Facebook vs LinkedIn for B2B
B2B business owners are people too, with personal lives and unique interests. When they log into Facebook, they don’t take off their “CEO hat” and put on their “average user” hat. They still keep an eye out for information that would improve their business. If you’re trying to reach the largest audience of CEOS possible, you can’t beat Facebook. The website Statista reported that Facebook had 239 million active users in North America in the 4th quarter of 2017. In comparison, LinkedIn had 133 million active users in the US during the same period. An extra fact in favor of Facebook is that users tend to spend more time on their platform, versus LinkedIn.
If you’re thinking, “yeah, but quality over quantity,” we hear you. But, with Facebook’s huge volume of users, your ideal customer is out there consuming content. Just by the facts above, you’re more likely to reach CEOs on Facebook than LinkedIn. Facebook users spend, on average, 35 minutes per day using the platform, while LinkedIn users only use the platform for 17 minutes per month. That’s over double the amount of time spent consuming social media on Facebook! When you do reach people, remember they’re looking to have some fun, connect with friends and enjoy themselves. Therefore your B2B marketing on Facebook should focus on your brand story and engage with users in a friendly, community-focused, manner.
Know your audience
Your social media efforts should consider your user’s goal for using the platform. Are they just relaxing on a Friday night after a long week of being the CEO? Are they just out of college and trying to find a new job?
LinkedIn is a great place for personal networking, building resumes and connections that could help them in a career, and recruiting. LinkedIn has also developed a reputation for unsolicited sales pitches, which has inspired many decision makers to drop out or limit their consumption.
Facebook is more casual in its communication; consider it the morning coffee meeting or networking happy hour. Facebook is a serious business marketplace, but with a different tone.
Use the facts below to try to pinpoint your users purpose for logging into social media.
LinkedIn offers something they call “groups” to drive interaction among users. Groups are professional forums, which are great for asking questions, responding to issues and comments, and posting information or articles that would benefit the groups users. LinkedIn also allows users to publish original content through Pulse. Combine your Pulse articles with your group interaction and you’ll be seen as a field expert.
Facebook, on the other hand, allows business accounts and pages lots of flexibility in how they interact with social media users. Business accounts can comment and respond to users and build a brand-customer relationship. More importantly, Facebook allows B2B companies the ability to distribute content directly to their audience at times when they are actively seeking to be educated, informed and entertained.
Facebook has a highly developed Business Manager for managing ads for business accounts. Facebook collects data for marketers and professionals to use for promoted posts and ads. Linkedin is trying to build a system comparable to Facebook’s, but they have a ways to go.
Facebook recently premiered a “location awareness” tool. This tool is helpful because users can opt into geofencing type advertising without needing an app. Now businesses can quickly and easily find new customers by showing ads to people who are in close proximity to the business’s location. Local awareness ads are built to be more cost-effective than traditional advertising channels like newspaper and radio, while offering more precise targeting.
Facebook also offers retargeting ads by adding a pixel to the code of your website or landing page, which can then track when someone has visited either one. Then when the user logs into Facebook, ads show up based on visited pages or user interests. Retargeting with Facebook pixel basically follows the user from your website to Facebook, making sure to show them your ad. LinkedIn has something similar with its Insight Targeting Tag, but again, the LinkedIn audience is smaller than Facebook.
In this article from marketing automation software, Outbound Engine, they detail an experiment comparing LinkedIn Paid Ads against Facebook Boosted Posts. They shared the same post on both platforms to determine which had a better ROI for marketing spending. After spending $200 for a 1-day campaign, the LinkedIn post got 44 clicks. After spending $75 on a 3-day campaign, the Facebook post got 97 clicks. Therefore, the average cost per click on LinkedIn was $4.47, while only $0.77 on Facebook. Given these results, you might jump to the conclusion that Facebook is always the winner, but the reality is that it depends.
If you just want exposure and more eyeballs on your content, then Facebook is likely your best bet and the cheapest. If you want people to see your content AND enter lead information, the two platforms are comparable. But, if your main goal is leads, you may want to think about spending the extra cash for LinkedIn. Outbound had this to say on the topic, “experience has shown that clicks from LinkedIn are 500% more likely to convert to quality leads compared to Facebook.”
Facebook and LinkedIn are both useful platforms for reaching your audiences, their ROI just depends on your goals. Before dropping a ton of money on paid ads, consider the value of new leads and/or re-engaging existing clients – you might decide that the cost is prohibitive, or that it’s a worthy spend. To get the most out of pay-to-play social ads, we suggest zeroing in your goals and deciding which metrics you’re going to track. Then you’ll be prepared to make the judgment call on a campaign’s success.