Social Media

Facebook vs. LinkedIn for B2B Marketing

Posted by James Trumbly on February 27th, 2013 at 8:00 am

LinkedIn is the go-to website for most B2B marketers when it comes to networking and expanding their client base. But is it really the best place to get the job done? According to some studies, Facebook offers just as much if not more opportunity to reach your professional audience. Let’s take a look at how the two sites stack up side by side.

Facebook Pros and Cons

The social media giant clearly leads the field in terms of B2C marketing. But how about that professional audience you’re trying to reach?

  • Pro: Facebook’s huge user base means that more professionals are on Facebook than on LinkedIn in terms of total numbers. Those professionals don’t turn off their business acumen when they’re on Facebook, so you can still market effectively through the broader platform.
  • Pro: Facebook allows direct marketing through Facebook ads, meaning you’re no longer dependent on buyer engagement in order to reach potential customers.
  • Con: Facebook posts may or may not appear on your fans’ walls, depending on their level of engagement with your brand.
  • Con: Marketing efforts must compete with non-professional posts. Music videos, cute puppies, and pithy quotes are all clamoring for the attention of your potential buyers. Your posts have to be good enough to earn a viewing amongst all the ruckus.

LinkedIn Pros and Cons

Most professionals rely heavily on LinkedIn for job seeking, hiring, and networking. But is it an effective way to market to business professionals?

  • Pro: Professionals tend to gather at LinkedIn. Nearly 60% of B2B marketers are on LinkedIn, meaning you’ll reach more professionals there at any given time than you will on any other social network. You can also count on your target audience checking in pretty regularly, with most users active between noon and 3 p.m.
  • Pro: It’s easy to network with serious professionals, view their profiles, and connect with the movers and shakers in any industry. Profiles contain lots of rich data that proves invaluable in your marketing and networking efforts.
  • Con: Total number of users, number of minutes spent on the site and number of high-level professionals fall far below the same stats on Facebook.
  • Con: Most people don’t think of LinkedIn as a marketing platform. Instead, they typically use it for job seeking and networking with others in the industry. That doesn’t make it a deal-breaker, but it is something to consider.

LinkedIn has established itself as a valuable tool for business professionals, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best tool for every job. It’s important to consider which social media platforms offer the best opportunities for marketing to your business clients and then choose the one that makes the most sense for your business.

2 Responses to “Facebook vs. LinkedIn for B2B Marketing”

  1. Alyssa says:

    I don't find LinkedIn that compelling as a user, so I am hesitant to use it to market to my potential clients. Combine that with a tight geographic area and it just doesn't seem to make sense for me. However, I am finding that the group discussions are more compelling and might draw me back in. I have found a significant minority of my clients through Facebook, though!

    Great comparison - thanks!

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