Facebook Ads vs. LinkedIn Ads: Which Should You Be Using?

May 6, 2023

In today's competitive digital marketing landscape, selecting the right advertising platform is crucial to the success of your campaigns. By investing in the most suitable platform for your business, you maximize the potential reach, engagement, and conversion rates of your ads. This ultimately leads to a better return on investment (ROI) and helps you achieve your marketing objectives.

This blog post aims to provide an in-depth comparison of Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads, two of the most popular social media advertising platforms. By examining various aspects such as audience, ad types, targeting options, costs, and analytics, we will guide you in determining which platform is most suitable for your business and marketing goals.

Understanding Your Target Audience: Facebook vs. LinkedIn

General audience demographics

Facebook has a massive user base of over 2.8 billion monthly active users worldwide, making it a go-to platform for reaching a diverse audience. It is popular among all age groups, with the majority of users aged between 18 and 49 years old. Both genders are well-represented on the platform, and users come from various geographic locations and backgrounds.

On the other hand, LinkedIn is a professional networking platform with over 774 million registered users. The platform predominantly targets professionals and business decision-makers, with a higher representation of users aged 30 to 64 years old. While LinkedIn has a smaller user base than Facebook, its professional focus allows for more precise targeting for B2B marketing efforts.

B2C vs. B2B marketing focus

When it comes to marketing focus, Facebook is an ideal platform for both B2C and B2B advertising due to its diverse user base. It offers a wide range of ad formats and targeting options that cater to various industries and marketing objectives. Facebook is particularly effective for driving brand awareness, website traffic, and conversions for B2C businesses.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is the preferred platform for B2B marketers, as it offers a more professional environment and advanced targeting options that focus on job titles, industries, and company sizes. This makes LinkedIn an excellent choice for lead generation, thought leadership, and recruitment advertising in the B2B space.

User behavior and engagement

User behavior and engagement on Facebook and LinkedIn differ significantly. Facebook users tend to be more casual and frequent in their usage, often checking the platform multiple times a day for personal updates, news, and entertainment. This offers businesses the opportunity to reach potential customers during their leisure time and engage them with eye-catching content.

LinkedIn users, however, are more focused on their professional lives and tend to visit the platform less frequently. They primarily use LinkedIn for networking, job searching, and staying informed about industry news and trends. As a result, ads on LinkedIn should be more professional and informative in nature, targeting users' professional interests and needs.

linkedin app on phone screen

Exploring Ad Formats: Creativity and Flexibility

Facebook ad types and formats

Facebook offers a wide variety of ad formats to help businesses reach their marketing goals. Some of the most popular ad types include:

  1. Image ads - Simple ads that use a single image and text to convey a message or promote a product.
  2. Video ads - Ads that showcase a video to engage users and tell a story.
  3. Carousel ads - Ads featuring multiple images or videos that users can scroll through horizontally.
  4. Slideshow ads - A lightweight video-like format that combines multiple images, text, and sound.
  5. Collection ads - Ads that display multiple products and allow users to browse and purchase directly from the ad.

These formats can be displayed across Facebook's various placements, such as the News Feed, Stories, and Messenger. According to Sprout Social, using the right ad format can greatly impact the performance of your campaigns.

LinkedIn ad types and formats

LinkedIn also provides a range of ad formats designed to meet different marketing objectives, including:

  1. Sponsored Content - Native ads that appear in users' feeds and promote a company's content, such as blog posts or articles.
  2. Sponsored InMail - Personalized messages sent directly to targeted users' inboxes.
  3. Text Ads - Small, text-based ads that appear on the side or top of the LinkedIn homepage.
  4. Dynamic Ads - Customizable ads that use LinkedIn profile data to create personalized experiences.
  5. Video Ads - Ads that feature a video to engage and inform users.

These ad formats can be displayed on LinkedIn's desktop and mobile platforms, providing multiple opportunities for engagement. LinkedIn's ad guide provides more information on how to effectively use these formats for your campaigns.

