These days, it’s safe to say that social media is no longer simply nice to have.
To modern consumers, including your existing and potential customers, it’s an essential part of daily life.
Not only do people use it to stay in touch with their loved ones and keep up with topics that matter to them, but it’s an integral part of how they decide what products and services to buy.
That said, a solid social media presence is a must for any business, but not all of today’s most popular networks are created equally in this regard.
Facebook and LinkedIn are considered the strongest choices for business purposes. But which is the better fit for your business depends on your unique needs and long-term business goals.
Here’s a look at what you need to know to make a sound decision.
What are the Business Benefits of LinkedIn?
Although any major social network is an excellent place to establish and maintain a social media presence for your company, each tends to be a perfect fit for a specific demographic.
For example, LinkedIn just happens to be the social network for business-minded professionals of all kinds.
This makes it a fantastic fit for companies offering B2B services and products, as well as business owners looking to network with industry peers.
LinkedIn is a wonderful place to headhunt new talent for your team or discuss potential collaborations with other professionals, experts, and thought leaders, as well.
In addition, LinkedIn can help you:
- Gain exposure via both on-platform searches and Google searches.
- Generate high-quality leads and become a trusted resource for industry information.
- Build authority as a trusted thought leader and industry expert.
- Make meaningful business connections with other professionals across various industries.
- Showcase your business accomplishments and show what you have to offer at a glance.
What are the Business Benefits of Facebook?
Regardless of the industry you’re in, Facebook brings one undeniable benefit to the table for any business: a massive potential audience.
Facebook is still the name to beat when it comes to the sheer number of active monthly users — approximately 2.89 billion — so it’s an excellent choice for marketers looking to get the word out about a new product, service, or offer.
It’s also a terrific place to build brand recognition, jump into relevant conversations, and start building the close relationships with your customers that they crave.
Establishing and maintaining an active business presence on Facebook is also great for:
- Saving money on marketing expenses.
- Targeting specific audiences and expanding into new demographics.
- Building an incredible degree of brand loyalty.
- Boosting traffic to your website, blog, and online shops, as well as supporting SEO.
- Becoming a daily part of your average customer’s life, as well as the conversations they’re having with those most important to them.
LinkedIn vs Facebook: Which is the Better Focus for Your Business?
To be clear, you don’t need to choose definitively between LinkedIn and Facebook unless you genuinely want to.
Many business owners can and do see the benefit of planting flags on multiple major networks, especially these two.
However, even the most efficient marketing professionals only have so much time and energy to spend on social media, so it makes sense to focus the most effort on the platform that can give you the highest possible return on your original investment.
Here are some of the critical factors to consider when figuring out whether Facebook or LinkedIn should be your primary network for marketing your business.
Ideal Target Audience
The key to a successful social media marketing campaign is to figure out where your target audience likes to hang out and meet them there.
So who are you looking to reach via your current marketing efforts?
If you want to connect with large numbers of regular Joes and Janes, then you can’t beat Facebook.
Whether they openly love it or claim to hate it, just about everyone has a Facebook account and uses it daily, so a strong business presence there means constant potential access to 2.8 billion users.
Facebook also boasts a more diverse mix of ages when it comes to their users, with about 10 percent of them falling below age 18 or above 64.
On the other hand, LinkedIn has about 64.7 million users to its credit, which is much smaller but still nothing to sneeze at.
However, its audience consists almost entirely of professionals who want to network with others in their industry, meet potential clients, or both.
This makes it a shoo-in for those who own B2B businesses or hope to use their platform of choice for networking purposes.
Content Creation Goals
You’ll also want to consider your company’s current approach to content creation.
Does your business rely on strong visuals to make a statement or grab a customer’s attention? If so, Facebook is a better bet for several reasons.
To begin with, the platform strongly favors content formats like pictures and videos, as do the users themselves.
Visually oriented advertising also does exceptionally well on Facebook.
On the other hand, does your company rely heavily on sharing information like industry updates, B2B procedures, and additional professional insights? If so, it’s all about LinkedIn.
Although the average LinkedIn user certainly doesn’t have anything against a terrific graphic or an entertaining video, they’re really on the platform for professional content.
So businesses that cater to this need will do well there.
Both Facebook and LinkedIn have group functions that can be useful for reaching new customers, generating leads, and jumping into relevant discussions.
However, the motivations for joining, visiting, or participating in a group can vary drastically between the two platforms.
LinkedIn users are generally looking for professional interaction when they join a particular group or jump into the discussions there.
They’ve got their work hats on, looking to mingle with peers within their industry, interact with colleagues, or meet new prospective clients.
Go here to interact with others in a professional capacity, and you can’t go wrong.
Facebook users, on the other hand, are almost always in casual mode.
They’re looking for interesting, entertaining discussion on multiple topics of interest — everything from food, to travel, to whatever’s been going on in the news lately.
So go here to strengthen personal relationships with your target audience and get the inside track on their personal opinions or feelings on various topics.
LinkedIn and Facebook offer a diverse suite of advertising options for businesses.
Both networks provide a fantastic opportunity to get your message out to your target audience via a genuinely user-friendly ad manager.
You can trust that both options are equally great at serving up ads based on each user’s preference, value system, and on-platform behavior, as well.
But again, you’ll want to consider the specifics of what you’re looking to get out of your next ad campaign.
If you’re specifically looking to generate serious business leads and accurately target potential ad recipients based on criteria like job title or industry, LinkedIn is the better choice.
But Facebook is a better choice if you want to expand your potential reach into the billions and target users based on personal criteria like life milestones, personal interests, or personality.
Of course, boosting your bottom line and building better brand recognition are among the best reasons your business should be on social media.
But around 66 percent of all entrepreneurs are just as interested in becoming industry thought leaders to one extent or another.
Are you looking to educate others within your industry and drive ongoing action among your peers?
Or maybe you’re looking to start relevant conversations about important topics that tie into your business goals.
If so, these types of discussions tend to happen a lot more organically on LinkedIn. After all, it’s already been designed with professional goal-seeking in mind.
You can also pursue thought leadership on Facebook, especially in support of authority you may have gained elsewhere. But you’ll see more success when taking a personal approach to the topic at hand.
You’ll want to choose the groups you join with care, as well.
As you can see, LinkedIn and Facebook are both incredibly similar as far as actually using the platforms.
You can advertise on both, network on both, and use both to support a stronger brand identity.
But the people who use each platform have different reasons for being there and will be more likely to engage with different marketing efforts as a result.
Carefully consider your marketing goals before choosing one over the other.
Alternatively, you can craft parallel advertising campaigns that are calibrated with each network in mind.
Wrap Up: Take Your Social Media Strategy to the Next Level
When you’re using your favorite social networks personally or for fun, you naturally don’t have to think too deeply about the things you post.
Personal posts are best when they’re spontaneous and come straight off the cuff.
However, a business owner or marketing professional needs to think more strategically.
Choosing the right social networks to focus on when building your social media presence is only the beginning when putting together a winning social media marketing strategy.
Understanding the nuts and bolts of how a solid campaign works is the rest. Check out our comprehensive guide on memorable, effective social media strategy today, and get ready to take your next campaign to new heights.