It looks like the perfect A/B test of real-time marketing. One tweet, one Facebook post for all the marbles.

Snickers, like many a brand yesterday, joined the bite-jacking fray after Uruguay’s Luis Suarez appeared to sink his teeth into an Italian defender during a FIFA World Cup soccer match. Snickers posted similar messages on both Twitter and Facebook.

And what happened? The tweet — “Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers. #worldcup #luissuarez #EatASNICKERS” — got 39,000 retweets and 17,000 favorites. The Facebook post — “Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers. #WorldCup” — fell flat, with fewer than 5,000 likes, shares and comments.

The gulf was so significant that Rhys Hillman, a senior digital strategist at BBDO, the advertising agency that represents Snickers, tweeted about it today:


It’s a natural reaction, considering the 11 million to 54,000 Facebook like to Twitter follower ratio, but I think it’s unfair to fault Facebook for the discrepancy.

First, as someone who replied to Hillman’s tweet noted, the language of the tweet was better than that of the Facebook post. It was direct and engaging and mentioned Suarez by name. The Facebook message was oddly distant.

But more importantly, Twitter is just a better forum for public conversation about current events. One of the main reasons users flock to Twitter during major sporting and news events is to chat about their reactions. Facebook is working to become such a place, but it isn’t there yet.

And most of the other brands who participated in yesterday’s conversation only posted about it on Twitter. Trident Gum, one of the few which also posted in both places, experienced results similar to Snickers’.

“Chew Trident. Not soccer players” got more than 1,500 retweets and 790 favorites from its 33,000-follower Twitter account and an anemic 100 likes, comments and shares on its Facebook page, which has 13 million likes.

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