Advertising online – Facebook versus LinkedIn

Linkedin versus Facebook ads

iS tock_000001256263XSmallAdvertising using social media channels is becoming more and more popular, not surprising really since you have the potential to reach millions of people in a very targeted way. In 2013 global online ad spending is projected to amount to more than $500 billion and more specifically social ads spending is expected to double by 2015 to $9.2 billion.

If you are considering which social channels to use to promote your product, business or service, this might help.

Here’s a comparison of Facebook versus LinkedIn ads.

Facebook Ads

Facebook is by far the larger of the 2 networks with over 1 billion users. You can use Facebook ads to a) promote your page and build your following b) to promote a specific post on your page’s timeline or c) to drive traffic to an external page such as your website.

Facebook allows you to be really specific when choosing who should see your ads. You can target by geography down to quite a granular level, for example you can have your ads appear only to people in North Vancouver but it doesn’t get as granular as Yaletown or Kerrisdale (yet). You can also target your ads by age, gender, education but the aspect that is most beneficial about Facebook advertising is that you can target the ads using target audience likes.

Profiling Your Customer

We often work with clients to build an ideal client persona identifying such aspects as which car they drive, which shoes they wear, which music, sports teams etc, etc (it varies by business obviously). The more you know the better and by profiling your customer or ideal client in this way then you can use Facebook ads to appeal to a very specific demographic.

Targeting

You can also target the ads on Facebook to the friends of people who have already liked your pages. We’ve had a lot of success running Facebook ads for consumer related products or services but it can be more tricky for business to business or professional service type firms. Our favourite technique is to use Facebook to build your page followers: once people have connected with your business there you can use your timeline to build mindshare and community with them. Starting at as little as $1 per day. Facebook can be a strong tool to add to your promotional advertising arsenal.

LinkedIn Ads

linkedinLinkedIn has less than a quarter of the users that Facebook has but the advantage LinkedIn has over Facebook is that users are all professional, business type people so, if that is you audience, LinkedIn might be the better advertising tool for you to use but you have to be extra careful to get it right and it’s quite tricky.

Targeting

LinkedIn ads like Facebook ones, can also be used to target a specific audience i.e. by geography, profession, company name, seniority or job function. However LinkedIn ads are not as granular as Facebook’s in terms of geography or personal likes and you are actually quite limited. With LinkedIn the best way to use the ads is to encourage people to click on a link to an external website -ie your website or squeeze page.

LinkedIn ads appear erratically, we had one campaign recently where the ads showed up thousands of times on the first day and hardly any the next. The only way to control this seems to be by increasing the ad budget (go figure), making sure your bids are high or through constantly tweaking your ad text. They’re also more expensive than Facebook ads – starting at $10 per day. One positive aspect of LinkedIn advertising is that you can get creative with larger images.

Conclusion

If you have decided ads are the way to go and your target audience is consumer oriented or they are younger then Facebook is a no brainer. If your audience is older, professional or business oriented LinkedIn might be the better alternative but take the time to consider whether you can get more bang from your buck by using your personal updates or updates on your company page on LinkedIn first. I’m not a big fan of LinkedIn ads and think your marketing dollars might be better spent elsewhere.

 

The Out-Smarts Podcast #11 – LinkedIn with Rob Duncan

LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social networks. It grew by over 500% in 2007 and one of the reasons for its speedy growth is because professionals are recognizing its a great tool to expand your network, establish your expertise and conduct research.

This Out-Smarts podcast discusses LinkedIn with Rob Duncan. He’s a prolific LinkedIn user and has more contacts in his network than anyone else I know. I talk to Rob about what LinkedIn is, what he uses it for and the benefits he derives from doing so.

Rob is an Innovation Catalyst, Director of Applied Research at BCIT. He is a writer and public speaker too. Learn how Rob uses LinkedIn to help him spread the buzz.