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LinkedIn Ads Vs. Facebook Ads: Where Should You Focus Your Budget?

Jacob Thomas
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Jacob Thomas

If you manage your company’s digital advertising efforts, you’ve probably wondered which ads platform is best: LinkedIn or Facebook? Indeed, all marketers must eventually settle the great LinkedIn vs Facebook for business debate for themselves.

Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

Unfortunately, the choice between platforms isn’t always straightforward. But don’t worry! We’re here to help you make the right choice for your organization.

Keep reading to learn about each network’s unique advertising options, the differences between the two platforms, and the three questions to ask before you determine which channel deserves your advertising dollars.

Let’s get started!

LinkedIn Ads: A Quick Overview

LinkedIn is the place to be for business professionals around the world. The social media site has more than 700 million active users and is where most Fortune 500 decision-makers like to spend their spare time.

Countless people use LinkedIn to build their professional networks, consume top-notch content, and sell business-related products and services to highly targeted audiences.

LinkedIn Ads - learn more about the LinkedIn ad types
Photo by inlytics on Unsplash

When it comes to advertising, LinkedIn offers users a few different ad types:

  • Sponsored Content: A sponsored content ad on LinkedIn will look like a standard LinkedIn post and appear in targeted users’ normal feeds. They’re great for making announcements to a specific demographic of people.
  • Sponsored InMail: InMail is LinkedIn’s direct messaging platform. With it, users can send and receive text-based messages within the LinkedIn ecosystem. Choose this ad type if you want to send personalized messages to individual audience members. 
  • Text Ads: LinkedIn text ads are akin to Google search ads. They appear in the LinkedIn sidebar and include a block of text, a headline, and a company logo. Text ads definitely have their place, but many users find them less exciting than other ad types.
  • Dynamic Ads: This kind of LinkedIn ad will allow you to personalize your advertising efforts to each individual user you target. Dynamic ads are ideal for building brand awareness, generating leads, and driving quality traffic.

The kind of LinkedIn ad you choose to use will depend on your target audience and personal goals. You wouldn’t, for example, want to create a text ad if you’re hoping to connect with a specific person. In this case, sponsored InMail will serve you best.

Facebook Ads: A Quick Overview

Facebook is the largest social network in the world, and has been for quite some time. The platform boasts 2.7 billion monthly active users, more than a third of the world’s population — and this figure doesn’t even include Facebook’s other channels like Instagram and WhatsApp.

Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook’s audience is made up of many different kinds of people, not just business professionals. This makes it an ideal ads platform for a wider range of companies.

Facebook Ads- a quick overview
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

For instance, you’re just as likely to find stay-at-home moms on Facebook (a target demographic that generally doesn’t use LinkedIn) as you are CEOs. Because of this, Facebook advertising is perfect for companies that target non-professionals.
There are three major components to every Facebook ad:

  • Type: What kind of ad do you want to run? Facebook supports four ad types – image, video, carousel (a group of up to 10 images or videos within a single ad), and collection (a single cover image or video with shoppable product images.) 
  • Placement: Where do you want your ad to appear? The ad type you choose will determine where your ad can be placed. But in general, Facebook ads can be placed in feeds, stories, the Marketplace, search results, Messenger inboxes, and more.
  • Objective: What do you want to accomplish with your Facebook ads? Some of the platform’s more popular objectives include brand awareness, traffic and lead generation, app installs, and conversions.

Facebook’s advertising platform is highly evolved and will allow you to target specific demographics of people with many different kinds of content.

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The Main Differences Between LinkedIn Ads Vs. Facebook Ads

If you’re comparing LinkedIn vs Facebook for advertising purposes, you’ll want to know how the two platforms differ from each other. That’s what we’ll cover in this section.

