree with but #3 is where I just don't get it. either I don't know how to use twitter, people don't care about anything I have to say, or the people that say twitter is better for engagement are just wrong. best case scenario is i post something funny and someone retweets it or favorites it, but i've gotten little to no conversation with fans and/or friends on twitter over the years i've been using it. it just feels completely one-way. facebook on the other hand, the posts that people ACTUALLY SEE (facebook and it's b.s. hiding posts practices are really killing it) tend to spark conversations and back & forth discussions with fans and friends. if only facebook didn't hide posts it would just be awesome.

  • Eddie Biggins

    I'm curious as to what you think of Google+. I engage quite a bit more there than on Facebook, though more on a personal rather than a promotional basis.

    • Not sure about other people, but so far I've just used G+ as a kind of professional thing… (because it's helpful for bloggers to have a G+ account), but it hasn't really grabbed me yet. Do you see much interaction for promo/music stuff on there?

  • Hmmm. Good to be on the lookout for. Thanks for the info.


  • Steven Cravis

    To which cheap or free twitter tools is the article referring?

  • I didn't know Twitter was a better journey to get one's music out there. I've been focusing so much on Facebook but now I'll put more energy into Twitter and test this market and see what happens. I've been putting my flowers in the same vase. time to buy some more flowers and a brand new vase and water them daily, thanks for the update..

  • John Garvey

    You've probably upset the board of directors at Facebook with your article and it's likely they have you under surveillance now. Be careful. I hear they contract out their Facebook ops to a really sharp tactical service called something like Bookwater or Facewater. Stay alert. They could be anywhere.

  • natalieharperPR

    Awesome. Just … awesome.

  • ianofthelarch

    Lots of compelling points but by far the majority of my band's fans & friends are on FaceBook and NOT Twitter – for whatever reason that medium hasn't garnered as much favor with the people that follow what we're up to – then 'cos it started out that way naturally I've spent years pointing anyone who's interested to the FB page…

  • One at a time. To build a real engaged Twitter following, it takes patience. Check out: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2012/01/twitter-tip


  • I would argue that using Twitter to promote content on your website is the best of both worlds. Social media is a great way to encourage potential fans to come to your website.


  • It really depends on how many people you follow and how you use Twitter. I use Tweetdeck and usually have very specifically themed feeds that I monitor–either based on a theme or a person or business.


  • Good points. Twitter is really only as cluttered as you make it though. hashtags and @replys make it easy to monitor very specific themes and people.

  • Thanks Jeff!

  • videorov

    Youtube is better then both of them.

  • ljova

    Thank you for this! I had read this article and, within a couple of weeks, quit Facebook altogether. You made me realize just how cowardly Facebook's ways with their users content are, and how they make squeeze you for every eyeball that sees your post. Ultimately, the best way to promote work is to drive people to your website, not Twitter or Facebook or some other passing fad.

  • That'd be great. I'll keep that in mind as CD Baby does our own promoted tweets and posts and see if we can come up with a comparison based on real stats.


  • Ebone East

    Indeed. did not know that… I just deleted my twitter account to focus more on facebook. Going to make a new twitter account right away. The thing for me is not finding new fans. It's finding new musicians/artist who could afford my music services. I deliver new music and music videos to broadcasters, radio programmers, journalists, and other industry professionals….like MTV, BET, FUSE, and VH1. ebone_east@aol.com