In marketing, making sure you’re seen, and more importantly, seen by the right people is very important. In today’s world, your online presence is a prospective client’s first port of call, and LinkedIn has always been a sure bet for professionals. However, with growing competition from Facebook and other social media sites, how do you decide which platform is best for your Social Media Marketing?
Firstly, let’s take the established site, LinkedIn. It has been the choice of social media for professionals since its inception in 2003. Taking its simple interface, coupled with its wealth of personal information, it offers far more insight than a business card and a better integrated network than a simple address book. Simply put – if you want to get in touch with professionals, there is no bigger or better place than LinkedIn.
That is, unless you consider Facebook as a social media website capable of effective marketing. Facebook is certainly bigger – LinkedIn’s 260 million members are paltry when placed beside Facebook’s 1.32 billion – but its reputation is lodged firmly in the minds of users as a purely social tool. Although LinkedIn can boast to more than double Facebook’s Year on Year Growth, it’s difficult to assess the utility of this data, as Facebook’s initially registered members are vastly greater. It is still encouraging for LinkedIn that their user base is growing at a rate of 100% YOY regardless of comparisons with Facebook.
Who uses LinkedIn? Who uses Facebook?
LinkedIn has become a mainstay of the business world, and its users reflect that. By comparison, Facebook is far more widely used by a diverse range of people, which offers up a tough quandary to marketers – is it a benefit to be seen by more users, or is the marketplace too fragmented? You must decide how to navigate this problem with how to advertise.
The average LinkedIn profile is active only half an hour a month – considerably less than Facebook’s 8 hours a month – but it is worth considering the users intent when using each website.
LinkedIn is used almost exclusively in the professional realm, meaning that time spent on the site is more likely to be spent efficiently in a goal orientated environment. Whereas Facebook’s users are spending more time on the site, a vast proportion of this is spent on social and leisurely activities, often in connection with another multimedia experience (such as posting live updates about television shows). Cutting through the background noise to make your adverts stand out becomes much more difficult. In order to be successful you need to understand how your audience utilise the platform for their own purposes, and attempt to complement this with your marketing.
How do your advertisements come across?
Both LinkedIn and Facebook operate with 2 main types of advertisements – side bar ads and promoted posts. In these departments, Facebook offers more characters on display and greater image size, so visually; they certainly have the upper hand. Facebook also benefits greatly from the fact that promoted posts are formatted similarly to a personal shared post and appear on the newsfeed in the same way. This can make more users kindly predisposed to clicking due to familiarity with the process. Facebook also leads with the ability to share media at the touch of a button. This is particularly effective with viral marketing campaigns in a Business2Consumer context.
LinkedIn is making moves to be more interactive and visually engaging. Through slideshare, you can easily share and view powerpoint presentations and documents; a particularly useful tool in business2business marketing. They are also taking further steps to be user friendly, having recently launched slideshare for iOS mobile platform.
So which site is better for marketing?
It is important for marketing companies to be aware of the pros and cons of each site. Facebook is clearly a medium which puts marketing second to social sharing, but their user base is vast, and their advertising opportunities are strongly visually engaging. LinkedIn remains the home of the professional, and by marketing on this platform you won’t be fighting against the tide of a fragmented marketplace such as a socially driven site such as Facebook. Moreover, LinkedIn lends itself perfectly to the critical b2b marketing tactic of networking, rather than faceless advertisement, so before judging purely on its visual credentials; consider the social etiquette of each site too.
In the end it’s clear that there is no “One Site Fits All” solution to social media marketing. Both sites are worth utilising, the more critical factor is to ensure your advertisements are tailored to cater to the different audiences of each social network!
xibo offers an incredible direct messaging product, that allow us to use LinkedIn to send targeted messages to hundreds of relevant people on your behalf. If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.