LinkedIn vs. Facebook: Which Road Do You Want to Take?

With pressure to join the growing number of social media platforms out there, it is very easy for users to become overwhelmed. What is the difference between them all? Recently, several business representatives have come to me confused about the difference between LinkedIn and Facebook fan pages.  Both allow users to connect with people, some colleagues and others customers and prospects.  However, how does one get the most out of the social media experience?  The answer is in knowing who your target audience is on what platform.

If you are a professional looking to connect with colleagues and cultivate business relationships, LinkedIn is an online network worth spending time on.  After all, social media is all about building relationships online; but what is it that sets LinkedIn apart?  This social media channel allows professionals to connect with other professionals.  Those who represent businesses on LinkedIn are often the ones who can make company decisions.  Not bad if you’re looking to create a partnership with another business, but don’t know where to start gaining those valuable contacts.  LinkedIn is a great way to break the ice.  By connecting with professionals on LinkedIn, the gateway is opened to great conversations and expert advice from those who share the passion for your particular industry.  With targeted searches, LinkedIn allows you to connect with those in similar industries, join discussion groups, share information and resources, and foster new business relationships all in one place.  Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn users are online to represent their company and are more likely to connect with you over business-related content instead of focusing on the updates and photos posted by friends and family.

However, if you are looking to interact with customers and prospects, or already have a large customer base, Facebook is a great resource to utilize.  Fan pages allow business professionals to easily engage with people of all age groups.  Facebook easily provides a two-way communication channel, making it easy for business professional to interact with customers and prospects and gain useful feedback and ideas to consider when developing marketing campaigns and online strategies.  This social media giant also allows businesses to post videos and photos, which can easily capture interest and increase your business’ fan numbers.  It’s important to remember to go the extra step and integrate interesting articles and posts from your company blog into Facebook, as well as spread the word on upcoming events Facebook fans can become involved in.  The beauty of Facebook is the endless possibilities.  With numerous and creative ways businesses can connect with customers and prospects, it’s very worthwhile for businesses to get on board and use the valuable information gathered from fan engagement to their advantage.

So the next time you become confused or overwhelmed by social media, remember your business’ goals.  Social media platforms are there for the taking.  Whether your goal is to build relationships with colleagues or connect and learn from your customers and fans, you decide which social media road to take.