Should You Run Facebook vs Linkedin Ads to Create Online Sales?
Well, look no further, in this article we’re going to compare Facebook and LinkedIn as platforms for creating direct online sales.
Once again there is no single answer that fits every business’ needs, but rather we’re going over some considerations to help you decide.
Leads vs Sales: What’s the Difference?
Before we get started it’s important to highlight the difference between leads and sales. We go over this in more detail in a previous article, but essentially the difference is this:
When we’re targeting leads we’re trying to capture details to make a sale later.
When we’re targeting sales we’re trying to create sales right now.
Another way of looking at it is through the stage of the conversion funnel we’re at:
So when we talk about creating sales, we’re referring to making sales either directly on Facebook or LinkedIn’s platform or redirecting people from there to other channels to try and make direct sales.
Facebook Ads for Online Sales
Facebook ads allow you to use a variety of multimedia formats to deliver highly targeted messages to a broad range of consumers, which can be invaluable for boosting sales.
Businesses should take care not to “sell too hard” though, taking into consideration that the platform’s primary use is to connect with friends and buying or engaging with businesses is usually only a secondary priority for users.
Facebook has a huge audience, over 2,7 billion monthly users, which eclipses that of LinkedIn by far.
This means you can reach a lot more prospective customers, which is always good.
Because of the sheer size, you can reach people of almost any age and demographic imaginable.
One of Facebook’s main selling points is their rich demographic targeting options, which make it easy to reach your exact target audience despite the massive size of the platform.
Taken together, all of this makes Facebook an ideal platform for B2C businesses looking to reach their customers with highly targeted offers designed to boost sales.
Facebook has a superior suite of features for using their platform to create sales, including:
- Support for tracking conversions both on and off the Facebook site (using the Facebook Pixel).
- Rich targeting options from demographics, interests and behaviour to remarketing to existing customers.
- Facebook Catalogues and the Facebook Store allow you to integrate sales directly into the platform.
Who Should Use Facebook Ads for Sales
B2C based businesses looking to precisely target and sell to customers should use Facebook ads.
It’s the superior platform for selling consumer goods and creating brand engagement with your average consumer.
The only problem is it falls short in several respects for the B2B market as we’ll explore next.
LinkedIn Ads for Online Sales
LinkedIn ads let you use a slightly smaller variety of multimedia formats to advertise to working professionals, that can be a great tool for creating B2B sales.
Because you can engage with, and target, people based on their job titles and experience it’s a great way to ensure your sales messages are reaching exactly the right people.
We also need to consider how people use the platform, in this case mostly as a tool for networking or professional learning, and adapt our messages so they “fit in”.
LinkedIn has a smaller but more specific audience than Facebook of over 260 million monthly users, mostly working professionals.
This is great for B2B and hybrid businesses looking to target key decision-makers in certain businesses.
The main selling point of LinkedIn is being able to target these decision-makers through their platform and achieve higher quality leads than any other platform
What about sales, though?
LinkedIn has no built-in support for integrating your sales catalogue, and the context of the site makes it inappropriate for selling most consumer goods.
You can, however, put it to great use for B2B sales using much the same approach as a lead generation strategy but with a focus on creating a conversion immediately.
You can do this either through directing potential buyers to your site to make a purchase or using a more traditional sales-based approach by talking to them over the platform.
If you go this route, you just need to be careful not to push too hard; you want to create a dialogue with potential clients about their needs and then propose your solution at the end.
The reason it’s better than Facebook for this application is because of the ability to reach the right kinds of people and in the right context, as the “professional network” LinkedIn members are more likely to make business decisions over the platform.
It shines in B2B markets because of the following main features:
- Sending targeted Message Ads directly to people’s inboxes to start a dialogue.
- Great B2B targeting features like company size, seniority levels and job titles lets you target people with the authority to make purchases.
- A space to build an audience of potential customers by establishing a good page following.
Facebook ads are the better choice for B2C businesses looking to expand the availability of their products online.
LinkedIn ads, on the other hand, are best for B2C businesses looking to sell directly to key decision-makers in the right company.
Facebook ads work best for selling consumer goods and LinkedIn ads work best for selling higher-margin B2B goods or services.
Whichever you choose be sure to match your message to the platform, and optimise around what’s working.
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