Guest blog by Patricia van Bergeijk of B2B Lead generation
The world of social advertising can look pretty overwhelming. You have so many options and options and how much money should you spend? Another question that pops up is what can you expect from a social advertisement in terms of results. You should use it because you can also publish as much as you want for free! And which channel can you use best? LinkedIn with 4.4 million users (and 0.5 million daily) or Facebook with 10.8 million users (7.6 million daily) in the Netherlands. If you work in a B2B environment you would think that LinkedIn is the smartest, but the image of LinkedIn is that it is expensive. But is that really so?
As the owner of a company or marketer you want to get as much attention as possible from your potential customer. If you have a Facebook business page, you have probably seen promotion post with a message that you have put on your business page. You can also see similar on LinkedIn if you have an advertiser account. These are the paid content promotion options that every network has. But how can you as a company take advantage of these options? I have collected information and will try to answer this question.
The act to advertise on Facebook and LinkedIn is simple. You only need to know 3 things:
- What do you want to promote, the advertisement
- Who do you want to reach, your target group
- How much do you want to invest, budget
Before we get started, here are a few things to take into account:
- There are many types of advertising campaigns that you can run on social media. For this comparison I only focus on Facebook and LinkedIn but there are many more possibilities for B2B lead generation.
- The answer which channel is "the best" is likely to vary from company to company. There are many variables such as image, message, experience and target group. The purpose of this article is to inform you so that you can make a better decision. But as with most things in marketing, you have to test to really know for sure what works for you.
- This article is based on my own experiences with companies that run similar campaigns on both Facebook and LinkedIn.
By this I mean, how effectively can you find your ideal customer.
There is a feeling that, for example, you are not able to target entrepreneurs properly on Facebook and that you can better use LinkedIn for this. But the truth is that you can reach target groups very effectively on both channels.
Facebook and LinkedIn agreements:
- On Facebook and LinkedIn you can target people from your e-mail database again;
- People who visit your website;
- Target people who have never heard of you with information such as job title, industry, age and place
One of the biggest advantages of Facebook is that you not only target people on demographic information, but that you can also focus on their interests.
Facebook has a lot of data about what people do and like. This means that if you are looking for business owners who are also interested in self-development and online influencers such as Gary Vaynerchuk, you can do this on Facebook (and not on LinkedIn). Or if you want to focus on owners of companies interested in sports, this goes perfectly in Facebook.
Facebook also has the added advantage of owning Instagram, which is growing very fast.
Because more people use Facebook (and more often), you are more likely to find and target the people you are looking for.
Finally, Facebook has a great targeting option called "lookalike audiences". This means that you can upload an email database of your existing customers or you can retarget existing leads or people using your content and find more similar people.
LinkedIn has a "public expansion" function, but the options are more limited than in Facebook
Company size targeting
One of the biggest benefits LinkedIn has is with the data they store about companies and business owners in the B2B environment. In my experience, when you focus on B2B and functions at a higher level (management and C-level) or specifically at large companies, LinkedIn has much more data at its disposal.
One of the reasons for this is that people who sign up for a LinkedIn account tell LinkedIn exactly who they are (their position, who they work for, how big the company is, etc.).
LinkedIn then gives you the option to enter that information into its advertising platform, to target exactly the people you want to reach.
Another advantage LinkedIn has is that it has data such as "company size". This is a very powerful targeting function for the companies I have worked with on LinkedIn.
Target laser focus
For example, if you target people on Facebook with the job title 'CEO', you get all kinds of companies of different sizes. That's great if you work with all kinds of different companies. But what if you only want to work with companies with 10 or more employees? There are a number of things you can do to reduce the chance of working with smaller companies on Facebook, but on LinkedIn you can enter the exact size of a company you want to target.
Summary target audience targeting
Both social advertising channels have very powerful targeting options. Although Facebook has less B2B data available compared to LinkedIn, it is doing well with its impressive interest-based targeting options and the fact that this is the largest social media channel.
And although LinkedIn has fewer users than Facebook and you cannot target by interests, it is doing well with a wide range of targeting options when targeting by company name, position, company size, and so on.
What I mean by this: how smart is the social media channel to help you reach the right people with your ads.
What some people say: Facebook is much smarter than LinkedIn because it will optimize your advertising campaign to get better results.
The truth: Yep, this is true. Once you've pointed Facebook in the right direction (assuming that your audience and messages are good), Facebook looks at trends in the data of those who see your ad and converts them into leads.
If they notice a certain group of people who convert the most within your target audience, they will start showing your ads to more people like that. This happens automatically without you having to worry about this.
Facebook has invested heavily in creating an advertising platform that delivers results. They want you to get results because you will continue to pay and use for longer.
LinkedIn is still lagging behind when it comes to the intelligence of the algorithm on their advertising platform. Of course you can split the test (in the same way as on Facebook), which helps. But it does not automatically optimize your campaign to help you achieve better results with minimal effort.
LinkedIn still has a lot to catch up with. But this will certainly change in 2019.
By this I mean the costs per lead.
The image is that advertising on LinkedIn is more expensive than on Facebook.
The truth: Yep, this is true. In general, the costs for advertising on LinkedIn are more expensive than on Facebook. However, don't let this completely deter you from advertising with LinkedIn. More expensive leads is not always a bad thing if the quality and the ROI of those leads are higher.
Advertising on Facebook is becoming more expensive
In general, the costs on Facebook are now lower compared to LinkedIn. But the cost of advertising on Facebook has risen steadily.
More and more companies are flocking to Facebook ads.
The more people use the Facebook advertising platform, the more expensive it is for everyone to advertise there. So yes, currently it is cheaper to advertise on Facebook (in most cases). But it will be interesting to see what will happen in the coming years.
Quality leads on LinkedIn
LinkedIn leads usually cost more than Facebook, but if you generate high-quality leads with a high ROI, it might be worth paying a little more. That does not mean that Facebook leads are of low quality. I'm just saying that the higher costs per lead should not scare you.
Due to the number of variables on costs per lead, I recommend testing both channels to see what works best for you (in terms of costs per lead, quality and ROI).
What is better, advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook?
To be honest, they are both strong in their own way. But if I had to choose one channel, I believe that Facebook currently has more advantages over LinkedIn, because of the smart algorithm, lower costs per lead and smart targeting options.
Ultimately, the answer to "which channel is best" for your business will largely depend on the person you are targeting and where they are located the most.
So this is my last advice:
If potential customers use both LinkedIn and Facebook, run a campaign to compare the results. Don't just look at the costs per lead. Also look at the quality of those leads and the ROI.
Guest blog by Patricia van Bergeijk of B2B Lead generation