Enough of the Facebook vs. LinkedIn Debate – its so 2009


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I have to admit this whole Facebook vs. LinkedIn; which is the best B2B or B2C marketing channel is getting really old. I’m seeing more and more examples of bloggers and experts diving in talking up one or the other as the best option depending on which camp you sit in.

LinkedIn vs Facebook

The fact is there is no one right answer. As both LinkedIn and Facebook roll out platform upgrades, you as the business owner or person responsible for engagement need to be looking at your own goals and communities so as to understand what’s going to be the best option. And here’s the interesting thing – I see strong evidence that many companies need to have a presence in both camps.

I commented on anther blog:

I don’t think there is any one right answer. I think for some B2B companies – if they are in the low cost tech space or commoditised business products/services then I’d argue they should have a foot in both the LinkedIn and Facebook camps.

Further, I also see a lot of value in B2C companies having a solid footprint on LinkedIn. Unfortunately many who talk about social media forget that social isn’t just forward facing. You’ve got to consider the demands of engaging effectively with suppliers, partners, Government, and industry – and in many cases you won’t be able to do this via Facebook.

You’ve got to stop treating this as black and white and start looking at this from an enterprise perspective – where do we need to be so as to connect to the various communities that collide with our brand/company

I see lots of examples where companies can in fact effectively use both to achieve key outcomes. Here are a couple of examples:

1.    Food Services

I did a presentation last month and a guest worked in food services – the business delivers goods into major supermarkets, has their own range of branded goods, and also offers products to the hospitality industry. What was interesting about this business is that they clearly needed to be using LinkedIn to connect to their core suppliers, the industry, Government, and also as a research tool so as to keep on top of what is happening globally.

As we dug deeper, it became obvious that Facebook would also be a very effective tool for this business to connect and engage with specific end users – primarily chefs and decision makers out in the marketplace

2.    Education Market

I know of many companies that sell into the education market, targeting teachers, parents etc. One thing I’ve learnt through Smartpen is that the education community has been a leading adopter of social media – particularly Facebook and Twitter. So whilst you would consider this a B2B market, you need to be where your audience is – Facebook. But overlooking LinkedIn in this instance would be a mistake as LinkedIn is definitely the place to engage with partners, peers, as well as being an ideal research tool.

So What’s the Answer?

In both these examples you need to drill into the specifics of the business and the attributes of the core communities so as to understand what is going to deliver value for the business. So the answer is it depends.

But clearly one or the other as the only perfect channel – a dangerous assumption to make

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mark Parker
Mark Parker is the founder of Smart Selling, and the specialist business unit – Smart Social Media. The core aim of both businesses is to help companies become better sales organisations by utilising the ideas, tools, and practices of Sales 2. and social media.


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