The many social media channels available today can cripple even the most accomplished business owner.
Where do you start Which is the best? How do you avoid wasting time on channels that don’t bring a solid ROI? The fight is real.
Facebook and LinkedIn are two of the largest social media platforms and offer a number of ways to reach your audience. This leaves us with this question: which one should one get? she do you focus your efforts?
We’ll cover the pros and cons of each platform below.
LinkedIn vs. Facebook for businesses
Table of Contents
Let’s summarize briefly.
At its core, LinkedIn is a professional network that was originally created as a recruiting platform for companies. Now it has many features similar to traditional social media sites, including status updates, blogging features, and private messaging.
It’s also the most effective platform when it comes to delivering content and ensuring audience engagement.
Facebook, on the other hand, was specially developed as a place to share and communicate. The “share” element is the main selling point, but there are many other features that enable companies to effectively reach their audiences.
In fact, a survey by Facebook found that 74% of American consumers use the platform to discover new products and brands.
LinkedIn and Facebook both have the group feature that allows you to connect with other like-minded people, and both have powerful ad setups.
So with similar functions, what? are the main differences between the two? We’ll cover these here.
In terms of numbers, Facebook is undoubtedly winning.
Facebook has a staggering 2.8 billion monthly active users (MAU) around the world, which makes LinkedIn’s 64.7 million MAU seem small in comparison.
According to Statista data for 2021, the 25 to 34-year-olds form the largest age group on both platforms. However, Facebook has a wider range of users, with around 10% under 18 or over 64 years of age.
This is because LinkedIn mostly appeals to professionals who want to network while Facebook is home to the everyday consumer.
Additionally, HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing Report showed that marketers see the highest return on investment from Facebook, with LinkedIn being the fourth highest out of 8 platforms.
LinkedIn is a stronger B2B platform.
As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a go-to resource for business-minded individuals. As such, it’s a great platform for business-to-business brands.
Here is a breakdown of the reasons:
- It’s easy to identify key decision makers (and reach them in ads).
- Social selling is embedded in the platform.
- It’s easier to get connected as the platform is specifically designed for this purpose.
In fact, eMarketer reports that LinkedIn has the largest share of B2B display ad spend at 32%. But we’ll talk more about ads in this section.
Facebook may work better for brands that want to reach consumers directly. It also gives you access to ten times more prospects and a great place to generate brand awareness and engagement. So while Facebook leads numerically, LinkedIn wins when it comes to generating concrete leads.
Thought leadership happens more organically on LinkedIn.
Thought leadership is one way brands gain credibility and visibility. According to a 2020 Thought Leadership Report by Survey Monkey, 66% of marketers consider this a top priority on their marketing team.
The role of a thought leader is to educate, fuel conversation, and drive action. The same study shows that thought leadership programs help with lead generation and brand awareness by increasing website traffic, media mentions, subscribers, and more.
When it comes to thought leadership articles, LinkedIn has a head start. The platform is already designed for business discussions. Therefore, brands with thought leadership content can be more successful compared to Facebook.
So here’s a quick summary:
- Facebook pros: Large user base, proven ROI
- Disadvantages of Facebook: Isn’t best for B2B marketing
- LinkedIn professionals: Business oriented platform, social selling and networking tools, great opportunities for thought leadership
- LinkedIn cons: Smaller user base
Now that we’ve taken a broad look at the two platforms, let’s take a closer look at some of the most important features they offer for businesses.
LinkedIn groups vs. Facebook groups
The group function on both LinkedIn and Facebook offers companies the opportunity to exchange ideas and make contact with interested parties and other like-minded companies.
However, it is important to keep an eye on users’ motives when they are on different websites. When users interact with others in LinkedIn groups, there is a high possibility that they have a work-related mindset in some way.
In Facebook groups, on the other hand, people are more likely to share their personal opinion on everything – from lifestyle and food to politics and hobbies.
When choosing the Google Groups feature that works best for you, keep the audience you want to target in mind.
For example, if you’re targeting general consumers interested in cooking because you sell the latest blender, Facebook groups are probably the way to go.
However, if you’re selling a high-priced service for high-level executives, LinkedIn Groups might be a better choice.
LinkedIn advertising vs. Facebook advertising
Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer a variety of ad types, including carousel, video, and lead ads. Because Facebook has a larger user base, your ads can reach more people. Facebook also allows you to target based on more personalized information like behavior or life milestones. However, LinkedIn has its own targeting capabilities and is better at lead generation for businesses.
Finally, let’s address the ad aspect of both platforms.
In terms of diversity, both platforms are pretty much on par.
While Facebook has been bragging about a variety of ad types for years (we’re talking canvas, carousel, video, dynamic, and lead ads to name a few), LinkedIn now also offers multiple ad formats, including video, carousel InMail, lead, dynamic and sponsored ads.
Each has an easy-to-use ad manager. That means you can organize your creative assets on a content marketing platform like Casted and then create your ad on LinkedIn or Facebook in just a few steps.
Targeting-wise if you think Facebook has that capability to reach more people, you are right. However, that doesn’t mean LinkedIn doesn’t have powerful targeting capabilities.
Both platforms focus on user input and serve ads and content relevant to their members’ information.
On both Facebook and LinkedIn, you can target users based on job title, household income, company, location, and age on both platforms. Where Facebook has the upper hand is that you can dig a little deeper into Facebook and target users based on their life milestones, behavior, and other personalized information.
Additionally, both platforms allow brands to use source audiences to reach consumers who are similar to their current audience. Facebook calls it “Lookalike Audience” while LinkedIn calls it “Audience Expansion”.
Finally, it is important to consider the cost.
Usually, you get more bang for your buck on Facebook. According to WebFX, the average cost-per-click for a LinkedIn ad is a whopping $ 5.26, compared to just $ 0.97 on Facebook.
However, higher costs do not necessarily lead to a higher return on advertising spend (ROAS).
Who wins? You decide
While LinkedIn and Facebook share functions in common, it is clear that their purpose and audience are quite different.
Which one you choose depends entirely on what industry you are in, who you want to reach and what marketing goals you are pursuing.
It’s also important to note that you don’t necessarily have to choose. Perhaps you use LinkedIn for a targeted lead generation campaign while you use Facebook to increase brand awareness and connect with your customers.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated for completeness.