As you know, there is research being done about pretty much everything nowadays.  I recently came across an interesting research by Michelle Bertino on Klout, that studies the reactions on Twitter and Facebook according to different subjects.  Nice guy that I am, and since a large part of it has fascinating repercussions for our book marketing efforts, I thought I’d share. So, let the battle begin: Twitter vs. Facebook!

Twitter-vs-Facebook, Photo:


Top 10 Subjects

The research categorized the subjects that get a noteworthy reaction on Twitter or Facebook.  As you can see, music, television, holidays and celebrities have the greatest engagement.  Amazingly enough, religion is in the top 10 of engagement in Facebook – something I did not expect, since the contrast with the previous subjects is quite amazing.  Apparently, Facebook attracts many different people!

Research by Michelle Bertino, Klout

Research by Michelle Bertino, Klout

I carefully glance through the list, expecting and hoping to see books somewhere –and worried that I might not.  And there they are, the 8th most popular subject, engagement-wise, in Facebook. Sadly, Twitter seems to dispense with books altogether, not registering any noteworthy engagement in its top-10 tier.

What surprised me is that Facebook has not been such a big promotional vehicle for me.  I do share funny images, dogs, and cats –by the way, dogs are the fashionable thing and cats are out, it appears- and inspirational photos regarding writing, but I haven’t had the engagement I was expecting.  Perhaps I am not doing it right.  Twitter, on the other hand, has been amazing for me and I now have many followers which whom I interact pretty much every day.

Find me some Influencers

The research then examines the topics that influencers – i.e. social media pros, the ones who have built their reputations to be known for what they love – find most engaging.

  • For Facebook influencers, the most engaging subjects are food, health and lifestyle subjects. In other words, influencers feel that Facebook is the perfect medium for them to promote such subjects.
  • On the other hand, business, entertainment, sport, and technology are the preferred subjects for Twitter-philes.
Research by Michelle Bertino, Klout

Research by Michelle Bertino, Klout

Neglected Subjects

Finally, there are the subjects that are neglected, but which have huge potential because of the sheer number of people who care about them: cosmetics, pizza (!), jazz, poetry, skiing (!), crafts, architecture and cyber security.  These are great subjects for future promotion, with a nice potential for growth.  It also means that these are great subjects for books. I am amazed that poetry is amongst them – and very pleased about that.

Research by Michelle Bertino, Klout

Research by Michelle Bertino, Klout

What does that mean for my book?

What conclusions can we draw from the research, regarding book marketing? It depends on your subject and target audience. Here is the lowdown:

  • If your book is about food, health, religion, and lifestyle, it would be best to promote it on Facebook.
  • If it is about business, entertainment, sport and technology, Twitter is a better medium.  This probably explains why I find it much easier to promote my science fiction/fantasy books on Twitter than Facebook.
  • Statistics show that teenagers are truly leaving Facebook.  How do we know that?  Simple: Posts about ‘homework’ see much higher engagement on Twitter. Perhaps those with homework, typically teenagers, are engaging more on Twitter than Facebook. So, if your book is aimed at youngsters, it’s best if you promote it on Twitter.
  • How about pet-related books?  Dogs generate four times more engagement and cats twice as much on Twitter than on Facebook. Therefore, if your book is pet-related, promote it on Twitter.
  • When it comes to babies, they generate three times as much engagement on Twitter than on Facebook. Parenting generates twice as much engagement on Twitter.  So, if your book is about parenting and/or babies, promote it on Twitter.
  •  Although we use computers, tablets, and mobile phones to access social networks, we surprisingly don’t engage much with content about electronics on Facebook or Twitter. Neither medium is particularly good for promoting that subject.
  • Finally, the wide appeal of Pinterest and its visual approach to lifestyle may have stolen conversations about hobbies away from Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, Pinterest is the preferred medium if your book is hobbies-related.  While Facebook and Twitter were battling it out, the new kid on the block stole away the show…