LinkedIn ads vs. Facebook ads: A clear winner?

Pay per click has spread to social media; both LinkedIn and Facebook have advertising opportunities, and Twitter isn’t far behind. Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer opportunity for better visibility, but what if you could only choose one?

There have been quite a few blogposts and case studies done between Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads, so I’m not going to include all of screenshots here. The important thing? They all say the same thing.

The settings

Facebook ads offer far more demographic driven targeting, while LinkedIn – just as you’d expect – has more business driven options. What does that mean exactly?

On Facebook, you get to choose:

  • Geographic location (Everywhere, State or Province, City)
  • Demographics (Gender, Age)
  • “Likes”, Interests
  • Advanced Demographics (Birthday, Interested in, Relationship status, language)
  • Education and work
  • Connections on Facebook (pages or friends)

While on LinkedIn, your options are:

  • Company size
  • Job Function
  • Industry
  • Seniority
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Geographic location

Oh and by the way, you can only choose 3 of these categories in LI.

The ads themselves

You’ve probably seen Facebook ads – they show up on the right hand side of Facebook on most pages.

LinkedIn ads however, well I challenge you to find them. On the homepage, LinkedIn displays ads, sure, but you’ll pay a pretty penny to have a banner ad show up. You’ll find ads by LI members at the very bottom of the homepage. They’re scattered about on LinkedIn, getting better real estate the deeper you go on the website.

Otherwise, they’re relatively the same – both offer a headline, copy, and an image.

Show me the money

LinkedIn is significantly more expensive. This case study – that compared two similar ads – showed a whopping difference of $2.94 per click!

Facebook, however, has had historically low bid rates – rarely over $1.00.

The metrics

Neither Facebook nor LinkedIn have a great ad metrics system.

Facebook ad metrics include:

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Click thru rate
  • Average Cost per Click (CPC)
  • Average Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
  • Plus:
    • Demographics who click on your ad
    • Interests of those who click on your ad
    • Conversions by time and impression

LinkedIn gives you a even less:

  • Clicks
  • Impressions
  • Click thru rate
  • Average cost per click

A clear winner?

Targeting and money-wise, I think Facebook is the clear winner (and all case studies agree). However, both camps still have a long way to go to create better metrics.

What about you…do you prefer LinkedIn or Facebook ads?

Photo credit: pareeerica

Nicki Hicks
Facebook, for the win!

One Response to “LinkedIn ads vs. Facebook ads: A clear winner?”

  1. Web Design Leads

    I agree with you that Facebook is the clear winner. I believe there are far more Facebook users out there compared to LinkedIn. Also, Facebook is accessed more frequently compared to LinkedIn.