LinkedIn and Facebook are two of today’s most established and widely used social media platforms. Their relevancy to advertisers and their large audience base make both great places to successfully promote your brand.
However, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each platform in order to market your brand efficiently. Since both platforms boast similar features and functionality to help you reach your marketing goals, it can be difficult deciding which will work best to support your efforts. Here’s some help in determining where you should spend your ad dollars:
When it comes down to the numbers, Facebook is the clear choice if you want to reach a large audience. Facebook casts a net nearly four times larger than LinkedIn, with 2.2 billion and 500 million monthly users, respectively. Aside from total users, it’s important to note that Facebook users spend almost 35 minutes per day on the platform, while LinkedIn accounts for only 17 minutes per month. However, keep in mind that this does open your ads to more competition.
Audience size alone doesn't mean everything, especially if you're trying to engage with other businesses and key stakeholders. LinkedIn’s focus on the business realm has made it stand out among the other social networks. 60% of LinkedIn profiles are made up of people in leadership positions, a valuable statistic if you want to reach decision makers. And, if you do business overseas, you'll be surprised to know that 71.5% of LinkedIn users are located outside of the U.S.
Facebook, on the other hand, is designed primarily to let people share and communicate. This is great if your business wants to engage with consumers directly and this is why we have chosen them as the winner.
If you want to reach a B2B audience and create awareness for your company and services, LinkedIn is your best choice. The paid ads sector allows you to segment based on job function, job title and industry, so you can make sure your ads are reaching a relevant audience.
Facebook advertising offers several ways to target, such as interests, location, and even some high-level topics that LinkedIn uses such as current occupation or industry. Consider Facebook if engaging consumers and increasing direct sales is your goal. Being able to target based on certain interests makes it easier to appeal to a niche audience.
Regarding the types of ads offered, Facebook provides more options, but LinkedIn isn’t far behind. From in-stream to video pre-roll, both platforms can meet your needs of ad placement. Another piece of the puzzle to consider is the cost of adverts, and here’s where Facebook shines bright. Typically speaking, when targeting very similar audiences, Facebook will have a lower cost per click (CPC) and keep cost per lead (CPL) down as well. This is extremely helpful for companies who sell less expensive products like books or clothing. However, if your goal is to reach a CEO at a local business where a contract could result in $50,000 in revenue, the higher CPL is easily offset.
Becoming visible to your target audience on either Facebook or LinkedIn is relatively simple and similar across both platforms. For users to see your updates, they must follow you, but there’s one main differentiator between the two platforms: Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm. Due to Facebook pushing businesses to spend ad dollars, the most recent revisions have business’ organic posts seen by less users than ever before.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, pushes frequent notifications to users regarding the companies they follow and even daily rundowns that keep users on the platform longer. Moreover, LinkedIn outshines Facebook when it comes to communities and groups that like-minded users follow. For example, there are groups from Digital Marketing to Zoology with thousands (and sometimes millions) of users actively involved, discussing topics and issues daily.
Both Facebook and LinkedIn do a fantastic job at aggregating and displaying data in a visually appealing way. If there were to be a winner, we would select Facebook, simply because of the organic post analytics they provide, which are more effective and easily digested. That said, there is no loser here.
Remember your audience and what you’re selling. If your goal is to reach CEO-level employees and decision makers, LinkedIn is the right platform for you. if you’re selling trendy clothing or products, the low cost of Facebook ads makes your decision clear. Each platform has pros and cons; it’s your specific marketing goals that will determine which platform will work best for your business.
Written April 2, 2018 by
Intern at A+T and soon-to-be university graduate. Creative contribution: somewhere between Don Draper and Dick Whitman.