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B2B Social Media – Facebook vs Linkedin

Which B2B Social Media platform is best if you’re a B2B company? Many will tell you that regardless, you need to be on all social platforms. While you could open an account on all of them, but you risk having less time to commit. Whatever, a social app you chose, you should make sure that you can be active on it.

While most Social Media apps can be used for promoting B2B services and products, not all of them are as good to generate leads. The two largest platforms used by businesses are Facebook and Linkedin. However, it might seem like a real struggle to determine which has the best ROI for you. In this blog, you will find out the difference and similarities between the two platforms, and which one is better for generating leads for you.

Read more about Social Media for Beginners here.

General Purpose

Linkedin is meant for making professional connections to further your career and keep track of colleagues. While Facebook is more of connecting with old friends and sharing pictures and videos of personal moments. However, both platforms offer a range of opportunities to reach out; they’re both people-based.

Linkedin initially was created in 2003 as a recruitment website. Jobseekers and employers used it to find each other. Today LinkedIn has development far from a traditional recruitment site towards a social media sharing platform. It is incorporating many new features like status updates, private messages, and blogging.

Meanwhile, Facebook started out in early 2004 as a hanging place for people where they can share and communicate. It was targetted towards the general people and not businesses. The selling point of Facebook is its sharing abilities.

Both LinkedIn and Facebook today, offer powerful Ad setups and include business features, that allow you to connect and group with people from similar fields.

Now that you have a general idea of the two platforms and their core functionality, it is time to look at some numbers.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn

If you look at numbers in terms of user volume and monthly visitors, then Facebook is in a different league than LinkedIn. There are more than 2 billion active users on Facebook compared to a meagre half a billion active users on LinkedIn. Both audiences are diverse, although LinkedIn users tend to be more professional or with business interests.

Looking at monthly visitors and daily activity, you will notice that generally, people would spend at least half an hour daily on Facebook. While on LinkedIn, people would use the same amount of time but in a month.

These numbers might give you the impression that why even bother with LinkedIn, the numbers on Facebook surpass by far. You should, however, look at these numbers within context. Users on Facebook are mostly casually scrolling without necessarily having a specific aim. Opposed to users on LinkedIn, people there are looking for something specific, could be business opportunities, or talented people, etc.

To help you put this in context, we will look at Lead Generation.

Lead Generation Opportunities

The comparison becomes interesting here. Where Facebook was dominating for active users and daily time spent on-site, LinkedIn by far is better for lead generation. If you look at a broader scope, Facebook takes fourth place in lead generation after LinkedIn and even Twitter.

Here you could argue that people on LinkedIn are actively searching for business opportunities and are ready to invest.

B2B marketers are investing more into LinkedIn because of the better lead generation and consequently, the ROI. Probably the least effective platform for B2B marketers is Instagram or Pinterest, solely compared from a lead generation perspective.

There you have it, Facebook has more active users and a larger audience, but LinkedIn is far better at generating leads and has a better ROI. Let’s look at some more specific features and how they can be used for business.

Using Groups for Networking

Facebook and LinkedIn both allow the formation of groups where like-minded people can interact and share content and opinions. Both groups can be utilized from a business perspective yet with a clear distinction between B2B and B2C.

LinkedIn groups are targetted towards a professional audience where interactions are most likely business/work-related. However, on Facebook, this isn’t always the case. There, you could find all sorts of groups that include everything from personal life to politics. People engaging there are more likely to share their personal views instead of their professional opinions.

Depending on what type of audience your seeking, you should select which platform you will engage them in. For example, if you are providing products/services directly to consumers, it might be better to use Facebook. Imagine you are selling the latest bicycle accessories. It would make sense to target a group of bicycle enthusiasts on Facebook. On the other hand, if you’re providing a service to businesses so that your target is top-tier professionals, LinkedIn might be a better fit.

It all comes down to who your potential customers are and which platform they are using. Proper market research will take a long way here.

Which Ads are Better

The comparison becomes tricky here; both platforms have a great variety of ad types, like videos, carousel, and lead ads. If you think purely of reach power than Facebook by far can reach to a more massive multitude. That does not mean you should underestimate LinkedIn.

Facebook and LinkedIn ads at their core revolve around personalizing ads based on user input and preferences. Hence you can use ads to target people based on specific categories, like job title, income, location, age, etc. In Facebook, you can take this further and use more personal information like behaviour.

Keep in mind, that while you may target people more specifically on Facebook, the professional data might not be up-to-date as on LinkedIn. If you are targeting an audience based on their job title, or where they work, that information is likely to be more accurate on LinkedIn.

When discussing ads, you need to consider the cost. Facebook is a larger platform with more users. Therefore it can offer competitive prices almost the cheapest between Social Media platforms. The cost-per-click can go as low as half a dollar (USD). LinkedIn, on the other hand, is at the opposite side of the spectrum with the highest prices reaching up to 5.5 dollars (USD). It’s not that LinkedIn is overpriced; it is just different.

Recap

Facebook, or LinkedIn, which platform should you invest in? Well, to help you make your decision, here is a summary of the main differences:


FacebookLinkedin
Audience TypeGeneralProfessional
Launch DateFebruary 2004May 2003
Employees40 K15 K
Revenue55.8 Billion USD5.3 Billion USD
Members2.4 Billion650 Million
Cost-Per-Click0.5 USD5.5 USD
Click-Through-Rates1.5/10001/1000

However, keep in mind that it all comes down to whether you are a B2B or B2C, and where your audience is. Many businesses chose to use both platforms, while this isn’t wrong; it may not be sufficient for everyone. Choosing one platform and excelling in it usually works best in the long term.

If you are new in the market or wanting to learn more, you can always leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can read more about Social Media here.

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