Facebook vs. LinkedIn: Which Should Your Business Use?
Written by Lily Tillman
It’s great to have options. No company is the same, no brand is the same, and no two people are the same, so having choices in the marketing world is key. When it comes to social media marketing, however, options can seem overwhelming.
Nobody wants to invest money and time into a social platform that won’t bring in a stable, reliable ROI. So, which channel is best for your company? Will you or your client benefit from a presence and following on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram? Should you invest in all four?
facebook vs. linkedin
Let’s narrow in on Facebook and LinkedIn. These two platforms may seem entirely different, and, in many ways, they are. Facebook is for sharing viral cat videos and posting 20 photos of your son on his first day of Kindergarten. LinkedIn, however, is solely for connecting with peers on a professional level, networking, sharing industry-related news, and building your public, online resume.
Yes, the two platforms were created for different purposes. However, when it comes to group features and advertisement options, both look relatively similar at first glance.
So…which one should you go with?
for lead generation, go with linkedin
LinkedIn has over 630 million daily users. Demand Wave’s State of B2B Digital Marketing report reveals that when asked which social media channels generate the most leads, 24% of companies answered Facebook, 33% went with “Not Sure,” and 59% chose LinkedIn as the best platform for lead generation.
when it comes to numbers, facebook wins
Facebook has 2.41 billion active users–around 3.8 times more than LinkedIn. This comparison alone makes Facebook appear to be the ideal choice. However, once the duration of time users spend on each site is factored in, everything becomes abundantly clear: people spend around 35 minutes a day scrolling through Facebook, while LinkedIn users visit LinkedIn, on average, 17 minutes a month. It’s obvious: Facebook gets more eyes for much more time.
facebook vs. linkedin: audience matters
Facebook gets more eyes. Does Facebook win? This brings us back to the function of the platforms. When users are spending that 17 minutes on LinkedIn, they’re not looking for cat videos. They’re looking for opportunities, leads, professional advice, and networking opportunities. Those 17 minutes a month on LinkedIn may be more valuable than the 35 minutes a day you’ll get from a user on Facebook–but they may not. It all depends on your audience.
Ask yourself: Who is my current audience? Who do I want my audience to be? Two key business features on Facebook and LinkedIn may answer these questions for you.
facebook vs. linkedin groups
LinkedIn groups are–you guessed it–very professional. When users engage on LinkedIn, it is usually with employment, businesses, or sales in mind. On the other hand, those engaging in Facebook groups are most likely doing so for fun.
If you’re targeting users interested in baking because you’re selling innovative cake molds, Facebook may be a better bet for you. However, if you’re selling healthcare practice management services, contributing to a few of LinkedIn’s healthcare groups would be the way to go.
facebook vs. linkedin ads
Facebook has always been a leader in the realm of paid media options: canvas, carousel, video, dynamic, lead ads, etc. LinkedIn follows close behind, having just added new ad options such as video, carousel, lead ads, and Sponsored InMail content.
With both Facebook and LinkedIn, you can set target audiences for your ads based on job title, household income, company, location, and age on both platforms. On Facebook, however, you can specify more directly, targeting users based on their habits, life events, and more.
If your goal is to advertise to other businesses, LinkedIn is probably more accurately and recently updated when it comes to information on employers, job titles, locations, etc.
so…facebook or linkedin?
It’s not a competition. Both are extremely important tools for supporting and growing your online business. Although it does depend on your industry, your audience, and your overall goals, both platforms are equally important to be active and present on. Try using Facebook to increase brand awareness and engage with your customers, while using LinkedIn for a targeted lead generation campaign.
As long as you take the time to get to know your current audience and your desired audience, it won’t be hard to make advertisement and engagement decisions. In my opinion, it’s a tie.
Start experimenting with both to see which works best for your company. You might be surprised.