On top of all the other duties small business owners contend with every day, choosing the best way to promote their company adds yet another task to an already overcrowded to-do list. But it doesn't have to be difficult. To help you get the most for your hard-earned money, we've compared ad programs from social media giants Facebook and LinkedIn.
Here's how they stack up.
What LinkedIn Offers Advertisers
It's probably dawned on you by now that B2B businesses should at least use LinkedIn ads if they don't choose any other network for their social media marketing.
But why is that? It could be because of the program's ability to focus like a laser pointer on reaching just the right person, going beyond run-of-the-mill stats like job title, salary and company to finer data points like level of seniority in a company and skills within a job function. Or maybe it's because of stats presented in a report from the network itself boasting that four out of five members drive business decisions, and 39 percent of members are senior level executives. Needless to say, these numbers show that this is where many potential buyers are hanging out.
What Facebook Offers Advertisers
While B2B companies can use Facebook ads, its real potential is unlocked for B2C advertisers because of the nature of the platform. Facebook is a fun, leisurely corner of the internet where advertising is supported in the forms of banners, games and referrals. Even better, ads can be targeted to users based on a whole slew of demographics like age, interests and geographical location. Ads can help you gain those ever-coveted likes, comments and shares and build a ready-made fanbase primed to receive your promotions.
Obviously these networks have quite a few advantages that don't show a a clear winner.
So How do You Decide?
Both LinkedIn and Facebook give you a choice between cost-per-click and cost-per-1,000 impressions and allow you to set a daily budget, so barring some details there's not a whole lot of difference in cost.
And you're aware of what you're selling and who you're selling to. So another way to uncover a deciding factor in this is your goals for buying ads in the first place. You might think you know, but take into account the following data.
Do you want to build brand recognition or are you looking to make sales right here, right now?
An infographic from MarketingMojo says B2B sales cycles are often longer, those brands should focus their social media marketing on lead generation and awareness instead of direct sales. On the flip side B2C's have more opportunity for direct sales and engagement. This holds true on LinkedIn and Facebook. So it's not just about what platform to use, but what you're trying to accomplish.
And of course, trial and error will help. Start small on both social networks, try CPC and CPM, and compare the analytics. These decisions aren't one size fits all, and a little guided experimentation will give you the personalized information you need to carve out a long-term strategy.