FACEBOOK OR LINKEDIN?
When you have something to say; say it!
Whether you have something to share or something to offer, there are a multitude of social media options at your disposal. It isn’t always clear why certain platforms rise above the pack but two which have succeeded with distinction are Facebook and LinkedIn.
Whatever your message might be, it is vital that you communicate it in order to reap your rewards. Whether you are developing a brand or an idea or a concept or a business plan; how and where you promote it is critical to your success. Getting a message out there using social media is easy. Targeting the right audience and using the right language is what makes all the difference and separates success from a good try.
Which social media should you use?
There isn’t much point looking for carrots in a cabbage patch. Sure, you might find one but you’re more likely to find cabbages. Likewise, Facebook and LinkedIn have different aims and audiences. There is certainly some overlap but the reasons people go to either can be markedly different.
Facebook has a wider audience than LinkedIn. It is more casual and informal, and features a lot of advertising. LinkedIn is more professional, focused and promotional by nature. While Facebook often resembles fan pages packed with trivia, LinkedIn is more akin to networking and is less frivolous. Countering this somewhat is the sheer numbers behind Facebook with over a billion users which shadows LinkedIn by about 5 to 1. But since when was 200 million small? If you are looking for a group to promote your services, or even seeking a financial backer for your latest entrepreneurial spark of genius, you are less likely to find that audience lurking amongst the pictures of people’s dinner that seem to paper Facebook walls from time to time. You may be better off heading for LinkedIn where more receptive people may be scanning pages for exactly what you have to offer.
In both platforms you can befriend people; though these are called Connections on LinkedIn. LinkedIn Connections are sort of like having people in a business card wallet. Facebook Friends tend to be people you know or have met. Both offer Groups which you can either join freely or at the discretion of a moderator. If you love the latest teen sensation you may well find a suitable group on Facebook. If you want to create the image of the next teen sensation; you might be more inclined to head to a group forum in a specific industry on LinkedIn. Groups there usually post industry-based information and more purposeful topics. They tend to be more practical rather than entertainment-based, as is common in Facebook.
Many people take offence easily – even if they don’t know the person who is tearing down their dreams or challenging their opinion. This tendency makes fertile ground for the attention of trolls; which is really just an internet word for bullies. They are abundant and will readily oblige you with any manner of personal attacks; warranted or otherwise. Such behaviour seems more prevalent on Facebook. On LinkedIn people seem to ignore things that don’t interest them and move on. After all, the people populating LinkedIn tend to be focused on business and services rather than controversial topics prevalent in mainstream media.
LinkedIn and Facebook both rely on advertising to make money. LinkedIn offer Targeted Options and Facebook provides a Business Manager app that helps your advertising appear to a relevant audience. Using Business Manager can turn Facebook into a powerful resource given its huge numbers and extensive reach. While both tools can take some time to set up properly, that is preferable to taking a scatter-gun approach and hoping for the best.
People who are looking for a job or trying to find the right employee tend to use LinkedIn because more proactive business people and entrepreneurs are to be found there. They generally go to the LinkedIn page for a purpose – other than to check out the latest picture of unbelievably delicious raisin toast. Of course they may love your photographic skills; your witty turn of phrase; or your ability to calculate the bill for the toast and coffee in your head. Prospective clients or employers find biographies in LinkedIn to be valuable initial measures of the suitability of a potential client, employee, or customer. Checking out someone’s Facebook page can give you a fair idea of their life outside of work; like hobbies, interests, or anything else which might provide a personality profile. The down side of that is the stories of people regretting posts on Facebook pages which have cost them their job. One never knows who may be taking note. Some Facebook users are keen to share just about everything whereas businesses are unlikely to go that far.
So which one?
LinkedIn is much more of a corporate business and professional tool for entrepreneurs, coaches, professionals, business people, and the like. Those people have a presence on LinkedIn because they want to do business. They are generally proactive people who are open to innovation and good ideas.
Facebook has a massive presence online and presents a tremendous opportunity to find an audience or market; especially with a well-targeted campaign. It presents a different way of doing business than might be appropriate for a strictly LinkedIn audience.
Clearly, each social media platform has its advantages in given situations. Both offer tremendous opportunities for engaging with people. That important Premium Client might be found on either platform. This draws us to the conclusion that it is not a matter of which one is better than the other or which one should be targeted in order to boost your profile out in the world. In truth, a balanced and active presence on both Facebook and LinkedIn is a really clever approach.