Both LinkedIn and Facebook will allow you to create multiple kinds of ads, target specific audience types, and achieve organizational goals — for a fee. But the two social networks vary in three key areas:

  1. Advertising Options: Both LinkedIn and Facebook give ad managers numerous advertising options. But as you probably deduced from the quick platform overviews above, LinkedIn simply can’t compete with Facebook in this category. Facebook offers more ad types and precise targeting tools, the ability to choose ad placements, and the option to advertise on other social channels like Instagram.
  2. Target Audience: When comparing LinkedIn vs Facebook for business, your target audience will help determine which platform comes out on top. We’ll talk more about this in a later section of this article. But for now, just know that LinkedIn caters to business professionals, while Facebook is usually used by folks for personal reasons.
  3. Advertising Costs: Thirdly, you must determine how much you’re willing to spend on social media advertising. Both LinkedIn and Facebook ads cost money. But, in general, LinkedIn ads will cost you more than Facebooks ads. This doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook is the better advertising option. It simply means you need to determine if the extra cost associated with LinkedIn is worth it for your organization.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself

To end the LinkedIn ads vs Facebook ads debate for your company, you must answer three important questions, which we’ve outlined below. Make sure to answer honestly so that you can choose the right platform for your needs.

Linkedin Ads vs Facebook Ads decision
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

1. Who is My Target Audience?

This is arguably the most important LinkedIn vs Facebook question to answer because each network caters to a different audience.

LinkedIn is for business professionals looking to further their careers. While you might occasionally see a humorous post or personal revelation, the people creating and consuming content on LinkedIn will always be business-minded. If you’re catering to professionals, investing in LinkedIn ads can be a good move to increase the success rate of your business proposals.

Facebook is generally used for personal reasons. Many c-suite executives and other business professionals have Facebook profiles, but they typically use the platform to connect with friends and family, share personal pictures and anecdotes, and otherwise remove themselves from the day-to-day stresses of their careers.

Once you determine who you’ll target with your social media ads, you can move on to the next question, which we’ll help you answer below.

2. Which Ad Types Will I Use?

Next, you need to ask yourself which ad types you plan to use. Do you want to run shoppable image and video ads? Do you want to advertise on Instagram, too? Or do you only want your posts to appear in the feeds of your target audience?

Both LinkedIn and Facebook offer multiple ad types, but Facebook offers a greater variety of options. We encourage you to re-read through this article to really learn what each platform has to offer. That way you can properly determine which network deserves your ad dollars.

At this point, you should know who you’ll target with your ads and the ad types you want to use. The answer to the LinkedIn vs Facebook for business debate should be clearer now! But before you officially choose a platform, you’ll want to ask yourself one more question…

3. What’s My Budget?

Lastly, assess the funds you have available for advertising purposes.

As we mentioned earlier, LinkedIn ads will typically cost you more than Facebook ads. This fact doesn’t give Facebook an automatic edge, but it is worth considering. If your target audience is on both platforms, your ad dollars probably won’t go as far on LinkedIn.

To be honest, your target audience and desired ad types will play a bigger role in determining which platform you advertise on. If, after assessing these two factors, you still find it hard to choose a social network, look at your budget to make a final decision.

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The Final Verdict

When you began reading this article, you were probably thinking something like, “Should I advertise on LinkedIn?” or “Is Facebook really the right advertising platform for my company?” These are both great questions to ask, and in this section, we’ll help you answer them.

The truth is, one platform isn’t inherently better than the other. Your choice of LinkedIn ads vs Facebook ads really just comes down to your audience, advertising strategy, and budget.

  • Audience: Are you targeting a business or consumer-minded audience?
  • Advertising Strategy: What kind of ads will you run and how detailed do you need your targeting options to be?
  • Budget: How much capital do you have to work with?

If you have a small advertising budget and need to target non-professional buyers, we recommend trying Facebook ads. If, on the other hand, you have more marketing funds at your disposal and plan to create ads for a business-minded audience, you might have more success using the LinkedIn advertising platform. But remember, these are just guidelines.

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