LinkedIn or Facebook - choosing the right social media channel for your goals
6th June 2017

Ideally your business should be active on both but sometimes due to lack of resources or time businesses must choose between one over the other. We are going to continue with the assumption that you definitely have to select one of these two. This will also help us highlight the more distinctive differences between the two.

What is your top priority Recruitment, Sales or Brand Building?

Your top most business priority would dictate which one to choose. If it is recruitment then it's a no-brainer - LinkedIn is the clear winner. If it is sales then the choice splits into two; LinkedIn might be better for B2B sales and Facebook for B2C sales. For brand building again it splits - B2C brand building is Facebook, B2B Brand building would be LinkedIn. A simple table illustrates this.

 

Linkedin Facebook
Recruitment Strong Weak
Sales
B2B Strong Median-Weak
B2C Weak Strong
Brand Building
B2B Strong Median-Strong
B2C Weak Strong
CSR / Community Median Strong

 

Each of these channels are constantly evolving, especially LinkedIn

Each of these are evolving and changing the way they are serving their demographics. LinkedIn is moving from B2B connections and recruitment towards training, skill development and news sharing. Facebook is moving towards e-commerce enabling with social recommendations and point of sales influencing. Both are also increasingly getting into the news business, Facebook more than LinkedIn. The recent US elections illustrates how news (or fake news) on Facebook had a huge impact on the voting.

LinkedIn has recently had a lot of churn, in terms of both ownership and design. Being bought by Microsoft is both a blessing and a curse. It brings the deep pockets and huge infrastructure of the Redmond giant but also at the same time alienates a lot of people wary of Microsoft pushing its products through the channel and diluting LinkedIn's essence.

LinkedIn has also gone through a radical design change which has received mixed reviews. The point is that when it comes to these channels, be prepared for the unexpected and remember the old chestnut, change is the only constant.

Both are developing robust ad engines and fighting for your ad dollars

While selecting a platform you also have to consider the ad expenses on each channel. Every social media campaign will need ad boosts to help ramp up the reach and a part of your budget must be dedicated to ads on the channel.

LinkedIn has crossed over a billion dollars in ad revenues last year and Facebook is touching nearly 26 billion dollars (yes 26 billion) in revenue. Of course this is the top line but it shows how much is at stake for both these companies.

Each one is evolving its ad platforms, moving away from standard ad banners to sponsored content and content tie-ups. Again the ad platforms are also shifting constantly and ads will become much more expensive as the competition heats up. Facebook is already facing a space crunch for ads on its platform which is driving up prices.

Not necessarily true that LinkedIn is for business and Facebook is not

Yes, while Linkedin has been designed as a business network catering to career and networking, Facebook also cannot be ignored. One startling difference is in the amount of time people spend on Facebook which is much much higher than LinkedIn (40 minutes per day on Facebook versus 10 for LinkedIn). This includes decision makers and business owners who may not necessarily be doing business oriented things on Facebook but nonetheless are present there for long periods of time.

If the correct information is shared on Facebook in the correct way, it can also produce good business leads and in some ways be even better then LinkedIn. It's just that you have to wade through a lot of personal stuff to reach your message across. Also the softer stuff such as CSR and employee news works much better on Facebook.

Best advice is to be present on both, although asymmetrically.

Although this article is written with an either-or mentality, the best advice would be to have presence on both. It need not be at the same level. You could favour one over the other but ultimately if you want business growth through digital channels you cannot neglect either one.

Related Posts
Difficult times call for renewed digital marketing efforts
5th October 2018   |   

When times are hard, the instinct for most businesses is to cut the seemingly non core activities such as digital marketing. In order to save costs, marketing budgets get slashed and plans are shelved. It is a seemingly natural thing for a compa

Continue Reading
Web design firms must work towards a deeper engagement with clients
10th August 2018   |   

20 years ago, when we started in this field, the website was a neat little marketing tool for businesses. A ‘nice to have’ but not necessary item for the marketing manager. But over the years the value and functionality of the corporate webs

Continue Reading
Quick Reads 4th July 2018 - A round of interesting stories from the web
4th July 2018   |   

This time we have an eclectic mix of links from the web. From pet friendly offices to AI's that can fool humans. It's Bring Your Dog to Work

Continue Reading
Book Reco: The Art of the Good Life: Clear Thinking for Business and a Better Life by Rolf Dobelli
18th June 2018   |   

Normally I am wary of self help books with their generic advice which is pretty much the same all over. But I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The author's easy style of writing, unique perspective and advise really makes this book a pleas

Continue Reading
Why many Indian companies struggle to leverage Social Media for their businesses
11th June 2018   |   

Everyone agrees that social media can be a powerful source for business and brand development. There is not a single marketing or communications manager who would dispute that. However there is a huge gap between what companies believe and how t

Continue Reading
quick enquiry