B2B social heavyweight fight: LinkedIn v Facebook

Few things are set in stone when it comes to social media. But one thing is fairly certain. If you want to post B2B content then you go to LinkedIn. Anything else and it’s almost like saying you visit the butcher for ice cream.

Generally, the figures back this up. In 2015, research from the Content Marketing Institute stated that 94 per cent of B2B marketers distributed content through LinkedIn. It is also estimated that as many as 80 per cent of all B2B social media leads come from the network.

However, there now appears to be a move in another direction. According to this story in The Drum, B2B companies are switching to Facebook for thought leadership. Does LinkedIn have anything to fear?

Facebook and B2B

Facebook has become ubiquitous. It is the social network that is not Snapchat. The fact that it’s uncool among the kids gives it shades with the B2B community.

The network can reach across and eat LinkedIn’s lunch, too. For a start there are more options with Facebook. Mobile-friendly? Facebook Instant? Video? Yes, 360-degree if you want it. LinkedIn is only just grappling with introduction of the same.

In terms of targeting, Facebook is as good as anything. It allows you to drill down by city, interest, role and so on. Yes, LinkedIn can do the same, but Facebook also wins in terms of engagement. For company posts it is estimated that Facebook has an average rate of 0.073 per cent as opposed to LinkedIn on 0.054 per cent.

Both are significantly better than Twitter, which has 0.03 per cent.

LinkedIn: the B2B king

The thing is, in terms of horses for courses, LinkedIn is what B2B is all about. The rest dive into other things. If Facebook was a pub, it would have a chill-out area at one end, a dance floor with a glitterball at the other and a cocktail bar across the way.

With LinkedIn, you know it’s leather seats, lift music and not a DJ or fruit machine in sight. You know how to act and interact there. People are not your friends; they’re colleagues.

This is borne out by a number of factors. Facebook may have a higher engagement rate, but LinkedIn is still the daddy – 277 per cent higher than Twitter (.69 per cent) and Facebook (.77 per cent) according to Hubspot.

And video is on its way. The promise is shown in that video posted from YouTube has a 75 per cent share rate. While it’s Pulse platform is still very popular.

Conclusion

Of course, there is always the option of going for both. But it never looks good to spread your content around too thinly. Ultimately, LinkedIn still has a massive part to play when its comes to distributing content. However, with Facebook pushing the envelope in terms of formatting — VR, 360-video etc — it is not inconceivable for it to become the face of B2B.

B2B social heavyweight fight: LinkedIn v Facebook is part of Content24, the blog for London content markerting agency FirstWord.

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