As of 2021, 60 per cent of the world’s population is online, making it a necessity for your business to have an online presence too. Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter were picked as the top choice for businesses for various reasons. Facebook is favoured for its large following, LinkedIn for its excellence in B2B marketing. Youtube and Instagram are top picks for companies that emphasise visuals and products, and Twitter for its service response capabilities.
This article will compare the biggest social networks by the sheer magnitude of users that are also highly favoured by businesses – Facebook and LinkedIn. On the surface, they may look similar – both allow the creation of ads and posts, offer a variety of ad formats and host diverse communities of people. However, each one provides a unique value add for your business, and this guide will compare them according to key factors a company should consider when picking a network to be on.
Hands down the most prominent social network with 2.7 billion users, Facebook users skew younger, with more than 90% of them in the 18-29 age range. Facebook comprises the everyday consumer and was built on the sharing element where users are encouraged to post personal and lifestyle updates and participate in conversations on posts and within groups.
Having a business page on Facebook is essential not only from a branding perspective, but Facebook business pages are often a savvy consumer’s first touchpoint to gather information and determine the credibility of a business. Facebook pages are also highly engaging, and businesses that actively post get the upper hand with their customers.
LinkedIn has 706 million users, predominantly recruiters, professionals, salespeople, and job seekers. The platform also boasts over 90 million senior-level professionals. Linkedin was initially a corporate recruitment platform but has since evolved to add more social features like status updates, blogging and private messaging.
Brands use LinkedIn business pages to build credibility and establish expertise in their respective fields, to both attract talent and potential customers.
Which platform for a B2B or B2C business
As a rule of thumb, Facebook is for B2C marketing, and LinkedIn is for B2B marketing. The stats tell us why – Facebook has influenced 52% of online purchases and works best for brands who want to reach costumes directly. This makes Facebook especially popular amongst Small-to-medium (SMB) businesses, with 50 million already marketing on the platform today.
On the other hand, LinkedIn has generated 80% of global B2B leads to date. It’s also reported that up to 46% of social media traffic directed to a B2B site comes from LinkedIn; that’s almost half of a business’s social media traffic.
While Facebook gives you access to ten times more prospects and a more extensive base to generate brand awareness and engagement, LinkedIn takes the cake when it comes to generating actual leads. A survey by Facebook found that 74% of American consumers use Facebook to discover new products and brands. Still, LinkedIn users are 4x more likely to visit your website than Facebook users are. LinkedIn also generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate that’s 3x higher than Facebook.
So, how do you pick a platform?
If your goal is brand awareness, you will lean towards Facebook for its wider reach, tailored target audience, and high engagement rate. In addition to just demographics, Facebook also allows you to target audiences based on behavioural patterns, likes, and dislikes. If you want to produce thought leadership content or generate employee advocacy, LinkedIn would be a clear choice.
Next, consider content creation within the platform. If your business revolves around imagery and is highly visual, Facebook would be a better option since ads with images do a lot better there than LinkedIn. On the other hand, if your business revolves around professional updates, industry insights, and B2B strategies, LinkedIn is your way to go.
While organic content is inexpensive to build brand awareness and drive website visits, competition is rife, so brands might want to extend reach with paid advertising. Both social networks have self-service ad tools that are easy to use and come with built-in ad optimisation.
Both Facebook and LinkedIn provide a diverse range of ad types, including carousel, video, and lead ads. Since Facebook has a larger user base, your ads are capable of reaching more people. With Facebook, you can also target based on more personalised information, like behaviour or life milestones. However, LinkedIn offers superior targeting capabilities and is better at lead generation for B2B.
And the winner is…
Both Facebook and LinkedIn have proven to be beneficial social networks, so it boils down to your business needs, goals, and the audience you are serving. Conduct research on where your target audience spends most of their time, then develop a presence on those platforms to engage with them.
If you’re planning to spend on advertising, both platforms allow you to test content and ad types on a small budget (we suggest at least USD 1,000 to yield significant results). From there, you will be able to determine conversion rates and cost per acquisition.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you decide which platform to use for your business.