Customization and interactivity options

Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer a range of customization and interactivity options for their ads. For example, Facebook ads can include call-to-action (CTA) buttons, such as "Shop Now" or "Learn More," to encourage users to take specific actions. Additionally, Facebook provides interactive ad formats like Instant Experiences and Augmented Reality (AR) ads that create immersive experiences for users.

LinkedIn also allows for customization in their ads, such as adding a CTA button or customizing the appearance of Dynamic Ads. While LinkedIn's ad formats may not be as interactive as Facebook's, they are tailored to suit the platform's professional audience and generate high-quality leads.

Delving into Targeting Capabilities: Precision and Relevance

Facebook's targeting options

Facebook's advanced targeting options allow advertisers to reach specific audiences based on various factors, such as demographics, interests, and behaviors. Some of the key targeting options include:

  1. Custom Audiences - Target users who have previously engaged with your business, either on your website, app, or Facebook page.
  2. Lookalike Audiences - Reach users who share similar characteristics with your existing customers.
  3. Core Audiences - Target users based on their demographics, interests, and behaviors.

With these targeting capabilities, Facebook enables advertisers to create highly relevant ad experiences for their audiences. Hootsuite provides a comprehensive guide on using Facebook's targeting options effectively.

LinkedIn's targeting options

LinkedIn's targeting options focus on professional attributes, allowing advertisers to reach specific groups of users based on their job titles, industries, company sizes, and more. Some notable targeting options include:

  1. Job Function Targeting - Reach users based on their job functions, such as marketing, finance, or human resources.
  2. 2. Seniority Targeting - Target users based on their job seniority, from entry-level to executive positions.
  1. Company Size Targeting - Focus on users who work for companies of a specific size, from small businesses to large enterprises.
  2. Industry Targeting - Reach users who work in particular industries, such as technology, healthcare, or finance.
  3. Skills Targeting - Target users based on their listed skills and expertise.

These targeting options enable advertisers to create highly relevant ads that resonate with their target audience's professional needs and interests. LinkedIn's targeting guide offers valuable insights on how to leverage these options for maximum impact.

Comparing targeting features

Both Facebook and LinkedIn provide powerful targeting capabilities, but their focus and precision differ. Facebook's targeting options are broader and more focused on demographics, interests, and behaviors, making it suitable for a wide range of industries and marketing objectives.

On the other hand, LinkedIn's targeting options are more specialized, focusing on professional attributes and enabling advertisers to reach specific segments of the professional market. This makes LinkedIn an ideal platform for B2B marketing and campaigns aimed at generating high-quality leads.

facebook icons on desk

LinkedIn's Unique Targeting Advantages: A Deeper Look

Industry-specific targeting

LinkedIn's industry-specific targeting allows advertisers to reach users who work in particular industries, such as technology, healthcare, or finance. This level of granularity enables businesses to create highly targeted and relevant ads, making it an excellent platform for B2B marketing. By focusing on users within specific industries, advertisers can tailor their messages to address the unique needs and challenges faced by their target audience. LinkedIn's industry targeting guide provides valuable insights on using this feature effectively.

Job function and seniority targeting

LinkedIn's job function and seniority targeting options enable advertisers to focus on users based on their roles and levels of responsibility within an organization. This level of precision allows businesses to target decision-makers and influencers, increasing the likelihood of generating high-quality leads and conversions. For example, by targeting users in management or executive positions, advertisers can ensure their ads reach individuals with the authority to make purchasing decisions. Forbes provides an in-depth analysis of how to use these targeting options effectively.

Company size and growth targeting

LinkedIn's company size and growth targeting options allow advertisers to reach users who work for companies of a specific size or at a particular stage of growth. This targeting feature is particularly useful for businesses offering products or services tailored to the needs of small businesses, startups, or large enterprises. By focusing on users within companies of a particular size or growth stage, advertisers can create more personalized and relevant ad experiences. LinkedIn's company targeting guide offers additional insights on leveraging these options for maximum impact.

