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Where will paid advertising drive the most new business – LinkedIn or Facebook?

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I’m often asked where the best place to spend money on social paid advertising is – LinkedIn or Facebook?

And I’m grateful for the chance to address it, because it’s no surprise that many staffing and recruiting firms intuitively think that LinkedIn must be the winner.

They often think this for a few common and understandable reasons:

  1. The perception that “LinkedIn is for business, Facebook is for fun”
  2. “My recruiters and I spend all day in LinkedIn – it’s where we can find new clients”
  3. “We can target our exact audience on LinkedIn”

Each of these perceptions have their share of truth.

Let’s take the first one – it’s true!  LinkedIn is absolutely designed for professional exchanges, and Facebook as we all know is typically anything but.  Why do we all know this?  Because Facebook has over 2.2 billion users, and you’re one of them. That includes CEOs, VPs, and Hiring Managers. Are they on LinkedIn too?  Absolutely.  They are using both.  Facebook may be more for fun, but so is television.  And PLENTY of new business is driven by television advertisement.  So it stands to reason you can reach your target audience on both LinkedIn and Facebook, right?

Which begs the question – where can you get more impressions and more conversions?  There’s a confirmation bias among those in the industry that their audience spends time on LinkedIn.  But the numbers don’t lie: last year the average LinkedIn user spent 17 minutes per month on the platform.  The average Facebook user spend 20 minutes per visit!  The monthly average?  600 minutes, or 10 full hours. Facebook users are captivated, many addicted to opening the app the way people became enthralled with TV decades ago.  For the same reasons you see ads for ERP software during the Super Bowl, it makes good sense to advertise to decision makers on Facebook.

So the last one is targeting.  And it’s true!  LinkedIn rolled out a Matched Audience service last year where you can target an email list you upload to the platform, which is awesome.  But Facebook has had this for years, and their ability to target by demographics and “Lookalike audiences” gives us many great tools to work with for our clients.

So the answer to this question is, it depends. But it’s important to dispel some of the myths and presumptions around the platforms in this industry.  Budget is obviously going to be a factor, and we consistently see a lower cost per click on Facebook as compared to LinkedIn.  Perhaps most important for many, you don’t have to make a 5 figure investment to get started with the right Facebook PPC program. Facebook in an excellent cost-effective option, but to dive into the specifics I’d always recommend reaching out to your Social Media Marketing Advisor at Haley Marketing.  Or if you don’t have one yet, use the Contact Form below to start the conversation with us!


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