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For small businesses, there’s enormous potential in online advertising. While a large business may have sacks of cash to throw into publicity campaigns; a smaller company will have to be far more budget savvy. As a small business, the last thing you want is to waste precious budget on an advertising drive that misses the mark.

Facebook power

At present, Facebook dominates the social media advertising landscape like a ferocious overlord. With Instagram also under its mighty umbrella, it seems that no other platform can compete. But wait! Enter LinkedIn advertising.

Although LinkedIn has a long way to go before reaching Facebook’s untouchable league of extraordinary – the underdog does have a few tricks up its sleeve. Either way, small businesses can hugely benefit from these online advertising methods. The question is, which one suits you better? Would your business reap the benefits of a ‘boosted’ post on Facebook? Or would it be better suited to LinkedIn’s ‘sponsor content’ option?

In this article, we’ll compare the two and evaluate their capacity for generating leads and earning sales;

Facebook vs LinkedIn

For starters, Facebook has over 2.2 billion active users, compared to LinkedIn’s paltry 610 million – however, at times quality definitely trumps quantity, so don’t let the numbers put you off. LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional network. And among those 610 million users lurk tens of millions of major influencers and key thinkers and doers from various businesses and companies. Food for thought.

Still, with either platform you’ll need the following;

1. A well-researched target audience
2. Brilliantly engaging content
3. A paid advertising budget

LinkedIn

With a tight budget, you need a razor-sharp campaign with a laser-guided missile approach – and when it comes to laser-guided attacks, LinkedIn is your weapon. Because LinkedIn is a purely professional platform and targets a likeminded audience, for appealing to other professionals and businesses – it’s the boss. With a more strategic advertising style, it strikes a designated target with higher accuracy.

However, in a sea of professionals, the casual ads that work on Facebook just won’t cut the mustard – here, a significantly more honed advertisement is required. You need impactful, relevant and valuable content to grab users’ attention.

Cons

Unfortunately, LinkedIn’s advertising platform lacks the finesse of Facebook, with many users finding it clunky and counterintuitive. Also, many of this platform’s users are simply job hunting; so not everyone you target on LinkedIn wants, or need the products and services your business offers.

Moreover, advertising can work out rather more costly than its adversary. To advertise on LinkedIn, the minimum daily budget for your campaign is significantly higher, as is the cost per click price.

Facebook

Facebook is a well-oiled machine – its global reach is undeniable. The social media giant employs some of the sharpest minds on the planet, and therefore over time has developed a highly appealing, and easy-to-use interface meaning that any ol’ Joe can do it with a little know-how.

Moreover, due to its GIGANTIC buying power, its ads – in comparison to LinkedIn – are wonderfully affordable, which instantly gives it the edge. While LinkedIn’s platform may get you a more direct hit, Facebook is so cheap that you can afford to cast a wide net and still catch the right prospects within its range.

Also, using Facebook advertising platform actually helps to boost your brand’s authority by gaining more page likes from real people who are interested in your goods and what you have to offer. And since people tend to trust brands with social authority, this goes a long way.

Cons

Over the years, Facebook has been harshly criticised for reporting inaccurate metrics. Issues of over reporting or inflating simple metrics in favour of Facebook have been reported. A few examples of this include miscounted metrics for apps referrals, the misreporting of instant articles metrics, and over-reporting of the Video play metric.

However, in response, Facebook has taken many steps to correct these issues, including launching a measurement council and creating clearer metrics descriptions and definitions. It has also partnered with third-party verification organisations.

Summary

Both networks have their strengths and flaws, but it seems, for now, Facebook maintains its mighty rule. For usability and affordability, it wins hands down. On the flip side, although more expensive, LinkedIn ads are way more likely to hit your target audience. However, regardless of your platform choice, by paying close attention to your metrics, and refining your goals, you can make paid advertising a considerable asset to your business.

If you’d like any assistance with your social media marketing, get in touch with our marketing experts at Fill the Gap Marketing on 01522 581911 and we’ll be happy to help.