A Comparison of Social Media Platforms – II Facebook v/s LinkedIn

Our third and concluding one of the comparative series articles aims to give you an in-depth analysis for Facebook vs. LinkedIn. While comparing both these platforms is seems like comparing a  chalk & cheese, there are some aspects that are worth considering as there are many different points of comparison when one looks at both these Social Networking Sites from a marketer’s or even a user’s POV. Let us attempt to objectively compare the two platforms. Here are some reasons why this attempt makes sense.

User Base:

While Facebook has already surpassed a record 700 million users in record time, LinkedIn too has crossed an important milestone of a 100 million users. Moreover, the user base of LinkedIn can be considered to be of a higher quality since there are no curious kids and bored housewives here but genuinely interested  entrepreneurs, employees and young students.

Revenue Model:

Most of the revenue made by Facebook is from the advertisements but opportunities in today’s markets tend to change very fast. It makes more sense to have a revenue model like the one adopted by LinkedIn. There are premium memberships, recruitment related returns and advertisements. Each of them plays an import role in revenue generation for the platform.

Advertising Effectiveness:

While Facebook gives advertisers a highly customizable and controllable advertising experience to run your campaign, it fails to offer what LinkedIn can. The ability of targeting users according the industry they work in, their designations and even the organization they are employed with. There are also many other similar options.

Credibility:

Facebook is for fun and relaxation while LinkedIn is for the professionals. This perception is highly credible and it also affects the content available on both the platforms.

Groups: 

Though people  would have expected LinkedIn as the clear winner here with its groups feature that is loved by all, Facebook’s groups and pages features are equally placed if not higher. The ability to form public, closed and secret groups on Facebook makes it an even better interaction platform

Purpose:

When a user logs in to LinkedIn, he or she is doing so with a purpose and not just for passing time like on Facebook. Am either looking to hire a professional, check out available jobs or looking for collaboration opportunities. But then again this does make the platform boring as there are no quirky videos or photographs, nor any smart alec status updates put up by friends and family.

Facebook Fatigue:

The fatigue factor had set in for Facebook quite some time back. Many of the people I know, friends, family, professional acquaintances, all complain that Facebook’s become unexciting and boring. The novelty of the platform seems to be wearing off. Whereas, LinkedIn does not seem to be affected by this fatigue factor.

Competition:

Facebook’s got many competitors  like Google+, Twitter and the recent launch of Pinterest only adds to the list. Although none of these platforms are as big as Facebook, one cannot guarantee the same as the years pass. And with the fatigue settling in, people are looking for newer grounds and better places. Moreover, many of these platforms are driven by investors with deep pockets who are willing to spend an insane amount to ensure their success. LinkedIn does not have this problem. There are no other close competitors here and platforms like Plaxo are too small to even be considered.

Apart from the above listed points, there are also several other points of comparison like the User Interface of both the platforms, the functionality and also the usage. For instance, people often think that LinkedIn with its professional interface, will be better for B2B marketing. But one should certainly not ignore Facebook for the same. Here is an info graphic that will shed more light on the same.

Thus, it is pretty evident that Facebook too has a substantial customer base for B2B marketing with a massive 59.80% of thought leaders dominating this platform. Moreover, Facebook enjoys a 50-60%  of higher time spend in terms of minutes by Indian users as compared to LinkedIn. As such, there is still a long way to go before we can predict the future of these two platforms. Moreover, with the competition increasing the way it is, every minute of time spent on any platforms matters at the end of the day.

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