Comparing Advertising Costs: Facebook vs. LinkedIn

Cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM) rates

Advertising costs on both Facebook and LinkedIn are primarily determined by the cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) rates. Generally, LinkedIn's CPC and CPM rates tend to be higher than Facebook's. This is because LinkedIn's professional audience is more niche and valuable, particularly for B2B marketers. However, it is essential to consider the potential return on investment (ROI) when comparing advertising costs, as higher costs on LinkedIn may lead to higher quality leads and conversions. WordStream provides a detailed comparison of Facebook and LinkedIn's advertising costs.

Budget flexibility and control

Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer advertisers flexibility and control over their ad budgets. Advertisers can set daily or lifetime budgets for their campaigns and choose between CPC and CPM bidding strategies. They can also adjust their budgets and bids based on the performance of their campaigns. Social Media Examiner offers valuable tips on managing budgets for Facebook advertising, while LinkedIn's budgeting guide provides insights for LinkedIn advertising.

Return on investment (ROI) considerations

When comparing advertising costs between Facebook and LinkedIn, it is crucial to consider the potential return on investment (ROI). While LinkedIn's advertising costs may be higher than Facebook's, the platform's professional audience and advanced targeting options can lead to higher quality leads and conversions, particularly for B2B marketing. As a result, the overall ROI from LinkedIn campaigns may be higher, even with increased costs.

On the other hand, Facebook's lower advertising costs and larger user base make it an attractive option for businesses with a broader target audience, particularly for B2C marketing. By reaching a larger and more diverse group of users, Facebook campaigns may generate a higher volume of traffic, engagement, and conversions, resulting in a strong ROI.

The Final Verdict: Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Ads?

Factors to consider

When deciding between Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads, several factors should be taken into account, such as:

  1. Marketing objectives - Consider whether your primary goals are brand awareness, lead generation, or conversions.
  2. Target audience - Determine if your audience is primarily B2C or B2B and their demographic and professional characteristics.
  3. Advertising budget - Evaluate your budget constraints and the potential return on investment for each platform.
  4. Ad formats and targeting options - Assess the available ad formats and targeting options that best align with your marketing strategy.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision about which platform is best suited for your advertising needs. HubSpot provides a comprehensive comparison of Facebook and LinkedIn to help you make an informed decision.

Case-by-case analysis

The choice between Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads should be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on your specific marketing goals, target audience, and resources. It is essential to test and analyze the performance of your campaigns on both platforms to determine which one generates the best results for your business. Continually optimizing your campaigns based on data-driven insights can help you maximize the effectiveness of your advertising efforts on either platform. Neil Patel offers valuable tips on evaluating the performance of your campaigns and making data-driven decisions.

Expert recommendations from a digital agency owner perspective

As a digital agency owner, I recommend evaluating both Facebook and LinkedIn Ads based on your unique marketing objectives and target audience. For B2C businesses or campaigns focused on reaching a broader audience, Facebook Ads may be the better choice due to their larger user base and diverse targeting options. For B2B businesses or campaigns targeting professionals and decision-makers, LinkedIn Ads can offer more precise targeting and higher-quality leads.

However, it is crucial not to limit yourself to just one platform. Experimenting with both Facebook and LinkedIn Ads and analyzing their performance can help you uncover valuable insights and optimize your advertising strategy. This approach ensures you are effectively utilizing your advertising budget and achieving the best possible results for your business.

Summing Up

Both Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads offer unique advantages, and the choice between the two platforms depends on your marketing objectives, target audience, and advertising budget. By understanding the strengths and limitations of each platform and analyzing your campaign performance, you can make informed decisions that maximize your advertising efforts. At Soone Agency, we specialize in Facebook Ads services to help businesses effectively reach their target audiences and achieve their marketing goals. For more insights on Facebook advertising, check out our related blog posts:

By leveraging our expertise and staying up-to-date with the latest advertising strategies, you can make the most of your advertising investment and drive success for your business.